As of January 1, 2017, repeat OWI offenders with four or more convictions will face harsher penalties than they did previously.
In the spring of 2016, Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 455 into law in the spring of 2016 (now known as 2015 Wisconsin Act 371), increasing the penalties for certain repeat drunk driving convictions. The new law took effect January 1, 2017.
This article explains those new drunk driving penalites in Wisconsin.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Beloit or elsewhere in Wisconsin, contact a knowledgeable criminal defense law firm right away.
Which Drunk Driving Offenses are Stricter Under Wisconsin’s New OWI Law?
If you were convicted of an OWI offense prior to 2017, the offense classifications for 4th OWI and subsequent OWI offenses have changed.
A fourth drunk driving conviction in Beloit, or anywhere else in Wisconsin, is now considered a felony offense.
The following repeat drunk driving offenses carry new classifications and potential penalties under the new Wisconsin OWI law:
- 4th Offense OWI: Class H Felony
- 5th or 6th Offense OWI: Class G Felony
- 7th, 8th or 9th Offense OWI: Class F Felony
- 10th Offense OWI: Class E Felony
All subsequent OWI offenses in Wisconsin (11th OWI, 12th OWI, and so on) will potentially carry the same classification and penalties as a 10th OWI and later offenses, depending on the details of your case.
If you have a history of drunk driving convictions in The Badger State (OWI convictions, DUI convictions, etc.), it would be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney right away.
Graduated Classification Means Harsher Penalties for OWI Convictions in WI
If you are found guilty of one of the above OWI offenses in Wisconsin, the potential penalties you risk facing at sentencing will be in line with Wisconsin’s penalties.
- Class H Felony: Up to $10,000 in fines, up to 6 years imprisonment or both
- Class G Felony: Up to $25,000 in fines, up to 10 years imprisonment or both
- Class F Felony: Up to $25,000 in fines, up to 12 years and 6 months imprisonment or both
- Class E Felony: Up to $50,000 in fines, up to 15 years imprisonment
These penalties would be in addition to other standard drunk driving fines, penalties and restrictions in Wisconsin.
If you’re facing any of the above repeat charges of driving under the influence of an intoxicant like drugs or alcohol, you are now looking at more serious consequences than previously expected under Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws and you need to hire a lawyer to help defend your case.
It is more important than ever for you to consult a skilled and proven OWI attorney to help ensure your best result.
Common Questions After an OWI Arrest in Beloit, Wisconsin
If you or someone you know has been arrested for suspicion of drunk driving or driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) in Beloit or elsewhere across the state of Wisconsin, you are likely wondering:
- Will I have to go to prison for OWI in Wisconsin?
- How much time will I have to serve for an OWI in Beloit?
- How much will I have to pay in fines for DUI in Wisconsin?
The totality of fines, imprisonment and other consequences and restrictions you risk if you are found guilty of any OWI offense in Beloit or elsewhere in Wisconsin, depends on a number of factors specific to your individual case.
To get a full understanding of the possible fines, jail or prison terms you may be facing, contact an accomplshed OWI lawyer to disucess the details of your case.
FREE 15-Minute Consultation
If you’ve been charged with a repeat DUI offense in Wisconsin, don’t waste any time; click below to take the first step in your defense today.