On behalf of Southworth and Stamman, LLC posted in criminal defense on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
Governor Scott Walker recently signed into law Act 371, which will increase penalties for drunk driving convictions in the state. This law turns a defendant's fourth drunk driving offense into a felony, no matter how long ago the third conviction was. In the past, the fourth conviction was only on the felony level if the previous drunk driving charge had been within the last five years.
It will also remove the review period for individuals on their fourth offense, making it nearly impossible to secure a limited occupational license. In addition, the new law makes penalties for repeat offenders much higher. If a person is convicted for a fifth or sixth time, the punishment is now up to five years behind bars.
According to Governor Walker, more than 200 people are killed each year in drunk-driving-related incidents by repeat impaired motorists. Although the number has actually fallen in the last few years, the new law is intended to deter potential offenses.
If you have been convicted of multiple drunk driving charges, it may help to get an attorney. Having a felony on your record can become a big problem when looking for a job, as some companies refuse to hire individuals with aberrant criminal histories. A conviction can also make it extremely tough to get your driver's license back -- even after you have served requisite time.
Have legal questions?
When you are charged with an OWI, several legal questions can come into play. Was your stop completely justified within the ambit of the law? Were you forced to say something under the pressure of arresting officers? Were relevant sobriety tests carried out correctly? The answers to these questions matter.
The good news is that a qualified attorney can help you raise these pertinent questions in court. At a minimum, legal representation can ensure you are treated fairly by the justice system. To learn more about the new law and how it affects your case, speak with a professional in your area.