An OWI 6th is a Class G felony. Contact our felony drunk driving defense lawyers at (414) 270-0202

OWI 6th charges are incredibly serious.  If you were convicted of your fifth offense OWI within the last few years, you’ve already served time in prison for drunk driving.  While the mandatory minimum penalties are the same for a fifth and sixth offense, it’s safe to say that punishments are typically higher for subsequent drunk driving offenses.  Both charges are Class G felonies.

Drunk driving cases involve all kinds of different issues that “normal” criminal cases might not.  For example, the majority of drunk driving charges result after the police conducted a traffic stop on the defendant’s vehicle.  If the police didn’t have a valid reason to stop the vehicle, evidence police found after the stop (you, presumably intoxicated) may be suppressed for use at trial.  And when the government can’t use your intoxication against you in an OWI case, it’s nearly impossible for them to prove charges against you.

Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. immediately to schedule a free consultation with some of the best drunk driving lawyers in Wisconsin.  Consultations are free, so there’s no reason to hesitate: (414) 270-0202.

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What are the punishments for an OWI 6th?

As we previously described, the punishments for an OWI 5th offense are the same as the 6th.  Here are the penalties for a 6th offense OWI conviction:

While OWI 5th and 6th offense penalties are the same, typically prosecutors request stiffer penalties for 6th offenses.  Our criminal defense attorneys are sentencing experts.  If appropriate, we will make the best argument for the shortest sentence.

What exactly is operating while intoxicated 6th?

Defining an OWI 6th is simple. The 6th part is easy – you’ve had 5 prior offenses for operating while intoxicated, operating with a a prohibited alcohol concentration, or an out-of-state equivalent.  This charge is your sixth.  But more substantively, operating while intoxicated is prohibited in section 346.63(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes:

(1) No person may drive or operate a motor vehicle while:
(a) Under the influence of an intoxicant, a controlled substance, a controlled substance analog or any combination of an intoxicant, a controlled substance and a controlled substance analog, under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving, or under the combined influence of an intoxicant and any other drug to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving;
Although intoxication varies in different circumstances, this article focuses on offenses involving alcohol.  While normally we focus on a blood alcohol content of .08, that number is relevant to prohibited alcohol concentration charges.  Instead, OWI 6th focuses on the driver being “incapable of safely driving.”

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 2663 – Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of an Intoxicant

Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 2663 describes criminal operating while intoxicated offenses.  Jury instructions are devices that help courts, defense attorneys, and defendants break down crimes into smaller parts, also called elements.  In order to sustain a conviction against the defendant, the government must prove each element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

The elements of OWI are:

  • Firstly, the defendant drove or operated a motor vehicle on a highway.
    • Drive means the exercise of physical control over the speed and direction of a motor vehicle while it is in motion.
    • Operate means the physical manipulation or activation of any of the controls of a motor vehicle necessary to put it in motion.
  • Secondly, the defendant was under the influence of an intoxicant at the time the defendant drove or operated a motor vehicle.

As you’ll quickly notice, “operate” is a whole lot easier to prove than “drive.”  For example, operate includes something as simple as putting the key into the ignition of a vehicle and turning it on.  Drive actually requires the vehicle to start up, move, and requires the defendant to do something to control it.

Two friends drink beer until intoxicated
A sixth offense OWI is a felony in Wisconsin. Contact our drunk driving defense lawyers at (414) 270-0202 for immediate help.

How can a drunk driving defense lawyer help me win my case?

There are many different ways that the top drunk driving lawyers in Wisconsin attack drunk driving cases.  This page is general information (and not advice) and therefore can’t get into the specifics of your case.  But that’s why our firm offers free initial consultations to potential clients.  At your free consultation you’ll have the chance to sit down with one of our OWI defense lawyers to discuss your case.  We’ll discuss pre-trial motions, mandatory minimum penalties, and how our firm can help you.

But one of the first things we’ll look for is a potential pre-trial motion.  As we described earlier, stops occur in nearly every OWI case, so we’ll examine your case for any kind of stop issue.  Other motions could involve whether the arrest was improper and whether police properly administered field sobriety tests.  Sometimes the defendant’s statements are incriminating, so examining your case for a potential argument there could lead to another motion.

Finally, you maintain a right to jury trial in any criminal case.  There are various ways to address a charge.  Sometimes that’s as passive as simply pointing out that the government cannot prove its allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact Van Severen Law Office, S.C. for OWI 6th defense

Hiring the right drunk driving attorney can be a stressful situation.  Does my potential attorney have the experience necessary to fight my charges?  Will my attorney stop returning my calls when they get the money?  And finally, will my attorney achieve the best result possible in my case?  We’ve received calls from plenty of individuals complaining about other attorneys doing all of these things.  But you won’t find that from any of the drunk driving attorneys at Van Severen Law Office, S.C.

We recognize that these charges might be the most serious you’ve ever faced.  We recognize that no matter what day or time it is, you can’t stop worrying about the charges you’re facing and the potential result.  We’re here to help you and to remain in reasonable contact with you.

Contact us at (414) 270-0202 and let’s start talking about your sixth offense drunk driving charges.

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