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Operating Without a driver's license in wisconsin/milwaukee

Milwaukee OWL defense lawyer

In Wisconsin, driving without your driver’s license can lead to serious legal repercussions. It is crucial to comprehend the laws, potential penalties, and available legal options if you find yourself facing such charges.

According to Wisconsin law, you must possess a valid operator’s license issued by the state which is not revoked, suspended, canceled, or expired when operating a motor vehicle. If you drive without a driver’s license then you may receive a ticket for Operating Without a Driver’s License (OWL) for violating Wisconsin state statute 343.05(3)(a).

Operating Without a Driver’s License is a 3-demerit point ticket on your license. Read this blog post for more information about how what seems to be a simple traffic ticket can stack up and lead to serious consequences.

Operating After Revocation (OAR) and Operating While Suspended (OWS) may seem similar to Operating without a Driver’s License, however, OAR is a much more severe violation than OWL. OWS and OWL are both noncriminal forfeitures under most circumstances, however, OWS means that your license has been taken away for varying reasons. See our Operating After Revocation page for more information if you have been charged with OAR or see our Operating While Suspended page for more information if you have been charged with OWS.

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Our law firm will review any misdemeanors charged in your case, explain what those charges mean, and advise you on your best legal options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get the best representation you need in your unique circumstances.

Possible consequences for driving without a driver’s license

If convicted of operating a vehicle without your license, you could face several punishments depending on the frequency and the severity of the incident, including:

  • Up to $200 fine
  • If 2 OWL convictions in 3 year period then you could face up to $500 in fines and 30 days in jail 
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Court costs
  • An additional six months of license revocation

What happens if you fail to appear in court?

Your first OWL conviction is a civil forfeiture so if you don’t appear in court you will automatically be convicted. If you have 2 OWL convictions in a 3 year period, it is a criminal case and you face jail time, so if you fail to appear at the initial court appearance, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.  Make sure to contact a specialized traffic attorney that understands Wisconsin’s point demerit system well.

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