Receiving a charge for operating a vehicle while impaired can be nerve-wracking for an otherwise law-abiding motorist. One split-second decision to get behind the wheel after a few drinks now fills your future with uncertainty, but you can take the best next steps by approaching the situation calmly.
The most pressing concern on your mind might be your housing. By understanding more about Wisconsin OWI law, you can know the risks you might face regarding eviction and make better decisions for your OWI defense.
Can an OWI lead to eviction?
Landlords do have the right to discriminate against tenants based on their criminal history, but a first OWI offense in Wisconsin is a traffic violation and is not a particularly severe crime compared to repeat offenses. Wisconsin OWI penalties for a first offense without aggravating circumstances include a fine of up to $300 and a temporary revocation of your license. Keep in mind that repeat offenders or those who cause injury to other individuals due to their intoxication are subject to felony charges, which your landlord may not be willing to let slide.
Will an OWI make it more difficult to rent in the future?
OWI convictions can remain on your record for life. They will show up on background checks conducted by landlords or employers. While future landlords might see no issue with renting to an individual with a traffic violation or misdemeanor on their record, it may be difficult to find quality housing with a felony in your criminal history.
The consequences of an OWI conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, even after completing the court’s sentence. You can protect yourself and your freedom by building a defense that clears or lessens the charges against you.