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, our Milwaukee DUI attorney has decades of experience representing individuals who are facing these types of charges. We are 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, whether in Wisconsin or in other states, this blood alcohol limit is reduced to .02. This lower limit essentially restricts Wisconsin drivers with three or more prior OWIs from driving with any alcohol whatsoever in their system.
Additionally, a new law that took effect in Wisconsin on January 1, 2017 provides that an individual’s fourth, fifth, or subsequent OWI will be charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. 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. A fourth, fifth, or subsequent OWI also will prevent you from exercising your right to vote until you have completed your sentence, and it will prevent you from having a firearm for life.
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 is up to $10,000 in fines and up to six years in prison. Additionally, the penalty range is doubled for drivers who had someone under 16 in the car. 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. Your license will be revoked for up to three years upon a conviction, and you will be required to have an ignition interlock device placed on your 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. If you are seeking a hardship license, you must wait 45 days before applying. Also, you will have six demerit points on your license, and you will need to undergo an alcohol assessment.
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. A Milwaukee DUI lawyer at our firm can thoroughly research the details of your situation and advocate to drop or reduce the charges against you. We can assist defendants in Mequon, Racine, West Bend, Port Washington, Waukesha, and other communities throughout Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. Call our criminal defense lawyer at (414) 271-6400 or contact us online to set up a free appointment.