Second Offense OWI in Wisconsin

Madison, WI

(608) 204-5807

Madison, WI Second Offense OWI Lawyers

Navigating a Second Offense OWI with DK Anderson, S.C.

Facing a second offense OWI charge in Wisconsin is a significant matter that demands serious legal attention. Unlike a first offense, a second OWI conviction brings mandatory jail time, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and potential complications in securing an occupational license, especially if your first offense was relatively recent. The stakes are considerably higher, and the legal landscape becomes more complex.

Whether you had legal representation for your first offense or not, it’s crucial to have an experienced OWI attorney by your side for a second offense. At DK Anderson, S.C., we specialize in OWI defense, particularly for individuals facing their second charge. Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of OWI law and the strategies effective in these cases. We’re committed to reducing your stress by providing informed, aggressive legal representation aimed at achieving the best possible outcome in your case. Take the first step towards addressing your second offense OWI charge by seeing what DK Anderson, S.C. can do for you.

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Second Offense OWI/DUI in Wisconsin: Understanding the Penalties

Facing a second OWI/DUI charge in Wisconsin carries significantly steeper penalties than a first offense, underscoring the importance of understanding what you’re up against and ensuring you have expert legal representation. The penalties for a second OWI/DUI offense are designed to be more punitive, reflecting the state’s stance on repeat offenses. Here’s a breakdown of what you might expect if convicted of a second OWI/DUI:

  • Imprisonment: Mandatory jail time ranges from a minimum of 5 days to a maximum of 6 months.
  • Fines: Penalties range from $350 to $1,100, not including additional court costs, which can substantially increase the financial burden.
  • Driver’s License Revocation: Your driving privileges can be revoked for 12 to 18 months, significantly impacting your ability to commute and maintain your daily responsibilities.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): Installation of an IID is required for not less than 12 months and may extend up to the full period of license revocation. This device prevents your vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath.
  • Mandatory AODA Assessment: An Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) assessment is required, potentially leading to mandated treatment or education programs based on the assessment’s findings.

Given these mandatory minimums and the potential for long-term impacts on your life, consulting with an experienced OWI attorney becomes crucial. DK Anderson, S.C. specializes in defending against second offense OWI cases, taking pride in our track record of mitigating consequences for our clients. Let us help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty you’re facing by providing expert defense and guidance through this challenging time.

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What is the difference between a First Offense OWI and a Second Offense OWI?

1. The Impact of a Second Offense OWI Conviction: Beyond Traffic Citations

Transitioning from a first to a second offense OWI marks a significant shift in legal consequences and personal ramifications. Unlike a first offense, which may be treated as a mere traffic citation in some jurisdictions, a second offense OWI in Wisconsin is classified as a criminal act. This elevates the severity of both the charge and the potential consequences. Here are key distinctions to be aware of:

  • Criminal Record: A second offense OWI conviction results in a criminal record. If you were previously without any criminal history, this conviction introduces a significant change, affecting various aspects of your life.

  • Employment Implications: With a criminal record comes the obligation to disclose this conviction on future employment applications, where required. This can complicate job searches, professional licensing, and career advancement, as some employers may be hesitant to hire individuals with a criminal background.

The leap from a traffic violation to a criminal charge underscores the need for experienced legal representation. A second offense OWI is not just about facing steeper penalties; it’s about navigating the long-term implications on your professional and personal life. Engaging a skilled OWI attorney can provide critical support in mitigating these impacts and exploring potential defenses.

2.Understanding Jail Time for a Second OWI Offense in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, being convicted of a second OWI offense guarantees a jail sentence, with the law stipulating a mandatory minimum of five days and allowing for up to six months of incarceration. The specific duration of the jail sentence within this range is influenced by several factors, including:

  • Sentencing Guidelines: These guidelines provide a framework for judges, aiming to ensure consistency in sentencing across similar cases.
  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC): A higher BAC at the time of the offense can lead to longer jail sentences.
  • Aggravating or Mitigating Circumstances: Factors such as the presence of minors in the vehicle, previous driving record, and cooperation with law enforcement can influence the severity of the sentence.

Having a skilled OWI attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. An experienced lawyer familiar with Wisconsin’s OWI laws and sentencing practices can work to highlight mitigating factors and advocate for the minimum necessary jail time. If you’re facing a second OWI charge, securing representation that can effectively navigate these legal nuances is crucial.

Understanding Jail Sentences and Alternatives for OWI Convictions in Wisconsin

Although Wisconsin law mandates a jail sentence for every second offense OWI conviction, there are potential options available. For example, most every court will grant work release, otherwise known as Huber. Furthermore, most counties have a jail diversion program which would allow you to serve your sentence at home.

Huber Release and Jail Diversion Programs:

  • Huber Release: Most sentences for OWI offenses include eligibility for Huber release, which allows for leave from county jail for work, medical appointments, and sometimes childcare responsibilities. This provision aims to mitigate the impact of incarceration on your daily responsibilities.

  • Jail Diversion: In certain counties like Dane and Rock, you might be eligible for Jail Diversion programs, which could include electronic monitoring or “house arrest.” However, eligibility for such alternatives is at the discretion of the Sheriff and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. While no attorney can guarantee your qualification for these alternatives, steps can be taken to improve your chances of being considered for house arrest or electronic monitoring.

It’s important to note that policies vary by county. For instance, Jefferson County currently does not offer electronic monitoring or house arrest as options, and policies against transferring sentences to allow for such alternatives are in place.

Navigating the complexities of OWI sentencing and exploring all potential alternatives requires the guidance of experienced legal counsel. At DK Anderson, S.C., we commit to doing everything within our power to assist in making alternatives like house arrest a viable option for our clients, where applicable.

Exploring Alternatives to Jail Time for OWI Convictions

Winning your case stands as the most direct route to avoiding jail time for a drunk driving charge. Achieving a case dismissal or an acquittal at trial means you sidestep all associated penalties, including jail. However, it’s important to recognize that securing such outcomes is challenging and not feasible in every situation. Mounting a successful defense demands an attorney skilled in aggressive OWI defense strategies, capable of effectively presenting evidence and arguing the specifics of your case.

Beyond aiming for a win in court, there’s another lesser-known avenue for potentially avoiding jail time, even with a conviction for a second offense OWI. According to Wisconsin Statute § 346.65(2g)(d), the court has the discretion to sentence an individual to a minimum of 30 days of community service as an alternative to the mandatory 5 days in jail. While this option isn’t commonly exercised by courts, prosecutors, or even well-known among defense attorneys, it remains a possibility worth exploring. While this should not be considered a guaranteed escape from jail time, it illustrates the importance of having a knowledgeable attorney who can navigate all available legal avenues to mitigate the consequences of a conviction.

3. Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for Second Offense OWIs

Regarding the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement, a conviction for a second offense OWI mandates the installation of an IID on all vehicles driven or registered to you. This contrasts with a first offense, where an IID order only applies if your BAC was at or above .15. Notably, this requirement is automatically enforced by the DMV following any applicable conviction and cannot be negotiated away or altered by court deals. Understanding these nuances is crucial for anyone facing OWI charges and underscores the importance of experienced legal representation.

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Our Practice Areas

Drunk Driving

Whether you are charged with a first offense, or a fifth offense, our Wisconsin OWI attorneys can help.

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Domestic Violence​

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Wisconsin property crimes include theft, forgery, and criminal damage to property.

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Traffic Citations

Although less serious than a criminal charge, a traffic citation can effect your driver's license.