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Chicago, Illinois man convicted of 3rd Drunk Driving Offense with the first two drunk driving convictions from another state, represented by Attorney Tracey Wood, had his conviction reversed and charged as a first offense drunk driving.

In a post conviction challenge, Attorney Tracey Wood obtained probation instead of a ten year prison sentence for her client.

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Post Conviction Remedies & Challenges

The term "post conviction remedies" is used to described three distinctly different due process points of time during the criminal trial, conviction, sentencing, and appeal process.

A post conviction remedy can mean the due process procedure of asking for reconsideration of a sentence after all other appeal procedures have been unsuccessfully exhausted.

A post conviction remedy can also mean the right to an automatic direct appeal, which is a right available to any person convicted of a crime in the state of Wisconsin, [See Direct Criminal Appeals] and which must be filed within the specified time limits imposed by law.

Lastly, it can mean the legal procedure available upon conviction or sentencing in which a defendant challenges the conviction or the sentence to the trial court.

Van Wagner & Wood Successful Criminal Appeals
Successful Post Conviction Challenges

For more than two decades, the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood have successfully represented people who have already been convicted of a statutory crime in the state of Wisconsin or a federal crime in any state in the United States.

In a post conviction direct appeal, Attorney Tracey Wood won an appeal in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals overturning her client's prior conviction for a third offense drunk driving. The two prior convictions were from another state. The Court of Appeals agreed with Attorney Wood that the two prior convictions should not be considered under Wisconsin law. The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction for a third offense, and her client was charged with a first offense OWI. A third drunk driving offense is a misdemeanor under Wisconsin law subject to mandatory fines and jail time. In Wisconsin, courts often sentence a convicted third offense with a greater sentence than provided by the sentencing guidelines. A first drunk driving offense is not a crime under Wisconsin law (but it does carry mandatory fines).

Challenging Prior Convictions

Challenging prior convictions is not limited to drunk driving cases. For example, a second offense possession of controlled substance case is a felony in Wisconsin. If the prior offense was uncounseled, that conviction is subject to a collateral attack.

Collateral Attacks On Prior Convictions

A collateral attack of a prior conviction is not an appeal of that conviction; it is simply a mechanism for defense attorneys to use to prevent the prior conviction from enhancing the penalties the clients faces in the current case. For example, if a person is charged with fifth offense OWI (a felony), and the client did not have an attorney or waived counsel in his fourth offense case, he should be sentenced as a fourth offense misdemeanant, as opposed to a fifth offense felon. The conviction for fourth offense OWI will remain on his record, but it cannot be used for sentencing purposes if it is properly challenged.

Acting Quickly Can Make A Difference

Direct appeals to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals are automatic as a right, which serves to eliminate a step from the appellate process: the application to have a case heard by the appellate court. However, it does not eliminate the time restrictions, and appeals must be filed within the statutory time period [see Appeals]. Time is a critical factor in any post-conviction action, and any challenges that may be available should be made immediately.

If you have been convicted of a crime and believe your conviction or sentence were wrong, please contact call () or email ( ) the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood right away.


An automatic right to appeal also does not eliminate the strict guidelines that must be followed by an appeal to the appellate court. Those guidelines include terminology, the paper on which the appeal is filed, and even the margins. Attorneys who file many appeals are very familiar with those guidelines and able to file the appeal quickly and correctly.

The US Court of Appeals mandates distinctly different guidelines from those mandated by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Again, experienced federal appeals attorneys are quite familiar with those guidelines and able to handle the appeal quickly and correctly

Van Wagner & Wood's attorneys represent people in both state and federal Court of Appeals cases. In fact, Attorney Chris Van Wagner successfully filed and argued an appeal to the federal Court of Appeals on subject matter than the appellate court previously claimed it would not hear. They heard the case, and they decided in favor of Attorney Van Wagner's clients.

Honest Opinion

When your time is limited, when your options are quickly being exhausted, and when you feel as though you have no place left to run and the walls are crumbling at your feet, you do not have time for hopes and wishes seated in dreams; you need brief, professional, accurate analysis of your case. Attorney Chris Van Wagner and Attorney Tracey Wood will provide you with an honest straightforward analysis of your case.

Tough, Clear & Convincing Argument

When your appeal is filed, you have one shot at having your case overturned by the appellate court, and one shot at having it overturned by the Supreme Court. When your options are that limited, you may want to consider placing your case in the competent hands of Van Wagner & Wood. Those attorneys have exemplified sound strategic and intellectually creative approaches to appellate cases and won post conviction challenges that the trial attorney lost.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorneys Van Wagner & Wood

If you have already been convicted of a crime and believe your conviction or sentencing were wrong, please call or email ( ) right away. There are lawyers, then there are criminal defense lawyers, and then there's Van Wagner & Wood, the lawyers that can really help.