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Operating after revocation in wisconsin/milwaukee

Milwaukee OAR defense lawyer

In Wisconsin, operating a motor vehicle after your driver’s license is revoked 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, Operating After Revocation (OAR) refers to driving a motor vehicle on public roads when your license is revoked due to a previous offense, such as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), OWI (Operating While Intoxicated), or other serious traffic violations. You might see something on your traffic ticket referring to “343.44(1)(b) operating while revoked (rev due to alc/contr subst/refusal)”.

If your license revocation is due to an intoxicated driving offense, then it is a criminal offense and you will face jail time. However, if your license revocation is not because of an OWI related offense, then it is a non-criminal forfeiture and you do not face jail time.

Operating While Suspended (OWS) may seem similar to OAR, however, OAR is a much more severe violation than OWS. OWS is a noncriminal forfeiture under most circumstances, whereas OAR is almost always a criminal violation. See our Operating While Suspended page for more information if you have been charged with OWS.

To understand more about your situation please download the pdf below that references potential statutes related:

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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.

Please use this guide provided by wicourts.gov to help you understand the consequences you are facing and what to do next.

OAR_Wisconsin (pdf)

Possible consequences for Operating After Revocation

If convicted of operating a vehicle while your license is revoked, you could face sever penalties, including:

  • Up to a $2,500 fine
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Court costs
  • An additional six months revocation of your driver’s license
 If you have 3 or more prior OAR or OWS convictions within 5 years, the court may revoke your license for 6 months.

Aggravating and Mitigating factors

With a wide range of possible penalties, aggravating and mitigating factors can impact your fine and the amount of jail time and determine if you are on the low or high end of the range. It is important to contact an experienced traffic lawyer in Wisconsin who can give you advice depending on your specific circumstances and fight to minimize the penalties.
Statutory aggravating factors that can put you on the higher end of the range of jail time and fines for OAR in 343.44(2)(b) include the class of vehicle operated, number of prior convictions under this section within 5 years, reason for revocation, and conviction for moving violations form this incident. Other aggravating factors that can increase your jail time or fine include prior OAR/OWS convictions, accident, aggravated driving, alcohol or drugs present, prior OWI/PAC convictions, and a record of unsafe driving.
Mitigating factors that can put you toward the lower end of the range of jail time and fines for OAR include no prior OAR/OWS convictions, not OWI related, no unsafe driving record, history of payment of fines, and remedial action since incident.

What happens if you fail to appear in court?

If your case is a criminal case and 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.

Operating after revocation vs. operating While suspended

Operating after Revocation (OAR):

  1. Definition: Operating a motor vehicle after your driver’s license has been revoked due to a serious offense such as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), OWI (Operating While Intoxicated), or another severe traffic violation.
  2. Severity: OAR is considered a more serious offense compared to OWS, as it typically involves driving with a revoked license due to significant violations or criminal activities.
  3. Legal Ramifications: Penalties for OAR can include substantial fines, potential imprisonment, an extended period of revocation, vehicle impoundment, and the requirement of installing an ignition interlock device.

Operating While Suspended (OWS):

  1. Definition: Operating a motor vehicle while your driver’s license has been suspended due to various reasons, such as failure to pay fines, accumulating too many points on your driving record, or other non-criminal violations.
  2. Severity: OWS is generally considered a less severe offense compared to OAR, as it often involves administrative penalties and typically does not involve serious criminal behavior.
  3. Legal Ramifications: Penalties for OWS can include fines, the extension of the suspension period, and potential points added to your driving record, which could impact your insurance rates.
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