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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27749
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hello,Im being charged with a DUI &

Customer Question

Hello, I'm being charged with a DUI & refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test in Wisconsin. I currently have a PA license. What would be the consequences if I am able to fight off the refusal and only plead guilty to a DUI vs. pleading guilty to refusal and DUI? This is my first offense, and I also don't have any moving traffic violations on my record. Would it be beneficial to get a WI license before my court appearance? Thank you.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a criminal lawyer.

Can you tell me if your DUI occurred in Pennsylvania or in Wisconsin?

Use the reply tab below to respond so I can find your answer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It occurred in WI

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hi Peter,

If you have a refusal you will lose your driving privileges automatically for a year, and that year would be on top of the 6-month suspension period the judge imposes for the DUI. Additionally, if you have a refusal, you cannot be eligible for a hardship license in Illinois.

So it pays to try to fight the refusal. As they are very hard to win, don't try it without a lawyer.

Yes, before you are convicted of the DUI, it's best to get a Wisconsin license if you can. However, if your driving privileges have already been revoked because of the refusal, then you will find that you're ineligible for the license at this time. That's because every state gives full faith and credit to a sister state's suspension of driving privileges.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Fran, but I have a PA license, DUI occurred in wi where I just recently moved - I'm not associated with the state of Illinois in any way.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.


I was multitasking and likely confused the state with the one from the question I'd done before. I apologize and am happy that one of us is a decent proofreader.

The part about the year's suspension on top of the 6 month suspension is Wisconsin law. Under Wisconsin law, you can get an occupational license even after a refusal. It would, however, mean waiting longer to be eligible to apply for it. YOu can see this here.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



You mentioned it would be very hard to beat refusal charges on my own. However, I suffered three fractures on my head less than a year ago and I still simply cannot blow hard enough for the test to go through. I did not refuse - 1st out of 2 breathalyzer tests they submitted me to was successful , however 2nd wasn't - I tried multiple times. I asked officers to do a blood test, but they didn't. I was cooperating, I did not refuse, I simply was not able to finish it successfully. If I bring a proof of my injury from a doctor, do you think I would be successful in arguing my case?


Thank you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.

With medical documentation that you were injured and it would affect your capacity to take a breathalyzer, you would appear to have a good chance of beating the refusal.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Fran,


Above you said it would be beneficial to get a WI license, if possible... why is that so? If I don't get it, what will happen after WI DMV reports me to PA DMV?



Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hi Peter,

Once you are convicted of a DUI in Wisconsin license Pennsylvania will suspend your PA license. So the best time to try to get a WI license is before you are convicted, if you can. If your WI driving privileges are presently suspended due to the refusal it will be too late to do that.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, but Wisconsin will also suspend my license once I'm convicted. And this brings us back to my initial question - what would be the consequences of keeping my PA license? You already told me it that suspension would be 6 + 12 months in WI, but how about PA?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Pennsylvania would be able to treat the DUI as if it were their own if they get notified of the conviction. Because of the refusal that would be a year's suspension of your license.