A Minneapolis Minnesota DWI Attorney Who Cares About Your Rights




Christopher Keyser has successfully handled all kinds of DUI and DWI cases, and he knows that neither belief is true – or helpful. Mr. Keyser focuses exclusively on criminal defense and DWI defense law, and has been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star by Minnesota Law & Politics, as well as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association.


Far from being “minor,” DWIs carry both administrative and criminal penalties. These include probation, loss of license, loss of license plates, forfeiture of your vehicle, thousands of dollars in fines, and possible jail time. No one should ignore those kinds of consequences.


Likewise, you should never simply assume that there is nothing you can do about a DUI charge. It may seem like the police have an airtight case if you tested above the legal limit on a breath, blood, or urine test, but there are many ways to fight back, and many places where the police’s mistakes and shortcuts can happen.


Mr. Keyser believes everyone is entitled to the due process of law, and that law enforcement officers should never be allowed to violate someone’s rights – intentionally or unintentionally. When clients hire Christopher Keyser, he uses his in-depth knowledge of Minnesota DWI law to make sure that every “I” is dotted and every “T” is crossed. When your future is at stake, you need someone willing and able to explore all avenues to protect your freedom.


Work With a Minneapolis DWI / DUI Lawyer Who Knows the Law Inside and Out


Minnesota is subject to the nationwide BAC limit. Operating a car with a blood alcohol content over .08% is considered driving under the influence anywhere in the US. Our state also has a zero tolerance policy for underage drivers. This means anyone under the age of 21 can receive a DWI for having any amount of alcohol in their system. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is .04%.


Additionally, Minnesota has an “implied consent” law. Essentially, you automatically consent to a chemical test and preliminary testing just by getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. If you provide a test over .08, your license is automatically suspended without question. If you refuse to take a test, your license is automatically suspended for at least 1 year with no questions asked. Additionally, you may be charged with a gross misdemeanor and face up to 1 year in jail and $3,000 in fines. You also must take a chemical test if you are involved in an accident where there was property damage, serious injury, or death.


Minnesota DWI Charges and Penalties. Minnesota has four different DWI charges, in addition to a few related charges. In Minnesota, you can be charged with a Fourth Degree DWI, a Third Degree DWI, a Second Degree DWI, or a First Degree DWI—also known as a felony DWI. You may also be charged with Careless Driving, Criminal Vehicular Operation, Criminal Vehicular Homicide, or DWI Test Refusal.


The different degrees of DWI charges correspond with the circumstances surrounding the crime. For example, your first DWI charge is a Fourth Degree misdemeanor in most circumstances. This comes with a minimum license suspension of 90 days, and the possibility of 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. However, if you provide a sample over .16, have a prior DWI conviction or alcohol-related driver’s license suspension, or if there is someone under the age of 16 in your car, you could face a gross misdemeanor charge. In this instance, you can get up to 1 year in jail and/or $3,000 in fines.


Charges also increased in severity if you have been convicted of a DWI in the past 10 years, or if your license was revoked in the past 10 years for an alcohol related offense—even if it happened in a different state. And finally, even your first misdemeanor offense will go on your criminal record—in addition to your driving record—for life.


If you have been charged with a DWI and you have a previous DWI on your record, penalties become much more severe. Second time offenders, for example, face a license suspension for a minimum of 1 year. License plates are automatically impounded, in addition to possible criminal penalties of up to 1 year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines.



Civil Penalties for DWIs in Minnesota. Most, if not all DWI charges carry civil penalties in Minnesota. Civil penalties are tacked on to criminal penalties, and may include revocation of your license and license plates. You may also face vehicle forfeiture.


Civil penalties can make it extremely difficult for you if you use your vehicle to get to work—not to mention maintain your social life and personal obligations. You may also be required to pay a great deal of money to recover your license, plates, and vehicle.


Other Consequences for DWI Conviction. Many individuals convicted of DWIs find that the highest expense ultimately is not their court fees. Instead, their increased insurance rate costs far more over time. Most insurance companies will increase your annual rate by $1,000 to $3,000.


Having a criminal record will also severely damage your ability to get a job, find housing, or apply for college.

Challenge Your Charge With an Experienced Minneapolis DWI Attorney


Though the charges and penalties for a DWI can be intimidating, you should not assume a DWI is an open-and-shut case for the prosecution. A DWI can be challenged, and penalties can be reduced or even dropped. Our law office has of 18 years of combined experience crafting effective DWI defense strategies, and we can make sure that you have the best possible chance of a successful outcome.


To plan the defense strategy that best fits your situation, you owe it to yourself to consult with a knowledgeable Minnesota DUI attorney. How does it work?


Free Initial Consultation

The first step is to get in touch with us. During the initial consultation, we will listen to your side of the story. We can advise you on the good (and bad) aspects of your case, in addition to educating you on the legal specifics surrounding your unique situation.


Reviewing the Evidence

If you decide to use our services, the next step is to review the evidence against you. This is a team effort between you and our firm. We collect copies of any documentation the state has. Any drafts of DWI defense motions will be copied and available to you.


Executing Your DWI Defense Strategy

After determining the best course of action, the next step is to execute your defense strategy. If the evidence against you is strong, it may be in your best interest to work with the prosecutors to come up with a plea for a reduced sentence that helps you to avoid jail time and lessen probation conditions. If the evidence against you is weak, it may be better to aggressively push your case to trial.


Crafting a DWI Defense Strategy

A good defense strategy is tailor fit to each client’s specific situation. Should we go to trial, or attempt to negotiate a plea bargain? This will depend on your past criminal record, the evidence against you, and the circumstances of your arrest. It may benefit your case to hire a private investigator, obtain expert witnesses, or consult other professionals. We will thoroughly explore all potential options for your defense strategy.

Regardless of your DWI defense strategy, Minneapolis DWI Lawyer Christopher Keyser will be there to advise you and fight for your rights every step of the way. For a free DWI case evaluation, contact us by filling out our simple online case evaluation form, shooting us an email, or calling (612) 338-5007.

If You Need a Top Minnesota Criminal Lawyer Call 312-338-5007



With offices in Minneapolis and Stillwater, Minnesota, Keyser Law, P.A. handles cases throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area including:




Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Chanhassen, Corcoran, Crystal, Dayton, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Greenfield, Greenwood, Hanover, Hopkins, Independence, Long Lake, Loretto, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Mound, New Hope, Orono, Osseo, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rockford, Rogers, Shorewood, Spring Park, St. Anthony Village, St. Bonifacius, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, Woodland and Hassan Township.



Afton, Bayport, Birchwood Village, Cottage Grove, Dellwood, Forest Lake, Grant, Hugo, Lake Elmo, Lake St. Croix Beach, Lakeland Shores, Lakeland, Landfall, Mahtomedi, Marine on St. Croix, Newport, Oak Park Heights, Oakdale, Pine Springs, Scandia, St. Marys Point, St. Paul Park, Stillwater, Willernie, White Bear Lake, Woodbury, Baytown, Denmark, Grey Cloud Island, May, West Lakeland, Garen and Point Douglas.


Arden Hills, Blaine, Falcon Heights, Gem Lake, Lauderdale, Little Canada, Maplewood, Mounds View, New Brighton, North Oaks, North St. Paul, Roseville, Shoreview, St. Anthony, St. Paul, Spring Lake Park, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and White Bear Lake Township.


Andover, Anoka, Bethel, Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Fridley, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey and St. Francis.


Apple Valley, Burnsville, Coates, Eagan, Farmington, Hampton, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Miesville, New Trier, Northfield, Randolph, Rosemount, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, Vermillion and West St. Paul.