Third Offense OWI in Wisconsin

Madison, WI

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Madison, WI 3rd Offense Drunk Driving Lawyers

Navigating a Third Offense OWI in Wisconsin: The Stakes Are Higher

A third offense OWI in Wisconsin marks a significant escalation in legal consequences and scrutiny. Unlike the somewhat more lenient approach taken with first and second offenses, the state adopts a stricter stance for repeat offenders. Here are key aspects distinguishing a third OWI offense:

  • Mandatory Jail Time: A third offense OWI conviction entails a compulsory jail sentence, which can extend up to one year in county jail, signaling the increased severity with which these cases are handled.

  • Lifetime Convictions Count: Differently from a second offense OWI, which is only considered such if it occurs within ten years of the first, a third offense OWI accounts for lifetime convictions. This means even if there’s a considerable gap between offenses, the third charge is still treated with the utmost seriousness.

  • Limited Judicial Sympathy: The legal system’s patience wears thin for those with multiple OWI offenses. Judges and prosecutors exhibit minimal sympathy for repeat drunk drivers, often resulting in harsher sentences for third offenses.

Given these heightened stakes, tackling a third offense OWI charge requires a proactive and robust defense strategy. Facing such charges without experienced legal representation could lead to maximum penalties. If you’re confronting a third OWI offense, it’s crucial to engage a knowledgeable attorney who understands the complexities of Wisconsin’s OWI laws and can aggressively defend your rights.

Third Offense OWI in Wisconsin

Penalties for a Third Offense OWI in Wisconsin: What to Expect

Facing a third OWI offense in Wisconsin brings about serious consequences, reflecting the state’s rigorous stance against repeat drunk driving incidents. Although classified as a misdemeanor, the penalties associated with a third OWI conviction are substantial and include a combination of jail time, fines, license revocation, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle driven or registered to your name. Here’s a breakdown of the penalties for a third offense OWI:
  • Jail Time: Individuals convicted of a third offense OWI can expect to serve between 45 days to 1 year in jail, emphasizing the increased severity compared to earlier offenses.

  • Fines: Fines for a third OWI range from $600 to $2,000, not including additional court costs and fees, which can significantly increase the financial burden.

  • Driver’s License Revocation: Conviction results in a driver’s license revocation for a period of 2 to 3 years, impacting your ability to commute and maintain daily responsibilities.

  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): An IID must be installed for the duration of the license revocation period (2 to 3 years), serving as a constant reminder and preventive measure against future offenses.

  • Mandatory AODA Assessment: A compulsory Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) assessment is required, potentially leading to mandated treatment or education programs based on the assessment’s findings.

Given the significant impact these penalties can have on your life, engaging an experienced OWI defense attorney is critical to navigate the charges effectively and explore all possible avenues for reducing the penalties or challenging the conviction.

Top-Rated OWI Defense across Southern Wisconsin

Mandatory jail time for a third offense OWI conviction.

Wisconsin law mandates jail time in the county jail from a minimum of 45 days to a maximum of one year. Again, what your sentence is will be based on the OWI sentencing guidelines and the specific facts of your case. If you have a high BAC, you will likely be facing a longer jail sentence. Similarly, if your last drunk driving conviction was relatively recent, you may be in for a longer time.

If I am convicted, when will I have to go to jail?

Unlike a second offense, if you are convicted your sentence will be forthwithForthwith means you are hauled away immediately after being sentenced. You no longer have the privilege of setting a report date. This means you need to make sure you have your affairs in order, have contacted the jail to set up your Huber privileges and potential electronic monitoring.

Large fines for a Third Offense OWI, DUI.

The fines range from a minimum of $600 to a maximum of $2000. Like the length of your jail sentence, the amount of your fine will increase based on your blood alcohol level. In addition to your fine, you will be hit with significant court costs and surcharges. Many individuals are more concerned with the amount of jail, but make sure to keep in mind the fines as you may be paying these off for many months.

If you think that is bad, under Wisconsin law, your fines can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. If your blood alcohol level is between .17 and .199 the minimum and maximum fine is doubled. From .20 to .249 your fines are tripled. Finally, from .25 and above the minimum and maximum is quadrupled. Help protect your pocket book and speak with an OWI attorney to help fight your charge and minimize your fines.

Impact on your driving privileges.

A third offense drunk driving conviction means that you will lose your license for a long time. The revocation time frame is from 2 years to 3 years. Furthermore, this time starts after you serve your jail sentence. You may be eligible for an occupational license, but you will have 45 days before you are eligible. If you are found guilty of violating Wisconsin’s implied consent law, aka a refusal, you will have to wait 90 days before you are eligible for an occupational license.

Does an OWI third require an IID?

Yes. All OWI offenses above a second offense requires an IID to be installed in your vehicle and any vehicle you drive or is registered in your name. For a third offense OWI the ignition interlock device order is from a minimum of two years to not more than your revocation period.

Is an OWI third offense a felony?

It can be. Generally it is a misdemeanor charge. However, if you have a minor passenger in your vehicle at the time of the offense it is bumped up to a felony. In these cases prison is a possibility. Additionally, all penalties are doubled, i.e. jail time, fines, and revocation period.

Can I reduce the jail time for a third offense drunk driving conviction by entering treatment?

OWI treatment court can reduce your jail sentence. Wisconsin law does require that you serve at a minimum 14 days in jail even with OWI treatment court. Additionally, you will be placed on probation while participating in treatment. Not every county in Wisconsin has an OWI treatment court. The counties that do offer it have different criteria as to who they accept. Contact DK Anderson, SC for more details on OWI treatment court options.

Madison, WI Third Offense Drunk Driving Attorneys

The defense attorneys at DK Anderson, S.C. has successfully represented many individuals charged with 3rd offense drunk driving in Madison and the rest of Wisconsin. Knowing Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws is crucial in these types of cases. Knowing the courts and prosecutors can be just as important. The drunk driving lawyers at DK Anderson, S.C. are respected by both the courts and prosecutors. If you are facing a 3rd offense drunk driving charge contact DK Anderson, S.C. today.

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