Felony OWI Charges in Wisconsin

If you have ever been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, then you already know how serious the consequences can be.

However, in 2016 a new law was created that makes a fourth offense OWI a felony. If you are facing a possible felony OWI charge, it is vital that you contact an experienced attorney right away.

Other Felony OWI Charges

In addition to the fourth OWI offense being a felony charge, there are a couple of other ways your OWI could turn into a felony. This includes:

  • If this is your fifth or subsequent OWI
  • If this is your third OWI offense but you have an enhancer, which could include having a minor in the vehicle at the time of the OWI

Court Process for Felony Charges

In any case involving a felony offense, a defendant is entitled to a preliminary hearing, which occurs early in the case. The purpose of the hearing is for the judge to determine whether there is probable cause to proceed forward with the charges in court.

Often, a preliminary hearing is a good opportunity for the defense attorney to gather information about the client’s case. At this hearing, the accused’s lawyer can cross-examine the State’s witness—usually the officer or any complaining witnesses.

After the preliminary hearing, if the judge finds there is probable cause to proceed with the case, he or she “binds over” the defendant. The person is then arraigned. He or she enters a not guilty plea, the court accepts that plea, and then the case proceeds forward.

Possible Consequences of an OWI Felony

If convicted of a fourth or subsequent OWI offense, or any other OWI felony offense, you could face serious consequences, including:

How We Can Help

If you are facing a felony OWI charge, we at Tracey Wood & Associates want to make sure you are guided through the legal process with a true advocate on your aide. Give us a call or contact us online today and let us start helping you fight back.

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