Saturday, February 23, 2013

Minnesota DWIs (Explained)

A DWI or DUI is, for many people, their first and only encounter with the criminal justice system. Believe it --- even for a first offense - the stakes are high in every drunk driving case, and it's not just because of the threat of jail time or harsh fines. In the State of Minnesota, your driver's license will likely be revoked after a DWI arrest, severely limiting your mobility. This can spill over into every aspect of your life, from employment to relationships with friends and family. Under certain circumstances, the state may even take your vehicle. An experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney can provide you with aggressive representation.  Believe it or not, I get lots of questions about Drunk Driving consequences --- here are some insights.  

Driver's License Revocation

If you have been arrested for a DWI --- you have to act fast.  You only have 30 days from the Notice of Revocation to challenge the loss of your driver's license. This is called an Implied Consent Hearing and is a separate case from your criminal DWI case. If this is your first DWI, your driver's license is suspended for up to 90 days if your test result was between .08 and .15. If this is your first DWI and the test result was greater than .16, or you refused the blood, breath or urine test, your license will be suspended for 1 year. If you have a prior DWI within 10 years, or there are other aggravating factors, your driver's license may be suspended even longer. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for a limited driver's license (work permit) or full driving privileges with the Ignition Interlock. 

If this is your first DWI and the test result was greater than .08 and lower than .20, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. This is a crime punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A gross misdemeanor would be charged if this is your second offense within 10 years and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. The minimum sentence under the law for this case is 30 days in jail. A gross misdemeanor can also be charged if your test result was greater than .20 or if you refused the test. If this is your third offense within 10 years, although this is still a gross misdemeanor, it has a minimum sentence of at least 90 days in jail. A fourth offense in 10 years is a felony and has a maximum penalty of seven years and a $14,000 fine with a minimum sentence of 180 days.

Whether this is your first DWI charge or you have received a prior conviction, it is extremely important to contact an experienced qualified Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. You should also know that a DWI is an enhanceable offense, meaning that the penalties increase exponentially for subsequent arrests of a same or similar nature.

The penalties are harsh enough after a first offense, but if you have a prior DWI or DUI conviction within 10 years, you could be facing a mandatory jail sentence. At the Rolloff Law Office, we treat every case as if our clients' lives depend on it. Contact a qualified DUI attorney for a free consultation. We will give you an honest and realistic assessment of your case and help you decide how to proceed.

We provide aggressive representation for the following DUI and DWI defense issues:

Felony DUI/DWI
Aggravated DWI/DUI
Vehicle forfeiture
Snowmobiling while intoxicated
Boating under the influence
Implied consent hearing (license revocation)

And, I offer free Consultations.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.  

1 comment:

  1. In the US, many state DUI laws were established in response to federal highway funding mandates. In order to succeed for federal road maintenance assistance, separate states were bound to outline a legal age for alcohol drinking and laws outlining the legal level of intoxication for drivers. In general, states established a legal drinking age of 21 years old, although some allowed the consumption of low-alcohol beers and wines at age 18. Later, federal highway mandates encouraged a uniform drinking age of 21.