The years 2016 and 2018 saw big changes to Wisconsin’s OWI penalties. As a result of 2016’s Senate Bill 455, a 4th OWI in Wisconsin is now considered an automatic Class H felony, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since the 3rd OWI conviction. Prior to the change, a 4th OWI was considered a misdemeanor, unless it occurred within 5 years of the 3rd OWI charge.
In 2018, Senate Bill 135, now Wisconsin Act 172, made the penalties for a 4th OWI offense or higher even more severe with a lifetime license revocation if the previous offense was within 15 years. The lifetime revocation may also be applied if a driver has two convictions for felony vehicle-related crimes.
Along with changing a 4th OWI from a misdemeanor to a felony, the new laws also come with more severe penalties. At a minimum, a conviction carries with it:
The new maximum penalties for 4th OWI in Wisconsin include:
The penalties for operating a vehicle after license revocation have increased to:
Second offenses increase the penalty to as much as $10,000 in fines, one year in jail, or both.
In addition to the fines and penalties listed above and the possibility of a lifetime license revocation, 4th OWI offenders will be unable to obtain an occupational license, though they can apply for license reinstatement 10 years after their conviction. Reinstatement requires applicants to file and maintain proof of financial responsibility for the future and they cannot have been convicted of any other OWI related offense during the prior 10 years. 45 days before the request for reinstatement, offenders must undergo an assessment for use of drugs or alcohol.
The loss of a driver’s license for life will have a devasting impact on most drivers. When coupled with a felony conviction, the repercussions are even direr. A 4th OWI conviction will change your life in all areas, from your career choices and living options to even just the simple freedom of getting around. If you are facing OWI charges in Wisconsin, whether it is your first offense or a subsequent offense, it is vital to your future that you speak with an OWI attorney at Eisenberg Law Offices.
Our OWI attorneys can help you fight the charges by examining the evidence against you and the procedures used to arrest you to ensure you were treated in accordance with the Constitution.
If you are facing OWI or DUI charges in Wisconsin, schedule a free consultation with Eisenberg Law by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing Info@eisenberglaw.org today, so we can start building your defense.
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The Information Contained In This Site Is Not Intended To Provide Legal Advice. Please Consult An Attorney To Discuss The Facts Of Your Individual Situation. Eisenberg Law Office, S.C. 308 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53703 USA (608) 256-8356