A fourth operating while intoxicated (OWI) offense may be classified as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the date of your last conviction. However, even if you are charged with the lesser misdemeanor offense, a fourth drunk-driving conviction will most certainly include mandatory jail time, a long revocation of operating privileges, and large fines. Because the stakes are so high, working with a seasoned OWI defense attorney is highly recommended if you have recently been charged with a fourth offense.
If you are arrested for a fourth OWI, and your last conviction was more than five years ago, you will be charged with a misdemeanor offense. The penalties for a misdemeanor fourth offense could include 60 days to one year behind bars, $600-$1,000 in fines, an alcohol assessment, and a two- to three-year license revocation. As a condition of your license reinstatement, you may also be required to have an ignition interlock device mounted in your car for a period of one to three years.
A fourth offense within five years of the last conviction is classified a Class H Felony. If found guilty of this charge, the court may sentence you to anywhere from six months to six years of incarceration, fines ranging from $600-$10,000, an alcohol assessment, and a two- to three-year license revocation. Again, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one to three years.
A felony will result in much more than a harsher sentence—you will also lose certain rights you may currently take for granted, such as the rights to vote and own firearms. You could also be denied employment or housing due to your criminal background.
After four OWIs, any subsequent drunk-driving offense—no matter when it occurs—is classified as a felony, punishable by at least six months behind bars. For a seventh or higher offense, prison time starts at three years and can go up to 10 years of higher. In addition, you could be charged up to $25,000 in fines.
A fourth or higher OWI offense has the potential to take away your freedom for a substantial period of time. At Tracey Wood & Associates, our attorneys understand the toll that a drunk-driving charge can have on your life, and will do everything they can to ensure your best interests are protected at this time.
For more information on our representation, please complete our online form now to schedule a time for your no-obligation case evaluation.
Tracey Wood & Associates
1 S Pinckney St #950
Madison, WI 53703