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Bucher Law Group, LLC

What Are Aggravating OWI Factors in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Drunk Driving

Milwaukee County OWI defense attorneyWhen it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) laws in Wisconsin, things can get rather confusing. Wisconsin refers to the offense as Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). The state has some of the most lenient OWI laws in the country, especially for a first-time OWI offense. If you are convicted of OWI in Wisconsin, and you have no prior OWI convictions or arrests, you do not actually face a criminal charge; rather, you face a civil penalty or the equivalent of a traffic ticket. That can all change, however, if your first-time OWI charge involves the great bodily harm or death of another person.

OWI With Great Bodily Harm

Even if you have never before been convicted or arrested for drunk driving in Wisconsin, an OWI charge alleging that you caused great bodily harm to another person is a very serious charge with stiff penalties. You can face OWI charges with great bodily harm if your BAC was over 0.08, if you had a detectable amount of an illicit drug in your system, or even if an officer found you to be under the influence and impaired.

Causing great bodily harm to another person while driving under the influence is classified as a Class F felony in Wisconsin. This means you may face fines of up to $25,000. You can also face up to 12.5 years in prison, a two-year driver’s license revocation, and a requirement for an ignition interlock device (IID). 

OWI With Homicide

Even more serious, you face extensive consequences if you are found guilty of killing another person while you were driving under the influence. Similar to charges claiming you caused another person great bodily harm, you can face OWI with homicide charges if your BAC was over the legal limit, you have an illicit substance in your system, or you were found to be impaired in any way while driving.

If you are convicted of killing another person while driving under the influence, you face Class D felony charges. This means you can be responsible for paying up to $100,000 in fines, along with up to 25 years in prison. If you have had other OWI-related convictions, suspensions, or revocations, you will be charged with a Class C felony with the possibility of up to 40 years in prison. Both offenses are subject to five-year license revocation. 

Contact a Jefferson County OWI Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a DUI is never a good thing, but the matter can become much more serious if you are charged with OWI and you were the cause of another person's injury or death. At the Bucher Law Group, LLC, we have decades of experience helping clients fight DUI charges. Let our skilled Racine County criminal defense attorneys help you clear your criminal record and protect your future. If you have been charged with OWI in Wisconsin, call our office today at 262-303-4916 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/safety/education/drunk-drv/owi-penchrt.pdf

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/940/I/09

 

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