Fourth, Fifth, or Subsequent DUI
Each year, tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents are convicted of driving under the influence, also known as operating while intoxicated (OWI). Repeat OWI offenders may face ever-increasing consequences for their actions, including significant fines, extended jail time, and long-term license revocation. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee DUI attorney William J. Reddin has decades of experience representing individuals who are facing these types of charges. He is here to help you mount a strong defense to the prosecution.Fighting Charges for Fourth, Fifth, and Subsequent OWIs
In 2010, the Wisconsin legislature made significant changes to the state’s OWI laws, increasing punishments for multiple DUI offenders. Under this new law, the blood alcohol limit for a driver on Wisconsin’s roadways is .08. However, if an individual is a multiple OWI offender, with previous convictions on his or her record, this blood alcohol limit is reduced to .02. This lower limit essentially restricts Wisconsin drivers with prior OWIs from driving with any alcohol whatsoever in their system.
Additionally, Wisconsin’s new law also provides that an individual’s fourth, fifth, or subsequent OWI may be charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. A fourth OWI may be charged as a felony when the individual has had a prior OWI charge within the last five years. A fifth OWI will be charged as a felony. This raises the punishment and consequences of a conviction substantially, including greater jail time and fines. Moreover, just as importantly, a felony conviction can have long-term ramifications for job prospects, government benefits, and more, since it must be reported on many applications for jobs and on federal and state paperwork.
Unlike an individual’s second or third OWI, which are treated as misdemeanor offenses, the consequences for a felony conviction for a fourth or subsequent OWI are much more severe. While earlier OWI offenses may result in fines of up to $2,000 and relatively brief jail time, the punishment for a fourth or fifth OWI that is charged as a felony is up to $10,000 in fines and up to six years in prison. Additionally, mandatory jail time must be imposed for people facing a fourth or fifth OWI conviction, including at least 60 days for a fourth conviction and six months for a fifth conviction. Under Wisconsin’s revised OWI law, fourth and fifth-time offenders also cannot be released on bail after a conviction is entered.
These are not the only penalties that defendants may face. Much like people facing a second or third conviction, an individual may also find his or her license revoked for an extended period of time, and he or she will be required to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her car, if one has not already been installed. These devices, known as IIDs, prevent a car engine from starting until the driver has performed a breath-alcohol test to ensure that the breath-alcohol level is below Wisconsin’s required limits.
Defending against an OWI charge require a review of the tests used to determine your intoxication. If you feel you were improperly stopped by police, you may be able to argue that the entire stop was a violation of your constitutional rights. If you take a chemical or blood test, and your breath alcohol or blood alcohol is over the legal limit, it may also be possible to argue that the test was contaminated. If your intoxication charge is based on a performance in field sobriety tests that you feel did not accurately represent your abilities at the time and incorrectly characterized you as intoxicated, you may be able to file motions to challenge these tests in court. Your attorney could help you try to show that they were improperly performed or that you have physical challenges that impeded your ability to perform them.Seek Guidance from a DUI Attorney in Milwaukee
The penalties for a fourth, fifth, or subsequent OWI are severe and warrant consulting a diligent and aggressive attorney. Milwaukee DUI lawyer William J. Reddin can thoroughly research the details of your situation and advocate to drop or reduce the charges against you. He can assist defendants in Mequon, Racine, West Bend, Port Washington, Waukesha, and other communities throughout Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. Call criminal defense lawyer William J. Reddin at (414) 271-6400 or contact us online to set up a free appointment.