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What Happens if You Get in an Accident While Drunk in Wisconsin?

 Posted on October 05, 2023 in DUI/OWI

Untitled---2023-10-05T145332.214.jpgDriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious criminal offense in Wisconsin. However, the charges can be even more severe when an accident occurs as a result of drunk driving. Charges for operating while intoxicated (OWI) are serious in any situation, but the potential penalties will increase if someone was injured in an accident. If you have been accused of injuring someone in an accident while you were intoxicated, it is crucial to understand the charges you may face and your options for defense. An experienced attorney can provide guidance and legal representation in these situations, helping you protect your rights and determine how to resolve your case successfully.

The Basics of OWI Injury Charges

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Doing so can result in OWI charges. However, if you are involved in an accident while driving under the influence, you may face additional charges for causing injuries to anyone else who was involved. The specific penalties will be based on the circumstances of your case, including the extent of the injuries people suffered, whether you had any previous OWI convictions, and whether there was a child passenger in your vehicle.

Potential Consequences of OWI Injury Charges

If convicted of an OWI injury charge, you could be subject to several types of penalties, including fines and jail time. If you did not have any previous OWI convictions, you may be sentenced to between 30 days and one year in jail, and you may face fines of between $300 and $2,000. In some cases, you may be eligible for a reduced sentence if you agree to participate in drug or alcohol treatment and successfully complete a period of probation. If this “safe streets” option is available, the minimum sentence is 15 days.

If you are charged with OWI injury after you had previously been convicted of OWI or refused a chemical blood alcohol test after being arrested for drunk driving, you may be charged with a Class H felony. If you are convicted, you may be sentenced to up to six years in prison and fined up to $10,000.

If there was a child under the age of 16 in your vehicle, the penalties for OWI injury will be doubled. That is, for a first offense, you could face a jail sentence of 60 days to two years and fines of $600 to $4,000. If you had any previous OWI convictions, you could be sentenced to up to 12 years and fined up to $20,000.

Charges may become even more serious if an accident resulted in great bodily harm. If someone was permanently disabled or suffered injuries that put them at risk of dying, you could be charged with a Class F felony for the offense of “injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle.” If you are convicted, you may be sentenced to a maximum of 12.5 years in jail, and you may be fined up to $25,000.

The most serious OWI injury cases will involve the death of a person in an accident. Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000. If you had any previous OWI convictions, you could face Class C felony charges, and you could be sentenced to up to 40 years.

Contact Our Milwaukee County OWI Injury Lawyer

If you have been charged with OWI after getting into an accident in which someone else was injured, it is crucial to get legal help right away. At Bucher Law Group, LLC, our Waukesha County OWI attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system while working closely with you to build a strong defense strategy. We understand the seriousness of these charges, and we are dedicated to providing aggressive representation for our clients. To learn how we can help with your case, contact our office at 262-303-4916 and set up a free consultation.

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