The DWI and DUI laws in Minnesota are rather strict. They are strict because there are so many automobile accidents on the state’s roads that result in fatalities or very severe injuries to the victims. If charged with drunk driving, the consequences are rather stiff and can alter your future significantly. That is why you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as you are charged with the crime.
When charged, you do not have to say anything in your defense because anything you say can be used against you in court. Having your attorney by your side when answering any questions and having your attorney’s guidance through field sobriety tests can help ensure your rights are preserved. So if you’ve been arrested, let your attorney be your advocate. There are many times that there are certain factors present in a case that leads to a better outcome.
A DWI offense is measured in four degrees. The degree that is charged may depend upon a number of aggravating factors. In turn, the degree also determines the penalty. Below is a summary of the criminal penalties that each category renders:
- First Degree DWI – A felony that can result in up to 7 years in jail and a $14,000 fine. A person can be charged with first degree if three aggravating factors are present.
- Second Degree DWI – A gross misdemeanor that can result in up to 1 year in jail and $3,000 in fines. A person can be charged with second degree if two aggravating factors are present.
- Third Degree DWI – A gross misdemeanor that can result in up to 1 year in jail and $3,000 in fines. A person can be charged with third degree if one aggravating factor is present.
- Fourth Degree DWI – A misdemeanor that can result in up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. No aggravating factors are present for fourth degree and this charge is usually reserved for first time offenders when no aggravating factors are present.
You also face license revocation and forfeiture of your vehicle since it was used in the commission of a crime. It can be expensive to get your license back and you may have to have your lawyer work with you to get your vehicle back. The collateral damage done to you involves damage to your reputation, the possibility of losing your job, and insurance becoming very expensive in the future.
Aggravating factors include a previous DWI offense, an alcohol concentration over .20, and a child under the age of 16 being present in the vehicle, especially if that child is more than 36 months younger than the driver.
A person can also have their license revoked if they refuse a sobriety test. This falls under “implied consent,” which is a type of permission that you give when you acquire your driver’s license. This can work against you in your case, but you do reserve the right to refuse.
Minneapolis DWI/DUI Attorney & Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI, you need an aggressive defense attorney to work by your side. Whether you’re guilty of the crime or not, there is still a chance that the charges against you can be reduced or even dropped. Every aspect of your case is evaluated to ensure the best resolution for you. To get started in your defense, call 651-688-7699 or 651-688-7785 for your free initial consultation and learn about your rights and options that can help put you at ease in your case.