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Minneapolis-St. Paul DWI Defense Attorneys

A DWI arrest can seem like a nightmare. If convicted, you can be sentenced to jail time and/or fines, a criminal record and years of probation. You can also lose your right to drive for months or years. The DMV can even cancel your license as inimical to public safety. A DWI can result in higher insurance rates and have potential employment impacts. It can jeopardize your personal and professional life. 

Don’t Give Up: Call Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense At 612-474-5420

So many clients come to us thinking they must be guilty because they were arrested and have a “failed” test result such as over .08, over .16 or an alleged “test refusal.” However, our years of practice tells us that the fact that you were arrested does not make you guilty of a crime. In fact, we have obtained dismissals for cases where people have even tested over .20. In other cases, we have won at trial, or had charges reducted to careless driving or less severe DWI. 

If you have been arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), do not give up and do not plead guilty without first speaking to an experienced Minnesota DWI defense lawyer. A Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense attorney is available to speak with you right now. Call us at 612-474-5420 any hour of the day or night. Our criminal defense lawyers are here to help. Just because you blew 0.08 or above on a breath test does not mean you are automatically guilty of driving while impaired. Our DWI attorneys have helped hundreds of people just like you avoid the harsh penalties associated with drunk driving charges. We will attack the criminal charges against you with the goal of getting the case dismissed or the charges reduced. Our defense lawyers will work to protect your right to drive and minimize the negative consequences to your driving record. To learn more about our DWI defense practice, please visit the following pages: 

  • Driver’s license revocation: Unless you take steps to fight it, your driver’s license will be revoked after an arrest for DWI. 
  • Felony DWI: A felony conviction on your record can negatively affect all areas of your life. 
  • First DWI: It is important to fight your first DWI to avoid being over penalized if you are ever arrested again for driving under the influence. 
  • Ignition interlock: We can help accelerate the process of enrolling in the ignition interlock program by helping you navigate the DMV, work to avoid the use of an ignition interlock device entirely, or minimize the amount of time it must be installed. 
  • Multiple DWIs: Criminal and driving consequences become increasingly harsh with every DWI arrest. 
  • DWI and implied consent: If you do not address this aspect of a DWI, a DWI can remain on your driving record forever – even if you are never convicted of DWI in criminal court. 
  • Vehicular homicide: We will defend you against these charges whether or not circumstances included a DWI arrest. 
  • Criminal vehicular operation: If you injured another person while driving, you may face this charge. 

Our DWI defense attorneys regularly take DWI cases to court and get the charges against our clients dismissed or reduced. 


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Dedicated To DWI Defense

We know your case is important and so it’s also important to us.  Attorneys Ryan Pacyga and Marie Pacyga have dedicated years of practice defending clients charged with driving while impaired, criminal vehicular operation, and criminal vehicular homicide. They understand the science involved in DWI cases. They know how to challenge the evidence against our clients, how to question the validity of the DWI stop, and how to achieve positive results that can be anything from getting the case thrown out, winning at trial, or negotiating a positive plea bargain if that’s what you’d prefer. 

Our defense lawyers know how to pick apart the details of a traffic stop and DWI investigation in order to find legal issues to fight in your case. For example, we have had many successful outcomes where our lawyers challenge whether an officer had the legal right to even start a DWI investigation. The law says the judge does not look backward, taking into account of what your test result ultimately was, but instead looks at what an officer had in front of her or him at the time to determine if they had enough evidence to pursue a case from the outset. What that means for you is that it doesn’t matter your test result! Our attorneys have had chemical test results suppressed even where the results show high alcohol concentration readings of more than double the legal limit, or blood test results having controlled substance in it. Just because you have a troubling test result does not mean you are guilty.  

In addition to litigation strategies, we also like to use our years of experience working with the other people and organizations involved in the Minnesota criminal justice system to our clients advantage. Every county and courthouse is different, and we take time to learn those differences so we can help you navigate your case even better.  

What Is Considered DWI Under Minnesota State Law?

There are two forms of DWI in Minnesota. The first is if law enforcement believes you’re impaired by alcohol or a drug to the point that your normal coordination or ability to drive is compromised. The other one is testing at a 0.08 or higher blood alcohol level … Read more. 

How Long Will A DWI Charge Remain On My Driving Record In Minnesota?

In most cases, convictions for DWI will stay on your record forever. DWI is what’s called an “enhanceable” offense which means that the conviction or license revocation can be used against you to make another one more serious for both criminal consequences and your driving privileges. THIS IS A BAD LINK HERE PLEASE FIX IT 

What Evidence Do Police Look For At The Scene Of A Drunk Driving Accident?

Naturally, when police are called to an accident, they are trying to figure out what happened to cause it. If the police start to believe that they see signs that the driver was impaired an officer will often look for more facts to support what the officer thinks he already believes to be true. An officer might look for slurred speech or other physical indicators of impairment, open (or unopened) alcohol containers, witness statements about relevant driving conduct, as well as any other facts that they believe will support an arrest. If the police suspect you have operated illegally, they might ask you to perform field sobriety testing and they might seek a search warrant for your blood or urine instead of asking you to take a breath test. Read more. 

What Are Penalties For DWI Convictions In Minnesota?

Minnesota classifies DWI in four “degrees.”  

A fourth-degree DWI is common for a first-time DWI with no aggravating factors and considered a misdemeanor offense. The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a one thousand dollar fine.  

A third-degree or second-degree DWI may be charged where there are aggravating factor(s) present, such as having a test of 0.16 or higher, a prior DWI within ten years, having a child in the car. You may face a special kind of DWI called third-degree or second-degree Test Refusal if the officer claims you refused chemical testing. Third-degree and second-degree DWI are considered gross misdemeanor level crimes, which means the maximum penalty is up to 364 days in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both under Minnesota law. In addition, if you have had a prior DWIs mandatory jail penalties can attach. It’s important to talk to a lawyer about the risk and implications of mandatory sentencing in your case.  

First Degree DWI is considered a Felony level offense for which felony sentencing guidelines apply. A felony is a very serious matter carrying the potential risk of prison time versus local jail time. In addition, having a Felony conviction may have serious collateral consequences in all areas of your life such as your civil rights, housing, employment, travel. 

 If you have been charged with DWI in Minnesota, do not give up hope. Contact Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense  today. We’re here to help.