An OWI (second offense) is a serious crime in Wisconsin, and if the state convicts you, you’re facing serious penalties. Each OWI you get here stays on your record, too, because the state wants to know if you’re a habitual offender. The penalties for your second OWI are tougher than your first, and if you get more OWIs in the future, the penalties continue to increase in severity.
Will You Go to Jail for OWI, 2nd Offense?
You might go to jail for your second OWI. It depends on how long it’s been since your last OWI and whether anyone was hurt when you committed your first offense.
OWI Second Offense With No Prior OWI Within 10 Years
If it’s been 10 years or more since your first OWI, you most likely won’t go to jail for your second OWI – unless someone’s hurt or you had a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle with you. You will, however, lose your driver’s license for 6 to 9 months. You’ll also have to pay a fine between $150 and $300, and pay an OWI surcharge of $435. You’ll also have to put an ignition interlock device on your vehicle (at your own expense) or attend a 24/7 sobriety program for a year.
The consequences change if you have a minor under the age of 16 in the car with you at the time of the offense. You’ll face all the same penalties as you would for a standard OWI second offense, but you could spend between 5 days and 6 months in jail.
If someone is hurt or killed as a result of your OWI, you’ll face more serious consequences:
- Causing injury: Fines of up to $10,000, up to 6 years in prison, and license revocation for 1 to 2 years plus the time of your confinement
- Causing great bodily harm: Fines of up to $25,000, up to 12 years and 6 months in prison, and license revocation for 2 years plus the time of your confinement
- Homicide: Fines of up to $100,000, up to 40 years in prison (it would be 25 if this was your first offense), and license revocation for 5 years plus the time of your confinement
OWI Second Offense With a Prior OWI Within 10 Years, or Great Bodily Harm or Homicide at Any Point in Your Past
If your last OWI was within the past 10 years, if your first OWI caused someone great bodily harm, or if you were convicted of homicide related to your OWI, you’ll pay fines between $350 and $1,100. You’ll have to pay the $435 OWI surcharge, too. You’ll lose your license for 12 to 18 months, and you’ll have to have an ignition interlock device put on your vehicle. You could spend between 5 days and 6 months in jail. In some cases, judges offer the Safe Streets option, but that’s something you’ll have to talk to your OWI attorney about.
Do You Need to Talk to an OWI Attorney in Wisconsin?
If you’re accused of OWI, whether it’s your first, second or subsequent offense, we may be able to help you. Call us as soon as you can at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation with an OWI attorney now.