What Happens When You Get Your First DUI?
The holiday celebrations are dying down, and those who were pulled over for a DWI this season welcome in the New Year with pending court charges. If this is your first drunk driving charge, here are some important things to note from our attorneys at Melowski & Singh, LLC.
Wisconsin DUI Penalties
According to Wisconsin law, you can be considered operating while under the influence if you’re operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. You can also be considered impaired as a result of ingesting a controlled substance.
If you drink and drive and are convicted of a DUI, you face serious consequences:
- First Offense: Monetary fines ranging from $150-$300, surcharges, and possible driver's license revocation for up to 9 months.
- Second Offense: Monetary fines ranging from $150 to $1,100, possible jail time up to 6 months, up to 6 months confinement and surcharges, and mandatory driver’s license revocation for at least 12 months.
- Third Offense: Monetary fines ranging from $600-$4,000, possible felony charges, and 45 days to 2 years confinement.
- Fourth Offense: Class H felony, automatic $600-minimum fine, and an automatic 60-day jail sentence.
- Fifth & Sixth Offenses: Class G felony. Minimum mandatory fine of $600 and as much as $25,000, as well as a minimum of 6 months in jail, maximum of 10 years in prison, plus other fees and surcharges, 2-3 years driver’s license revocation, and 1-3 years required ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
The risks of serious charges exist, whether this was your first DUI or your third. Having a determined DUI attorney with a track record of success can lower your charges and keep you at home with your family.
Will a DUI Arrest Show Up on My Background Check?
A DUI will only appear on your record if you’ve been convicted of the crime. If your charges are dropped, the DUI won’t appear on your permanent record. However, even after your court-ordered jail time is completed and your fines are paid, this doesn’t mean your DUI will disappear — it will remain on your permanent record for life.
What if I Gain Multiple DUIs?
Under Wisconsin law, the record of a driver's DUI conviction is kept for ten years. If a driver is convicted of a second DUI within these ten years, it will also be considered a second offense. If the driver is convicted of another DUI 10+ years after their first offense, the new DUI conviction will appear as a first offense.
However, Wisconsin has a lifetime look-back policy for third DUIs and above. This means that your prior convictions will never drop off your record. Within five years of the third DUI conviction, a fourth DUI becomes a felony, with a potential prison sentence.
Why You Need an Aggressive Milwaukee Drunk Driving Attorney
Having a DUI on your permanent record can affect all aspects of your future — from college admissions and career opportunities to securing housing. If you've been charged with a DUI in Wisconsin, you'll need an aggressive DUI/OWI attorney to help fight for your future.
At Melowski & Singh, LLC, we know the life-altering consequences of a DUI conviction. We don't just walk our clients through their cases; we provide aggressive advocacy and develop creative legal strategies to fight their charges and seek favorable results.
We can help prevent a DUI charge from ending up on your permanent record. If you need a team that will go above and beyond for your case, call us at (920) 294-1414 today.