Being arrested for a DWI is a very terrifying, confusing, and humiliating experience. Minnesota DWI laws are particularly harsh, and staring down the barrel of the judge’s loaded gun by yourself is an absolutely overwhelming experience. Knowing exactly what you’re up against in this situation is of paramount importance.
A first offense DWI in Minnesota can carry a wide range of varying punishments, depending on whether or not any aggravating factors exist. Typically, a defendant charged with a first-time DWI can expect to face a maximum jail sentence of 90 days and a maximum fine of $1,000.00 if convicted. If the defendant is arrested with a BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) of .16 or more, he or she faces a maximum of one year in jail and a $3,000.00 dollar fine. Enhanced penalties also exist of there was a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle or if the defendant refused to submit to the evidentiary breath test (generally offered at the police department or jail post-arrest).
Further, DWI consequences in Minnesota generally include civil sanctions such as license revocation or cancellation, plate impoundment and even vehicle forfeiture. License consequences range from 90 days to 7 years depending on the circumstances.
The license plate impoundment order applies to the vehicle used in the incident, any vehicle the defendant wishes to drive during the one-year impoundment period and all vehicles titled in the driver’s name (even if the vehicles are titled jointly). For the cars to be legally driven again, the suspect must apply for special registration plates through the DMV. These are more colloquially known as “whiskey plates.”
As anyone can see, being arrested even for a first-offense DWI in Minnesota is not to be taken lightly. The severe consequences can seriously jeopardize every aspect of your quality of life. Everything from your freedom and finances to your employment and reputation will be affected. Many begin to feel the strain of these consequences long before their day in court ever occurs.
This is why a qualified legal defense team is of paramount significance. According to the Minnesota and United States Constitutions, every defendant has a right to defend him or herself in a court of law and is innocent until proven guilty. Mounting the most qualified defense you can before you ever set foot in the courtroom will allow you to sleep easier at night.
With over thirteen years’ combined experience, attorneys Robert Foley and Dana Kinsella have now successfully defended hundreds of DWI cases in Minnesota courts of law. No one knows Minnesota DWI laws better than our experienced and passionate attorneys, and it is our great honor to represent the accused who walk through the door of our firm. We know that the outcome of your case will affect the rest of your life. We will fight for you at all stages of your criminal defense proceedings, from the preliminary appearances all the way through to your trial. If you are facing a DWI charge, let us put your mind at ease.