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Minneapolis DWI & DUI Lawyer and Criminal Defense Attorney
DWI is an abbreviation for “Driving While Intoxicated.” DWI is sometimes referred to as “DUI” or “Driving Under the Influence.” DWI involves the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skill is impaired. DWI laws also apply to recreational vehicles, such as an ATV, boat or snowmobile and piloting an airplane.
When arrested for DUI or DWI in Minnesota, the police try to determine your “BAC” or “blood alcohol concentration.” Operating a motor vehicle in Minnesota with a BAC of .08 or more is illegal and can qualify you for a DWI charge. A person’s BAC is determined by many factors such as height, weight, number of drinks, size of drinks, etc.
How Serious is a DWI Charge in Minnesota?
If convicted of a DWI charge, a defendant can face between 90 days in jail to 7 years in prison, depending on the severity level of the alleged offense. In Minnesota, there are four different DWI charges (click the link to view the applicable law):
- First Degree DWI: Maximum of 7 years imprisonment and/or a $14,000 fine
- Second Degree DWI: Maximum of 1 year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine
- Third Degree DWI: Maximum of 1 year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine
- Fourth Degree DWI: Maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine
What are DWI Aggravating Factors?
The severity of a DWI in Minnesota depends upon whether one or more aggravating factors are present at the time of the offense. These include:
- A qualified prior impaired driving incident within the ten years immediately preceding the current offense
- Having an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more as measured at the time, or within two hours of the time of the offense
- Having a child under the age of 16 in the motor vehicle at the time of the offense if the child is more than 36 months younger than the offender
How to Beat Your DWI, DUI Charges
A police officer must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion for stopping your vehicle. Oftentimes, officers stop vehicles merely on a “hunch” that the driver is impaired. This isn’t good enough. Police officers cite valid reasons for stopping your vehicle but are sometimes lying. Did the police say you did something you didn’t do, like swerving your vehicle? Did the police say you didn’t do something you should have done, like using a turn signal? There are numerous challenges that can be made to “beat” your DWI case but you cannot succeed without the criminal defense lawyer.
Our Minnesota DUI & DWI defense attorney understands that while you may have been drinking, the police must follow proper procedure in stopping your vehicle. We actively investigate your case by interviewing witnesses, hiring experts if necessary, visiting the place of arrest for scene investigation and challenging the Intoxilyzer 5000EN machine if necessary. Don’t simply give up because you know you consumed alcohol before driving.
Contact a Minnesota DWI, DUI Defense Attorney
Our Minnesota DWI defense lawyer is ready to provide you with a free consultation and honest evaluation of your DWI charges. To learn more about our Minnesota DWI defenses, contact us at (612) 338-5007 to speak directly with an DWI criminal defense attorney.