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Understanding the Charges Associated with a Minnesota DWI

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or some other controlled substance in Minnesota, you could be facing severe penalties. In fact, you’ll be facing two different legal proceedings. The first is an administrative case in which the driver’s license agency will take action to suspend your license for a period of time. The second proceeding is a criminal case – for criminal vehicular operation in Minnesota.

Both proceedings will have an enormous effect on your life, but the criminal proceedings could result in fines, jail time, probation, and alcohol or drug counseling. If you refused to submit to chemical testing, you will automatically face an additional criminal charge.

Let’s take a look at these possible charges in greater detail:

The penalties associated with DUI and DWI depend partly on whether this is a first time DUI/DWI charge, or whether you have been charged previously.

First DUI/DWI Charge – A conviction for this charge is typically a misdemeanor offense which could lead to penalties of 90 days in jail, fines, and mandatory participation in alcohol or drug education programs. Your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked for one year.  If there are any additional aggravating factors, such as resisting arrest, it may change this charge to a gross misdemeanor, which could result in one year of jail time and a fine of $3,000.

Second DUI/DWI Charge – A conviction for this charge is considered a gross misdemeanor and carries the same penalties listed above for a gross misdemeanor. If this is your second conviction within a five-year period of time, your license will be suspended for at least one year.

Third DUI/DWI Charge – A conviction for this charge will result in jail time and fines. You will also have your vehicle impounded and mandatory alcohol abuse evaluation. As in the above example, the penalties may be more severe if the is a consecutive charge within five years. Your license may be permanently revoked, and you may have to show that you have been rehabilitated to receive driving privileges in the future.

Fourth DUI/DWI Charge – This conviction is considered Felony DWI in MN. The penalties for this conviction are very severe. You could face up to three years in prison and fines of no less than $14,000.

All DWI Charges in Minnesota are Serious

Whether this is your first arrest for DUI/DWI or you’ve been arrested in the past, you need to vigorously defend your rights and seek the counsel of an attorney. These are serious charges, with serious consequences. If you are convicted of a felony DWI in MN, this conviction could haunt you for future jobs. Take action now to make sure you minimize your charges and sentence and get your life back on track.