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How long can a DUI case go with no court activity in WI? Does the lack of activity help the defendant get this case?

Columbus, WI |

This case has been going on for over a year with no new was a DUI Unfortuately! What I want curious to know is can the defendant in this case get a lesser sentence or even have this case thrown out due to the lack of activity on the part of the courts?

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Attorney answers 3


OWI cases in Wisconsin may drag on for several months without activity depending on an infinite number of circumstances. The longer the case is pending does not mean that the defendant will get a lesser sentence or that the case will get dismissed. Cases are often delayed to allow offenders to get treatment, judicial reassignment, and for backlogged court calendars.

This is not intended as legal advice. It is only provided for educational purposes and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Further no attorney client relationship is or has been formed by answering this question.


It depends on what you mean by no activity. I read that to mean you were arrested and nothing else has happened--no court date, NOTHING. If this is the case, it can favor you. I would just let it lie unless until it is filed. If it suddenly pops up a year later, your attorney can argue that your right to a speedy trial was violated and potentially get the case thrown out.

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It's not unusual for the state to take many months to obtain blood drug screens and several more months if the state lab is not set up to test for the drug in question. Rarely a case will just get lost in the shuffle of busy dockets. I would recommend discussing the specifics of your case with an attorney who handles OWI cases before taking any action, but a defendant can always get things moving in a criminal case by filing a motion for speedy trial (keep in mind that the state can dismiss and recharge if they need more time to locate witnesses or obtain test results).

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