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What Are Penalties For DWI Convictions In Minnesota?

We have four degrees of DWI. A fourth degree DWI is common for a first time DWI. That means they either believe you’re impaired while driving or your breath, blood or urine test was between a 0.8 and a 0.15. The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a one thousand dollar fine. A third degree or second degree DWI is a test of a 0.16 or higher; a test refusal, having a child in the car, or having a prior DWI within the past 10 years. Third and second degree DWIs are gross misdemeanors, which means the maximum is one year in jail and a three thousand dollar fine. You will also have to deal with “whisky plates” which can be embarrassing to you and your family.

If you had a prior DWI within the past 10 years, there is also a mandatory minimum 30 day sentence, although there is a loophole we can use. A DWI with two priors would have a maximum of one year in jail and a three thousand dollar fine with a 90 day mandatory minimum. A fourth DWI within a 10-year period is a felony DWI. That means a felony conviction and either prison time or at least 180 days in jail as a mandatory minimum. Also, on second-degree DWI or felony DWI, you’re also dealing with vehicle forfeiture.

Will I Be Required To Have An Ignition Interlock Device Installed In My Vehicle?

If you have a prior DWI within 10 years and you get another one, you’ll be required to have an ignition interlock for a year or more. If you have an alleged test refusal, you’ll be required to have an ignition interlock for a year. If you do not challenge the implied consent or you lose an implied consent challenge, you’ll be required to have an ignition interlock. At Ryan Pacyga Criminal Defense, we help clients through the process of getting set up with the ignition interlock, if they are required to have it. There are ways to beat that requirement, depending on your unique case and potential challenges.

How Might A DWI Conviction In Minnesota Impact A Professional License?

Carrying professional licenses requires you to report any criminal convictions, including a DWI. Sometimes, that can lead to probation within your profession or other supervision by the licensing body that is in charge of your license. Doctors, nurses, chiropractors, police officers, lawyers, and other licensed professions may face penalties from their licensing board. Sometimes, they can work through it on a first time. Other times, it can be devastating to your career.

How Might A DWI Conviction In Minnesota Impact A Commercial Driver’s License?

You’re looking at a minimum of a one year loss of your commercial driving privileges, on a first time DWI. A second time DWI is usually fatal and involves a permanent revocation of your commercial driving privileges. It’s very serious for anyone with a commercial license and can often mean the end of your employment, regardless of how long your commercial license is revoked. This is because of the insurance issues that employers face. Oftentimes, they think it’s not worth having to pay the extra insurance. You have all the more reason to challenge a DWI criminal case as well as the implied consent revocation to protect your commercial driving privileges.

Can DWI Convictions Ever Be Expunged, Sealed Or Removed From A Criminal Record In Minnesota?

There are limited rights to expunge a DWI. It’s fairly uncommon to expunge one and it’s not exactly easy to expunge a DWI, which makes it all the more important to challenge the case in the beginning.

What Qualities Should I Look For In A DWI Defense Attorney?

You want to know how experienced the lawyer is in challenging DWI cases. Some lawyers have a reputation for simply taking on a DWI case and then getting a plea offer as soon as possible. You want to have a lawyer who is well versed in the potential challenges to a DWI, who has a track record of success in challenging them and winning dismissals and not guilty verdicts. You also want a lawyer who’s willing to understand and to listen to your particular circumstances and your wishes.

It’s important to have a lawyer who knows all of the possible defenses and who is respected by the judges and the prosecutors. There are some things that we counsel our clients to do proactively that can put the case in a better situation. We take a global approach in terms of what we can do to challenge the case and what the client’s desired outcome is. We can give you a roadmap of things that you can do to help your situation, so that we can work together to get the best result in court.

For more information on penalties for DWI convictions in Minnesota, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 612-474-5420 today.

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