Fourth Offense

If you are convicted of a fourth OWI offense, you face a felony on your record, up to $10,000 in fines, and six years of prison time.

At Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law, we work to prevent or minimize the consequences of an OWI conviction.

Learn more about how a fourth OWI offense in Wisconsin can negatively impact your life...

A Fourth Offense OWI
Is Now a Felony Offense in Wisconsin

On April 25, 2016, Governor Walker signed a bill that made all fourth OWI offenses a Class H felony. Prior to that date, a fourth offense OWI was only a felony if committed within five years of the driver's most recent alcohol-related driving incident.

If you are arrested for OWI occurring on or after January 1, 2017, you face a sentence ranging from six months of jail time to six years of imprisonment. If you had a minor in the vehicle under the age of 16 at the time of the incident, that penalty range is doubled.

In Wisconsin, a Class H felony is the least serious felony offense. Still, classifying a fourth OWI as a Class H felony increased the penalties for this offense, and leaves drivers with a permanent criminal record.

Why a Good DUI Lawyer Matters When It Comes to Restitution

If your DUI offense involved an injury to another party, you're likely facing both a civil case in which the injured person can file for damages and a criminal case in which they can file for restitution. It's incredibly important that you retain a DUI lawyer who understands how to work with insurance companies and help you avoid excessive payments in consideration of both cases. Attorney Lauren Stuckert has successfully navigated many situations like these—she can leverage her experience to your benefit.

Contact An Attorney for Help with Your Case

Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert are the only accredited DUI defense specialists certified by the National College for DUI Defense-American Bar Association (NCDD-ABA). This distinction recognizes their years of work in this area of law, as well as their knowledge of the legal and scientific issues unique to DUI defense cases. If you have been charged with an OWI offense, you can trust the team at Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law. We are here to protect your rights.

To schedule a case review, contact our practice online or call us at:

(414) 332-3499

Mishlove and Stuckert

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Anthony Dell'Aquila

Milwaukee, WI


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I hired Lauren Stuckert in early 2018 for a case that ultimately dragged on for five years due to a variety of factors including Covid. Lauren was reassuring and professional every step of the way. It was clear that she placed a high priority on getting my case resolved. When my case was finally called to trial, I can’t express how impressed I was. Without going into details, she knew when to ask what questions and when to raise what issues. She was a shark when she needed to be while always remaining composed...Lauren will fight for you every step of the way and you will get the best possible outcome. I know I certainly did.

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Milwaukee, WI


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It was Mr. Mishlove's thorough preparation of all materials and ability to present facts in a clear manner that permitted the jury to unanimously vote Not Guilty. Look no further. Well worth the cost! Highly recommend!

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“Extremely talented experts in defending those who are charged with crimes. The wealth of knowledge and expertise they bring in helping defendants is second to none!” Frank

Penalties for a Felony Fourth OWI in Wisconsin

Father and son looking through fines


Drivers convicted of a fourth OWI face a minimum of $600 and up to $10,000 in fines if no aggravating circumstances are involved. However, if you have a minor under 16 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the fines can be doubled to $1,200 to $20,000. In addition, the fines can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled, depending on your alcohol level:
- BAC .17 to .199: $1,200 to $20,000 fine
- BAC .20 to .2499: $1,800 to $30,000 fine
- BAC .25 or higher: $2,400 to $40,000 fine

hands behind bars

Jail Time

If no aggravating factors are present, a fourth OWI conviction comes with a minimum 60-day jail sentence; the maximum jail sentence is six years, with a maximum period of initial imprisonment of three years. If you have a minor under 16 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, jail time can be doubled to 120 days to 12 years.
You may be eligible for the Safe Streets program, a modified probation option that is available to fourth-time offenders if they have not used it before. If the driver completes probation, including alcohol and other drug treatment, mandatory sentences can be reduced.

Police taking license away from driver

License Revocation

If no aggravating circumstances are involved, your license will be revoked for two to three years, plus the duration of the confinement period. If there was a minor under 16 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you could lose your license for four to six years, plus the confinement period. If the offense was committed within 15 years of a prior OWI offense, drivers can lose their license for life.

Man taking breath analyzer sample before driving

Ignition Interlock Device

You must have an ignition interlock device installed for a period of one to three years, plus the length of your confinement if you are convicted of your fourth OWI offense with no aggravating factors. If you have a minor under 16 in the vehicle, an IID may be installed for four to six years, plus the confinement duration.

driver's license application

Applying for a Restricted License

Drivers convicted of a fourth OWI in Wisconsin can apply for a restricted (also known as occupation or hardship) license after 45 days. This license allows offenders to drive between home and work or school. If approved, drivers must pay the required license reinstatement and IID installation fees.

stack of criminal records documents

Your Record

If you are convicted of a fourth OWI in Wisconsin, you will be a convicted felon. All fourth OWI offenses are now considered a Class H felony, which carries harsher punishments such as higher fees, longer jail sentences, and more restrictions on your freedom.

voting booths

Your Right to Vote

Because all fourth offenses are now felonies in Wisconsin, if convicted, you will lose your right to vote until you have completed all conditions of your sentence.


Your Right to Own a Firearm

In addition, those convicted of a fourth OWI will never be able to own or possess a firearm for the rest of their life.


Alcohol Assessment or Counseling

Drivers convicted of OWI in Wisconsin are required to contact an approved facility within three days of their conviction to schedule an alcohol or drug assessment. Repeat offenders must complete the assessment within 45 days of their conviction, and this step must be completed before they can receive a restricted license.

paperwork of license and woman in convicted of DUI

Driver's License Points

Drivers that have a regular license will have six demerit points applied to their license for a fourth OWI conviction. Drivers with probationary licenses, instructional permits, or no license receive 12 demerit points on their license.

Other Consequences
of OWI Convictions

More Fees & Other Expenses

In addition to all of the penalties listed above, there are a number of additional fees for which those convicted of drugged or drunk driving are responsible. Expenses such as license reinstatement fees, OWI fees, occupational license fees, IID installation, assessments, and increased car insurance fees can all be expected if you have been convicted of a fourth OWI offense in the state of Wisconsin.

Child Custody

Are you divorced or separated with children? A DUI conviction can also have a serious impact on your access to your children. If a custody arrangement is in progress, a fourth OWI conviction can reflect negatively on your capacity to act in your child's best interests and provide a safe and nurturing environment. If a conviction causes you to lose your license or requires taking part in mandatory treatment programs, it could also affect your ability to uphold your co-parenting arrangement, which could result in decreased parenting time.

In short, a fourth OWI conviction can affect virtually every aspect of your life, including your freedom, your finances, and your relationship with your children. Facing the possibility of these life-altering penalties can be incredibly intimidating, but you must remember that you have rights, and that our attorneys are uniquely qualified to protect those rights. 

Reach out to an Attorney for Help with Your Case

The penalties for a fourth OWI conviction in Wisconsin are severe, and there can be a great deal of variance in sentencing. To give yourself the best chance of beating the charge or minimizing the consequences of a conviction, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law is an OWI and DUI firm that can provide the advocacy you need. Our lawyers have spent more than 40 years achieving dismissals and reduced charges for all types of OWI cases in the state.

To schedule a case review, contact us online or call us at:

(414) 332-3499

"Andrew Mishlove is worth
whatever your future is worth."
A Client Tells Their Story

I was very fortunate to have been indirectly referred to Andrew Mishlove by no less than two Milwaukee County judges via a long-time family friend.  We had sought referrals for the very best OWI “trial” attorneys in Wisconsin.  We knew we needed a top-notch courtroom fighter that would not back down in the onslaught of a high-pressure trial.  I was just plain lucky that Milwaukee had one of the best OWI attorneys in the country with Andrew Mishlove.

Prior to meeting with Andrew for the first time, I had briefly paid for the services of three other well-known attorneys to review my case.  Andrew was the only attorney among them that flagged a glaring judicial irregularity in an 11-year-old prior case which led us to a successful appeal in Ozaukee County, but fell short by narrowest of margins in the Wisconsin state supreme court.

I never would have imagined that a global pandemic, court delays, motions and endless proceedings would extend my case for years more.  But I can say that Andrew never lost his motivation, energy, inquisitiveness or intellect.

It all ultimately resolved down to an intense and brutal, two-day trial that unfolded in an Ozaukee County courtroom where I was truly grateful for Andrew’s skill and expertise in revealing the flawed biological controls and testing standards employed by state testing laboratories in OWI cases potentially across the country.

Andrew had not only a superior grasp of scientific knowledge, but he has the critical ability to capture and distill it all down into comprehensible arguments that were understandable and convincing to a jury.

Andrew’s closing argument was a masterful articulation of the relevant facts, technical research, expert witness testimony and common sense.  Andrew was very quick in adapting and responding to the prosecutors closing arguments and prosecution efforts to convict at all costs.  But it was Andrew’s incredible tactics that turned the prosecutors’ own arguments against him that proved entirely compelling and convincing to a jury.

I highly recommend Andrew Mishlove. He is worth whatever your future is worth. —Ries

Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration

Man about to take breathalyzer test from police officer

Anyone who has received three OWI convictions is subject to a prohibited alcohol concentration of .02 for the rest of their lives in the state of Wisconsin. This applies even if your prior convictions occurred in different states. Therefore, the state has to show that you were operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of only .02 or higher to charge you with Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration, 4th offense.

If convicted, you will still face a minimum 24-month driver’s license revocation, or a maximum lifetime driver’s license revocation if the offense was committed within 15 years of the prior offense. The number of days of imprisonment to which you are sentenced will be added to that number. You face a 12- to 36-month IID order and will have to complete the alcohol and drug assessment and ordered treatment.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney

If you or someone you love is facing charges of a fourth OWI offense, you may be thinking there is no possible way to avoid a conviction due to the evidence, the biases of a jury, and other factors. You may also be concerned about the cost of hiring legal counsel. Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC wants you to carefully consider these reasons why it always serves your best interest to hire a qualified attorney when you stand accused of OWI, especially if you have prior convictions:

Increase the Chances of Your Case Getting Dismissed

Our attorneys understand the complex legal and scientific guidelines involved in OWI cases and DUI convictions. If police officers, lab technicians, lab facilities, or other parties follow improper procedures during any stage of your arrest, we will challenge the validity of the evidence and file motions to suppress it. We use legal strategies to get OWI cases dismissed before they go to court, and we have a track record of winning cases in litigation.

Minimize the Consequences of a Conviction

If we are unable to win your case outright, we will do everything we can to minimize the consequences of the offense. The guidelines for penalties in OWI cases allow for great variance among cases. If you are convicted of OWI with no aggravating circumstances, we will work to get your penalties as near the minimum $600 fine and 60-day jail sentence as possible.

Reduce Your Time Spent On the Case

Having a skilled OWI defense attorney representing you in your case reduces the amount of time you have to spend in court or defending yourself in your case. If you retain private counsel, you will not have to attend as many court dates. In addition, you can feel more confident and secure knowing that your legal case is being handled by professionals who are intimately familiar with the law.

Our Firm

Whether you have been charged with a first offense or fourth offense OWI, you can count on the lawyers at Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We represent clients in all types of DUI and OWI cases, including those involving injury or homicide.

An attorney can’t provide their clients with adequate defense if they don’t understand the science at the foundation of OWI law, especially as it pertains to testing for alcohol and controlled substances. Our OWI lawyers are authorities in their field who educate colleagues about the mistakes that can take place in these processes. If faulty police work has played a role in the charges you face, Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC is a firm that can identify it and prevent you from suffering unjust penalties.

To have your case reviewed by a lawyer, contact us online or call us at:

(414) 332-3499

Our Attorneys Know the Science

A good DUI defense lawyer must have a comprehensive understanding of blood and breath testing for alcohol and other controlled substances. At Mishlove and Stuckert, our Wisconsin defense attorneys take that a step further by educating other attorneys on these topics nationwide. We know the science—lab standards, documentation, interpreting results, potential sources of error—and use it to build strong, sound arguments on behalf of our clients.

Read More Testimonials

"After our preparation, Andrew was able to represent me extremely well in court through compelling presentation of facts and storytelling that provided much needed context for the jury. He is an absolute expert in Field Sobriety testing, so Andrew was able to leverage that knowledge to show the ones performed on me were wrongly administered." Austin

From First Offense to Fourth: Why Are Penalties So Harsh?

The penalties for a first offense OWI in Wisconsin are harsh, but the consequences get increasingly severe for repeat offenses. Take a quick look at this comparison of first offense vs. fourth OWI offense penalties:

Penalty First Offense Fourth Offense
Fine $150 to $300 $600 to $10,000
Jail No jail time 60 days to six years
License Revocation Six to nine months Two to three years, or a lifetime if the offense was committed within 15 years of the prior offense
IID Device No   Yes
Occupational License Immediately 45-day wait

The state has established more severe penalties for repeat offenses to discourage people from operating a vehicle while intoxicated. While the intent is to keep the roads safer, the harsh consequences for repeat OWI offenses can make it harder for people to get their life back on track. For example, having a criminal record and restricted driving privileges can make it difficult to get and keep a job. That is why it is critical that drivers charged with OWI offenses work with an attorney who can get their cases dismissed or consequences reduced.

Request a Free Consultation Now With Wisconsin's Only Accredited DUI Defense Specialists

OWI charges should never be taken lightly, but because a fourth OWI offense is a felony, the stakes are much higher. You need an advocate whose expertise in the science of OWI law can be used to help you avoid suffering penalties you don't deserve. Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert apply over 40 years of combined experience to helping clients from their offices in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, West Bend, and Waukesha. Write to us or call to request your free consultation:

Is it Possible to Overturn or Expunge
OWI Convictions in Wisconsin?

Expunging a conviction from your criminal record means that creditors, insurance companies, and employers can no longer see the OWI on your record. While the state of Wisconsin does allow for the expungement of certain offenses, OWI charges are not included on that list. This makes it even more important for drivers charged with OWI to hire a skilled OWI defense lawyer.

See What Our Clients
Have to Say about Us

“Everyone at this firm was kind, respectful and hard working. We were kept informed of the proceedings as they were happening and our questions were answered promptly, even after hours. I cannot put into words how much Andrew Mishlove has helped us through the impossible. He is worth every penny of his fee! Best lawyer hands down! Regards!” Daniel
Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert

Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law

Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law has been rated the #1 OWI/DUI law firm in the state by Wisconsin Law Journal Reader Rankings. Our OWI/DUI specialists have been highly rated by organizations including: 

  • Avvo™
  • Super Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell 
  • Better Business Bureau 

To speak with one of our board-certified OWI/DUI defense specialists, request a consultation online or call us at (414) 332-3499.

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"Mr. Mishlove was worth every penny and then some. I would consider him the Michelangelo of the DUI defense world.
He is professional, dedicated, and pours his heart into his job. I would give him 10 stars if I could."
Ronald S.

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