How does Wisconsin law deal with OWI accusations?

An OWI charge is one of the most upsetting, because it can immediately impact your life. You can be fined a significant amount of money even for a first offense, and your license could be revoked. That means you could potentially lose your job or be unable to participate in the things you did when you could drive.

Wisconsin has a variety of penalties for those accused of OWIs, and depending on the number of times you've been convicted in the past, you could be facing time in prison. For example, a second offense where there were no injuries and no charges within the last 10 years can cost you up to $1,100 plus a $365 OWI surcharge, cause you to lose your license for up to 9 months, or suffer heavier penalties if minors were in your vehicle. If you have to drive for work, you can still apply for an occupational license immediately, which is something your attorney can help you with if you are convicted.

If you are being accused of a third offense, you could end up with between 45 to 365 days in prison, which is why it's important to immediately focus on your defense. You can be charged between $600 and $2,000, giving the judge leeway in how you're treated in court. You can lose your license for up to three years not including the time you spend in prison and have to wait at least 45 days before you can apply for an occupational license again.

The penalties increase from there, so it's in your interest to work with your attorney to defend your side of the story and to try to get the evidence against you thrown out if it was obtained illegally.

Source: Wisconsin dot Gov, "OWI and related alcohol and drug penalties (as of September 1, 2012)," accessed Nov. 02, 2016

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