Question: Does double jeopardy apply in Wisconsin OWI cases?

Answer: Yes, double jeopardy applies in all criminal cases. But it is quite specific, it has been looked at quite a bit in the context of OWI in Wisconsin because a prosecutor can charge somebody with operating while intoxicated and having a prohibited alcohol concentration for the same incident at the same time. Now, you can’t be prosecuted for exactly the same thing in exactly the same time. But what they say is that you can be charged with operating while impaired and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration; you just can’t be punished twice. So you can only get one set of penalties for that. And there are some other circumstances where it applies, but that’s the basic issue with OWI and double jeopardy.

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