Avoid The Devastating Consequences to a Drunk Driving Charge
What are penalties for a drunk driving or OWI charge in Wisconsin?
Drunk driving can carry serious penalties. Even if it is your first offense, you risk losing your license, owing substantial fines and other penalties that could have a lasting impact. If this is your second, third or fourth offense, you could also face jail time.
No matter the number of previous drunk driving arrests, the DUI lawyers at Levine Law will vigorously defend you from the charges you face. Attorney Michael G. Levine is a public defender who has defended countless clients facing all types of drunk driving offenses. Attorney Robert A. Levine and the other Milwaukee OWI attorneys at the firm are committed to protecting the rights of our clients and helping clients at every stage of the OWI process.
What are penalties for an OWI in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, drunk driving is referred to as operating while under the influence (OWI). It is also known as DWI or DUI. Regardless of the name you use for the offense, drunk driving carries significant penalties, including:
- First OWI offense: Your first OWI charge is a traffic violation. With this violation, you will owe fines and lose your license from six to nine months. If there was a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle with you, your offense may be raised to a misdemeanor offense, which carries higher penalties.
- Second OWI offense: Your second offense is a misdemeanor offense, which can carry a five-day to 60-day jail sentence, higher fines and the loss of your license for 12 to 18 months.
- Third OWI offense: Your third conviction for drunk driving carries a minimum 30-day jail sentence (up to 12 months). Additionally, you will owe fines and lose your license for two to three years.
- Fourth OWI offense: With a fourth conviction for OWI, you face 60 days to one year in jail, substantial fines, and you will lose your license for two to three years.
- Five or more offenses: If you have had five or more previous convictions for OWI, you are facing felony charges. This means that your right to vote, own firearms and other basic rights are at stake. You are also facing at least a year in prison.
Each of these offenses can carry larger penalties, if you are arrested with high blood alcohol content (BAC). Additionally, depending on the circumstances, an ignition interlock device may be placed on your car at your own expense.
What if I am a victim of a drunk driving motor vehicle accident?
You never know when a distracted or otherwise negligent driver is going to cross your path as you travel Wisconsin highways. Sometimes, it’s possible to avert disaster if you’re able to recognize potential danger and safely maneuver to avoid it. Given the fact that state roadways are often highly congested with fast-moving traffic, however, that is not always possible. When motor vehicle accidents occur that result in injury, those who suffer often wind up facing other problems related to their situations.
The attorneys at Levine Law can get you the justice you deserve for injuries or other damages suffered from a careless driver. Call 414-271-9585.
What if I have a DWI charge with a minor in the vehicle?
If you had a passenger in the vehicle with you under the age of 16, your penalties could double. Additionally, if this is your third offense, you could be facing felony charges for having a minor in the vehicle with you when you are arrested for driving under the influence.