4th Offense OWI Wisconsin
4th Offense OWI Wisconsin
All fourth OWI offenses are considered felonies in Wisconsin. You can be charged with a fourth OWI offense if you got arrested for an OWI within the first five years of your most recent OWI conviction. Depending on how severe your charges are, you may spend up to six years in jail. Penalties such as prison time and other consequences will be doubled if you had a 16 year old passenger at the time of your offense. Fortunately, an experienced OWI lawyer in Wisconsin can help get your OWI charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Penalties For A 4th OWI In Wisconsin
A fourth OWI offense automatically results in a Class H felony charge as of 2018. It carries the following penalties:
- A minimum of 60 days in jail and a maximum of 6 years in jail
- Up to $10,000 in fines but that amount can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled depending on your BAC
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for 1 to 3 years
- Driver’s license revocation for up to 3 years
- Driving privileges revoked for life if the prior offense occurred within 15 years
- You become a convicted felon with a criminal record
- You cannot obtain an occupational license
- You are not allowed to apply for a hardship driver’s license for 45 days
You can apply for reinstatement of your license ten years after your conviction only if you have not committed an OWI offense within those 10 years. You must also comply with the use of drugs or alcohol assessment 45 days before your request.
BAC Limit Changes After 3rd Conviction
Having three OWI convictions in your record makes it easier for you to get a fourth OWI conviction. The reason for this is that after your third offense conviction, your BAC limit is changed to .02% forever. That means that you can be arrested and charged for driving with a BAC of .02% or higher. You face harsher penalties if your BAC level is over .17% at the time of your 4th OWI arrest. For example, if your BAC was .25% at the time of your arrest, your penalties will be quadrupled.
Defense Strategies For A 4th OWI Charge
An OWI lawyer can use various defense strategies to help you avoid a fourth conviction. These include:
- The BAC when you were driving was below the legal limit but was over the legal limit at the time of the test
- Your lawyer can challenge the legality of the traffic stop that resulted in you getting the BAC test
- The police officer conducting the BAC tests did not follow the strict standards for field sobriety tests
You need to fight a fourth OWI charge because of the serious penalties that a conviction for that felony carries. Other costs you have to bear for an OWI conviction include court costs, higher insurance premiums, a criminal record and more. An experienced OWI lawyer in Wisconsin can help you by getting your OWI charges reduce or eliminated.