Wisconsin’s new 4th OWI law – what you should know
Arrested for 4th OWI in Wisconsin? Here’s what you should know
As of January 1, 2017, Wisconsin OWI law has changed for a fourth offense. If you have been convicted of three offenses, no matter when in your life they occurred, a fourth offense counts as a felony. The penalties for felony OWI charges are steeper, and the impact on your life going forward can be severe. If you are arrested for a fourth offense OWI, then, you need strong, experienced legal representation to protect you.
Changes to Wisconsin OWI Law
Before the most recent change in law, a fourth OWI would be a misdemeanor offense if it had been at least five years since your last OWI. The penalties were still significant; a misdemeanor OWI brings a fine of $600 to $2,000, and a sentence of from 60 days to one year in jail. You would also lose your driver’s license from two to three years.
Now, though, the fine for a felony OWI ranges from $600 to $10,000. In addition, you face a minimum of six months in jail. Even if your last OWI was a decade ago or more, you will face these felony charges and, if convicted, have your life changed forever.
Given the harsh penalties in place, your first defense is of course not to drive a vehicle when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are pulled over, though, be sure to cooperate with the officer; resisting or refusing a breathalyzer test will only make your situation worse. But if you are arrested and charged, you need a strong, experienced attorney on your side. That attorney will talk with you about your arrest, and help you understand both the consequences of a conviction and the rights you have and the defenses you can raise in a trial.
A fourth OWI conviction in Wisconsin brings harsh penalties for you that affect your job, your family, and your life. If you have been arrested with prior OWI convictions on your record, contact Eisenberg law offices for the best legal representation available.