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5 Aggravating Factors of a Wisconsin OWI


An OWI conviction—even for a first offense—can result in serious penalties, including jail time, fines, and license suspension. However, it is also possible to face harsher consequences if you are charged with an aggravated OWI in Wisconsin.

Common aggravating factors in a Wisconsin OWI include:

  • OWI with BAC of 0.17 percent – The higher the BAC content results after a post-arrest chemical test, the minimum and maximum fines increase. For a BAC between .17 percent and .199, the fines are doubled. The fines are tripled when the BAC is between .20 and .249 and quadrupled when it’s .25 or above.
  • OWI with a minor child in the car – The penalties increase when a child is in the vehicle during an OWI arrest. A minor is defined as an individual under 16 years of age. A first-time OWI conviction with a child passenger is punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months (with a minimum sentence of five days), fines not exceeding $1,100, and up to 18 months of license suspension.
  • OWI with injuries – If a first-time drunk driving offense resulted in another person’s injury, a conviction results in a maximum one-year jail term, fines of up to $2,000, and up to two years of license suspension. If a person has previous OWI conviction, it is a Class H felony which results in imprisonment for up to six years and fines no more than $10,000.
  • OWI with serious or fatal injuries – A conviction for OWI causing a great bodily injury is a Class F felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to 12.5 years and a maximum $25,000 fine. A conviction for OWI causing death is a Class D felony, punishable by a prison term of up to 25 years and a maximum $100,000 fine.
  • Multiple OWI convictions – A second OWI conviction within a ten-year period is punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months, a maximum $1,100 fine, and license suspension for up to 12 months. A third OWI conviction within a ten-year period can result in felony charges.

If there are aggravating factors in your alleged OWI charges, our Milwaukee OWI defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella can help you obtain the best possible outcome. To balance out the aggravating factors, we could determine if there are any mitigating factors in your case, such as a BAC content at or just below the legal limit, a good driving record, good behavior upon arrest, and a willingness to seek alcohol counseling.

For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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