Minnesota DWI Lawyer & Defense Attorney
A DWI or DUI offense involves driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and is a serious offense in the state of Minnesota. It is important to note that a DWI or DUI is not limited to a car or a truck. A person can be charged with DWI or DUI when driving a motorcycle, snowmobile, or a boat under the influence of alcohol. There are four degrees or categories, of drunken driving offenses:
•First Degree Felony
•Second Degree Gross Misdemeanor
•Third Degree Gross Misdemeanor
•Fourth Degree Misdemeanor
Which is charged depends on previous offenses and if any aggravating factors are present. No matter what, you need a powerful Minnesota DWI/DUI defense attorney to assist you.
Degrees of DWI in Depth
A First Degree DWI in Minnesota is charged when the drunk driver has had three or more drunken driving offenses in the 10 years preceding this offense. This is also the case when the person has been convicted of a previous felony DWI in Minnesota.
A Second Degree DWI occurs when the arresting officer finds that two or more aggravating factors were present at the time of the offense.
A Third Degree DWI occurs when one aggravating factor is present at the time of the drunken driving offense.
A Fourth Degree DWI occurs when a person is driving any vehicle type while under the influence of alcohol (a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above). This is also the case when under the influence of a controlled substance or hazardous substance.
Aggravating factors can make a world of difference in your case. When you have been charged with drunk driving and you feel that the charges are unfair or your livelihood is threatened because of the charges, then a Minnesota DWI/DUI defense lawyer can help you obtain better results.
Here is a look at aggravating factors that can worsen the charges against you:
• You have had a prior impaired driving incident within the 10 years preceding this latest offense.
• Your alcohol concentration was said to be .20 or above by the arresting officer. This is also an aggravating factor if the .20 level is recorded 2 hours after the offense.
• A child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle or the child is more than 36 months younger than the driver.
A repeat offender may experience jail time, hefty fines, house arrest, extended probation, and mandatory alcohol treatment programs. If the offense is a First Degree DWI offense, then a mandatory jail sentence is handed down. If the offense is a Second Degree offense, this means that a jail sentence of at least 120 days must be served. There are also a number of lifelong consequences that are also paid. Those lifelong consequences consist of:
- Loss of your job and difficulty obtaining a new one;
- Increased insurance costs or the insurance company’s refusal to insure you;
- Difficulty finding a place to rent if the landlord performs background checks;
- Embarrassment amongst your peers; and/or
- The loss of your vehicle via forfeiture.
And these are not the only consequences to be paid. If you are a repeat offender with a misdemeanor drunken driving offense on your record, then a second offense can be a gross misdemeanor, if it has occurred within 10 years of your first offense. If this is your third or fourth offense, you could be looking at stiff fines and significant jail time. This fine and jail time can consist of a fine up to $14,000 and 7 years of jail time. A Minnesota DWI/DUI is serious and Minnesota is a state that makes that known through their punishments. A person can earn the lifelong label of a felon, which means in order for you to have the highest quality of life possible; you do need an aggressive Minnesota DWI/DUI defense attorney by your side. Without this representation, you could be facing consequences that you will never be able to get away from.
When you have been convicted of a Minnesota repeat DWI/DUI case, the prosecution is going to use evidence available to them to determine what degree to charge. This is done by looking at your driving record for the past 10 years, as well as evaluating any evidence present at the time of the offense. If there was an accident, your blood alcohol content will be evaluated at the time of the offense and thereby increases the sanction.
If you refused to take a sobriety test at the time of the offense, this can be held against you as well as a gross misdemeanor. When you opt to have a driver’s license in Minnesota, you are giving permission for law enforcement to perform sobriety tests on you. Failure to comply can result in loss of your license.
So call J. Anthony Torres at (612) 861-4926 for your free initial consultation. You will be one step closer to ensuring that you get the best results possible in your case through experienced and aggressive representation. Torres Law Office is conveniently located at 3960 Minnehaha Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406 and is easily accessible by clients from Uptown and the greater Twin Cities metro area, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minnetonka, Edina, Roseville, Golden Valley, Bloomington, Richfield, Eagan, Woodbury, Maplewood, Shakopee, Wayzata, Apple Valley, Chanhassen, Columbia Heights, Burnsville, Carver County, Dakota County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Scott County and Washington County. We handle cases throughout the state of Minnesota.