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What Are the Penalties for an OWI That Results in Injury or Death?

 Posted on August 20, 2020 in OWI

Oconomowoc criminal defense attorney OWI with injury or death

One of the leading causes of death in the nation continues to be motor vehicle accidents. According to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 36,500 people who died in traffic accidents in the United States in 2018. Of those individuals, more than 10,500, or 29 percent, were killed because of an alcohol-related traffic accident. In Wisconsin, operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance is illegal and can lead to serious consequences. However, if the injury or death of another person were to result from an OWI charge, you could face even more serious penalties.

Punishments for Injury or Death With OWI

Wisconsin is the last state to punish first-time OWI offenders with a criminal charge, rather than simply a moving violation. Currently, a first-time OWI in Wisconsin can land you a fine of $150 to $300 and a six- to nine-month driver’s license revocation. However, if you cause bodily harm or injury to another person while you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated, even during a first-time offense, you could face $300 to $2,000 in fines, up to one year in prison, and up to a two-year driver’s license revocation. If you have had prior OWI convictions and/or chemical test refusals, you will face stricter penalties. This can be charged as a Class H felony, which carries a possible six-year prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.

Similar to causing bodily injury, the penalties for causing death or homicide while operating a vehicle while under the influence are also increased depending on your past OWI history. If you have not had any prior OWI convictions, you will be charged with a Class D felony, which carries up to 25 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. If you do have prior OWI convictions, you will be charged with a Class C felony, which is charged as a Class C felony and carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. 

Contact a New Berlin OWI Defense Attorney

Being charged with an OWI may not seem like a big deal, but you could be facing serious consequences if you injured or killed another person as a result of your OWI incident. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP, we understand the seriousness of any type of OWI charge, but we especially appreciate the gravity of an OWI case that involves death or bodily harm. To schedule a free consultation with one of our diligent Waukesha County criminal defense lawyers, call our office today at 262-232-6699.




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