A charge of DWI in Minnesota can literally be a life changing experience. In the past, getting stopped for driving home after having a few drinks at a social event was often nothing more than an infraction as long as you weren’t drunk or involved in an accident. Due to organizations like MADD and others, the public’s awareness of DWI consequences has grown, and legislators have followed suit by passing consistently more aggressive laws against drunk driving. Today a DWI is a serious criminal offense and should be treated as such. A conviction can bring havoc in the form of heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and jail time, even for the first offense. If you are facing a DWI you are probably feeling embarrassed, confused and afraid of what you’re about to go through. Those feelings are normal and are experienced by almost everybody who’s facing arrest or has just been arrested for the first time. Your decision to drive was not a good one, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. The laws have developed into a complex web that makes them nearly impossible for the average person to decipher. You will need to find an attorney who specializes in DWI defense, one who can explain the laws to you and guide you through the system. It is imperative that you locate someone right away to help you with your case. Contact a local Minnesota DWI attorney today for a free consultation about your case.
The state has two different methods under which you may be charged with a DWI. If you are driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher, that is grounds for arrest under Minnesota’s per se law. You can also be charged if the peace officer has substantial reason to believe that you are operating your vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substances to the extent that your driving is impaired. You may be asked to do some field sobriety tests such as walking in a line, reciting the alphabet, touching your nose, etc. Most attorneys will recommend that you exercise your right to refuse those tests. They are not good barometers of your impairment. Chances are if you are at this stage of the scene, you are going to be arrested anyway.
After an arrest, you will face a criminal case during which your DWI attorney will question, cross examine and attempt to dismantle evidence the state presents against you. The less you said to the officer at the roadside, the easier the case will be. The court case will determine assignation of fines and court fees, alcohol education programs and jail time. You’ll also have to contact the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety to request a hearing regarding the suspension of your driver’s license within 30 days or it will automatically be suspended. Don’t take a chance on losing your license or your freedom. Contact a DWI attorney today for a free consultation.
If you are arrested outside your home state, be sure to ask your attorney how this law will impact you.
• Incarceration – up to 90 days
• Fines – $1,000 plus court costs for BAC below .20; $3,000 plus court costs for BAC over .20
• License Suspension – 90 days; minimum 1 year for test refusal. reinstatement fee $680 plus $24 app fee
• Ignition Interlock – mandatory 1 year for BAC .16 or higher at your expense, approximately $1,000 to $1,500
• Insurance – SR22 high-risk driver insurance required for 3 years upon license reinstatement
ADDITIONAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES
• Bail – set by the court, required before being released
• Towing – towing fee $75 to $100 plus daily storage fees
• Insurance –As a designated “high risk” driver, your insurance company will raise your rates significantly. Expect your insurance rates to double, triple or more.
• Record – DUI conviction will remain on driving record permanently
• Employment – offender may lose time off work and possibly even their job.
• Immigration and travel – restrictions can apply with certain convictions
• Vehicle – possible vehicle seizure in certain circumstances
Additional offenses will bring significantly higher penalties, up to 7 years in prison and $14,000 in fines. Don’t take a chance with your freedom. It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified DUI attorney right away for a FREE CONSULTATION on your case. It's possible that your case can be won with the right representation.