A felony is any criminal offense for which a person can be sentenced to one or more years in a state or federal prison; a misdemeanor is any other criminal offense. Note that OWI 1st offense (a first drunk driving offense) is non-criminal.
felony drunk driving
5th & 6th OWI offenses
An OWI - 5th offense or 6th offense is a Class H felony offense subject to mandatory jail time of no less than 6 months, mandatory fines of no less than $600, and optional additional penalties at the discretion of the court. For purposes of counting, all prior homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle or firearm convictions and injury by intoxicatd use of a vehicle convictions over the person's lifetime are summed, and then added to all prior refusals, suspensions, revocations or convictions for operating while under influence of alcohol or other intoxicant convictions.
7th, 8th & 9th OWI offenses
An OWI 7th offense, 8th offense or 9th offense is a Class G felony subject to jail time up to 6 years, fines up to $10,000 or both.
minor passenger doubles penalties
Additionally, if a child under the age of 16 years was in the vehicle at the time that the person was arrested for operating while under the influence, the minimum and maximum fines, forfeitures or imprisonment for the conviction are doubled.
high alcohol concentration impacts penalties
If the defendant's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was between .17 to .199, the minimum and maximum fines are doubled; if the BAC was at least .20 but less than .249, the fines are tripled; if the BAC was at .25 or higher, the fines are quadrupled.
Vehicular homicide while intoxicated is also a felony offense subject to mandatory jail time, mandatory fines, and optional additional penalties at the discretion of the court. Please refer to vehicular homicide.
owi-dui.com can help
Once convicted of a felony offense in the state of Wisconsin, a person can no longer hunt, hold most security clearances, obtain some jobs, or vote until they complete the sentence imposed for the felony conviction (so long as no other convictions prevent it).
If you facing felony charges, please contact one of the attorneys who handle felony defense as soon as possible. You can call (1-877-749-7858) or use the online form to contact an attorney, but doing so as quickly as possible is critical - time is precious, and there is much to do to prepare your defense.
attorney christopher t. van wagner
Attorney Christopher T. Van Wagner frequently defends people charged with felony offenses throughout the state of Wisconsin. He is a former federal and state prosecutor with keen insight into the prosecutor's case, and a highly experienced criminal defense attorney with numerous felony acquittals in cases ranging from sexual assault to murder, as well as drunk driving.
You may call the 800 number on this website if you cannot reach one of the numbers listed here to leave a message with a receptionist at our office for one of the attorneys to call you back. Please remember not to give any confidential privileged information.