Drunk Driving Criminal Defense Attorney West Bend office (Near the Museum of Wisconsin Art)
OWI penalties in Ozaukee & Washington depend on the level of offense. First offense penalties include $150 to $300 in fines and 6 to 9 months license revocation, while a fourth offense has a mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail, maximum 6 years in prison, along with $600 to $10,000 in fines and 2-year license revocation.
OWI & Criminal Defense Attorney
Being convicted of an OWI in Ozaukee or Washington County has mandatory penalties. Your driver’s license will be revoked, you will owe fines, you will be required to take Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse assessments and follow through with any recommended treatment, and 6 points will be added to your license. In most cases, an OWI conviction will also have mandatory jail time and an ignition interlock device requirement. If you are charged with an OWI in Wisconsin you could be facing anything from a non-criminal citation to a significant felony offense with mandatory prison time.
1st Offense OWI
In Wisconsin, a first offense OWI conviction is a non-criminal citation. Absent a couple of exceptions, an injurious accident or a minor being present, you will not be charged with a criminal offense and cannot be sentenced to jail. However, penalties on an OWI first offense are not as simple as a normal ticket with a fine and points assigned to your license. In addition to the fine and points, your driver’s license will be revoked. To reinstate your license or get an occupational license you must complete mandatory treatment and you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
2nd Offense OWI
If you are being charged with an OWI second offense, you are facing a criminal misdemeanor with a mandatory jail sentence, anywhere from at least 5 days up to 6 months. To be charged with an OWI second offense your prior conviction must have been within the last 10 years, otherwise, you will be charged with a second-first offense OWI which does not result in a jail sentence. If you have more than one OWI conviction after 1989, Wisconsin will count each offense to determine your appropriate charge.
3rd Offense OWI
An OWI third conviction is the highest misdemeanor OWI offense. You are now facing up to 12 months in jail, longer license revocations and larger fines and other penalties.
4th Offense OWI
Any OWI fourth or greater is a felony offense, for which you could be sentenced to prison. An OWI 4th offense carries with it a maximum prison sentence of 6 years. Additionally, if your previous OWI conviction was within 15 years you are facing a lifetime driver’s license revocation. Unlike every other license revocation, you are not eligible for an occupational license and you must wait at least 10 years before applying to reinstate your license.
Beyond the incarceration, court-issued monetary costs, revocations, ignition interlock device requirements and mandatory treatment, there are many other ways an OWI conviction can impact your life:
- you will be required to carry high-risk insurance, SR-22, for a duration determined by the Department of Transportation
- Canada and some European Union countries will deny you entrance
- renting a car or landing a job that requires a clean driving record may not be possible
- if you are a CDL holder, your CDL license may be either temporarily or permanently lost
If you fail to follow your restrictions and court orders following your conviction you could end up with additional criminal charges. Driving during a time other than what is listed on your occupational license or borrowing a car that does not have an ignition interlock device installed on it are just two examples of additional criminal charges that you can face following an OWI conviction; both are punishable by up to 12 months in jail.
If you've been charged with an OWI in Ozaukee or Washington County, contact the award-winning team of drunk driving attorneys at Grieve Law LLC.
How long does an OWI stay on my record?
An OWI will be on your record permanently. Despite that the law allows for an OWI to be expunged, it is extraordinarily rare for a court in Ozaukee or Washington county to even legitimately consider its expunction, let alone to grant it. Even with expunction both the DMV and the Department of Justice would still have a record of your conviction, meaning a subsequent offense would not be diminished. If you are convicted in Wisconsin, you will always have that on your record.
How to beat an OWI
The perception around an OWI charge is that it is black and white and if you are charged there is not much that can be done to fight it. That perception could not be farther from the truth. While the specific law is simple, you were driving on a public highway and you were under the influence of an intoxicant, being able to challenge the charge is incredibly complicated. To successfully challenge an OWI you must hire an attorney experienced in the different legal standards the police are held to during their investigation. Depending on how the investigation is handled and the facts of your case a skilled attorney can attack both the evidence and how that evidence was obtained. Our award-winning Ozaukee and Washington county attorneys have that experience successfully challenging OWI charges, get in touch with us today so that we can start work on your behalf.