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.
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:
from Some of Our Clients
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.View on Google
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“After working with Andrew, I have to say that he is one of the most competent people I have ever met. His attention to every detail and skill in the courtroom is unsurpassed. As a former client of his, I have nothing but praise and if you are in need of representation, you can do no better.” - Mark
Penalties for a Felony Fourth OWI in Wisconsin
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
of OWI Convictions
In addition to all of the penalties listed above, there are a number of additional fees for which those convicted of OWI 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.
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:
with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration
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
Increase the Chances of Your Case Getting DismissedOur 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.
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.
To have your case reviewed by a lawyer, contact us online or call us at:
Read More Testimonials
“Andrew Mishlove could be the best DWI lawyer in Wisconsin. I was pushed to make a deal in my pending situation. I told my lawyer that the deal was unacceptable. He told me that he went to a seminar that was hosted by Andrew, and that his expertise would be needed to defend my case. I used both lawyers together and it was the best decision I could have made in this situation. Andrew was incredible, to say the least! His expertise was crucial to getting my case dismissed. His knowledge of DWI Law is a step above any attorney that your friend, co-worker, or relative may refer you. I can not express in words how much Andrew has helped me & family through. Thank you, Andrew!” Mitch
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:
|$150 to $300
|$600 to $10,000
|No jail time
|60 days to six years
|Six to nine months
|Two to three years, or a lifetime if the offense was committed within 15 years of the prior offense
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.
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.
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Have to Say about Us
“I hired attorney Mishlove to fight a DUI involving a blood test. i fought the charges at a 12 man jury , Attorney Mishlove not only is an excellent trial attorney. He also knows blood alcohol science. His knowledge in this field won me a not guilty verdict. All 12 jurors were convinced of my innocence. In something as serious as DUI , hire the best.”