OPERATING WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE (OWI)
Right To A Jury Trial. If you are charged with Operating A Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence Of An Intoxicant (OWI), or Operating a Motor Vehicle With A Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or greater (BAC), or Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under The Influence Of A Controlled Substance (OWCS), you may file a written request for a jury trial. The written request must be filed with the Municipal Court, along with a $36.00 jury fee payable to the Clerk of Courts, within 10 days after you plead not guilty. Your case then will be transferred to the Circuit Court. These are the only charges that can be transferred out of the Municipal Court for a jury trial.
Right To A Refusal Hearing. If you refused to submit to a blood test or any other alcohol (breath or urine) test that the arresting officer requested, you have 10 days from the date of your arrest to file a written request for a hearing. Failing to file a request will result in your driving privileges being revoked for one (1) year and requiring you to have an ignition interface device installed in every vehicle you drive for one year. The request must be filed with (received by) the Municipal Court on or before the 10th day from the date of your arrest. (The first day does not count, the last day does, and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are excluded in computing the 10 days.) A copy of the request should be filed at the City Attorney’s office, 106 Jones Street - Room 2051, Watertown, WI 53094 (Tele: 920-206-4201).
Penalties Upon Conviction. Prior to your initial appearance (IA) date, the Court Clerk will mail you an Informational Memorandum answering most if not all of the questions you might have, including information relating to the penalties, alcohol assessment counseling, suspension of your driving privileges, how to obtain an occupational license and ignition interface devices.
Your Mailing Address. If your mailing address is different than the address shown on your citation, you should immediately call the Court Clerk in order to best assure that you will receive information about your case. It is very important that you personally notify the court clerk of any address changes that occur while your case is still active. “Active” includes waiting for trial, or everything has been resolved except you owe a forfeiture in whole or in part. The court relies heavily on the mail to notify you of matters related to your case. Consequently, it is your best interest to directly contact the court clerk if your address changes. Do not rely solely on a change-of-address filed with the post office. Courts are very skeptical about people claiming that they did not get something that was mailed to them, particularly if the claimant did not inform the court directly of an address change.