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The Penalties For 5th And 6th OWI In Wisconsin

What to Know About the Penalties for 5th and 6th OWI in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has always maintained an aggressive stance against drunk driving. In 2016 and 2020, the penalties for 5th and 6th OWI in the state increased. Since that time, a conviction for a 4th OWI is a felony while a conviction of 5th or 6th OWI carries hefty new minimum and maximum penalties.

5th and 6th OWI Is a Class G Felony

Prior to 2016, 5th and 6th OWI convictions were Class H felonies in Wisconsin. Today, they are Class G felonies. This new classification increased the fines and prison sentences for a conviction. The new penalties for 5th and 6th OWI are:

  • A penalty fine ranging between $600 and $25,000.
  • 18 months to ten years in prison.
  • Loss of driver’s license.
  • Installation of ignition interlock device (IID).

If convicted, you might have to pay fines, serve in prison, or both.

Wisconsin’s Presumptive, Two-Part Prison Sentence

The state has a presumptive prison sentence for a 5th or 6th OWI conviction. This means that unless the court specifies otherwise, the defendant will face at least 1 year and 6 months of initial confinement in a state prison.

The state also has a two-part prison sentencing structure consisting of confinement and extended supervision through the Department of Corrections. This is similar to probation or probationary supervision. This two-part sentencing structure means that anyone convicted of 5th or 6th OWI will serve time in prison and have a term of extended supervision. The question is how long each portion of the sentence will last.

This is where help from a qualified OWI attorney from Eisenberg Law becomes invaluable. Some trial courts and judges are quite strict and you are all but guaranteed to be sentenced to at least18 months in prison, plus probationary supervision. Other courts and judges believe the statute provides them with the discretionary ability to issue a shorter sentence, but still prison, if it is in the best interests of the community and does not harm anyone. Your Eisenberg Law attorney will use their knowledge of Wisconsin OWI statutes and the court system to obtain the most favorable outcome for you.

Fighting 5th and 6th OWI Charges

Despite the severity of the charges, it is possible to fight the 5th and 6th OWI charges successfully. In some cases, Eisenberg Law Offices clients have seen their charges reduced or even dismissed. Our Madison law office specializes in building strong defenses that limit the effect an OWI conviction can have on your life.

It all starts with a free consultation. During this no-obligation meeting, we will examine your case, explain the charges against you, and discuss your options. This early intervention is crucial to building an effective defense strategy, particularly when you consider the severity of the penalties for 5th and 6th OWI in WI.

If you are facing an OWI, regardless of whether it is your first or your sixth offense, effective defense is possible. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices at 608-256-8356 or to discuss your legal options in a free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation.



Eisenberg Law has successfully represented our clients in thousands of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Family Law Cases during our 30-plus years in business.