For a driver with no prior OWI convictions, homicide caused by driving while intoxicated could lead to a Class D felony, which is up to 25 years in prison plus possible fines. If convicted of a prior OWI, the penalty could escalate to a maximum term of 40 years in prison.
Wisconsin OWI homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle penalties
OWI Homicide Penalties
The maximum penalties for an OWI Homicide depend on whether the driver has any prior OWI offenses. For a driver with no prior OWI convictions, an OWI Homicide is classified as a Class D felony punishable by up to 25 years of imprisonment (15 years initial confinement/10 years extended supervision). For a driver with a prior OWI conviction, the offense of OWI Homicide is classified as a Class C felony punishable by up to 40 years of imprisonment (25 years initial confinement/15 years extended supervision). In addition to these maximum possible penalties, Wisconsin law requires that the court impose a minimum sentence of at least 5 years of initial confinement in prison on each offense. The court can impose a sentence of fewer than 5 years, but only if the court finds a “compelling reason” to do so.
In addition to these significant penalties, if more than one death results, then each death caused by the intoxicated driver’s negligence is chargeable as a separate offense carrying additional penalties. This includes the death of an unborn child.
Under the Wisconsin Criminal Code, what is colloquially known as vehicular manslaughter is called Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle. Wisconsin Statute § 940.09(1)(a) states OWI Homicide is committed by whoever “[c]auses the death of another by the operation or handling of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.”
Our criminal defense attorneys have negotiated multiple felonies down to misdemeanors, non-criminal tickets and outright dismissal of charges. Through negotiation or jury trial our Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys faithfully represent your interests to the fullest under criminal law. Grieve Law LLC has the firearm, criminal defense, drug and DUI attorneys in Waukesha and Milwaukee that surrounding areas trust for powerful results.
Defense against OWI Homicide Charges
While OWI Homicide is always a tragedy, it is not always a crime. In any action under the OWI Homicide statute, the defendant has a defense if he or she proves the death would have occurred even if he or she had been exercising due care and had not been under the influence of an intoxicant, did not have a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in their blood, or did not have a prohibited alcohol concentration.
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Wisconsin’s Top OWI Homicide Defense Attorneys
Given the significant consequences of OWI Homicide in Wisconsin, it is important to hire an experienced OWI lawyer to protect your legal rights. Schedule a free consultation with our criminal defense attorneys to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
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In Wisconsin, how long does an OWI Homicide Intoxicated Vehicle charge stay on your record?
In Wisconsin, homicide from operating a vehicle while intoxicated could lead to a 25 year prison sentence, and even if not convicted, the charges could remain on your record for life.