DWI (Driving while Impaired or Intoxicated) or also known as DUI (Driving under the Influence) is a very serious charge. Being arrested or even charged with one of these crimes means almost certain revocation of your driver’s license (often before you even set foot in court). In addition, DWI/DUI is an enhanceable offense which means the penalties will increase based on prior convictions or other aggravating factors. So it is important you consult with an attorney right away.
Listed below is some basic information relating to DWI. If you are charged with a DWI or DUI, I strongly advise that you speak with an attorney (even if it is not us). Our consultation is free, and you will have a much better understanding of what you are facing.
DWI is based on Minnesota Statute §169A.20
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol
- Driving while under the influence of a controlled substance
- Driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more
- Driving a commercial vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .04 or more
- Refusing to submit to blood, breath, or urine test
Whether your DWI offense is charged as a Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor (and also), or Felony depends on aggravating factors such as:
- Previous impaired driving convictions or impaired driving related loss of license within the last 10 years
- Having an alcohol concentration of .16 or more
- Child endangerment (having a child in the car)
4th Degree DWI is the lowest DWI charge. It is usually charged as your first offense without any of the above aggravating factors. It is a misdemeanor.
3rd Degree DWI is a result of having at least one aggravating factor. If this is your second offense, conviction will result in a minimum of 30 days in jail. In addition, by statute, under certain conditions, the judge cannot release you without mandatory bail or other intrusive pre-trial conditions.
2nd Degree DWI is the result of having at least two aggravating factors. This is also a gross misdemeanor, and conviction carries with it a minimum of 90 days in jail if this is your 3rd offense. By statute, the judge cannot release you without mandatory bail or other intrusive pre-trial conditions. ****This is important**** You will not be allowed to leave the courthouse without meeting these conditions. Also, 2nd Degree DWI usually also can involve vehicle forfeiture (sometimes even if it is not your car).
1st Degree DWI is a felony. This is the most serious DWI offense. Conviction can result in you being sent to prison for a minimum of 3 years. If you are charged with 1st Degree DWI, you need to speak with a DWI defense attorney right away! If you have a prior Felony DWI, all future DWI charges will be a felony.
Even a first time DWI can result in a vehicle forfeiture. Vehicle forfeiture can be complicated as it involves a number of factors. The number of prior DWI’s, the equity in the vehicle, loans, and the status of the owner of the vehicle. You only have a short period of time to fight to keep your vehicle. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your situation.
Marijuana/THC Driving While Intoxicated Attorney
Now with legalized marijuana and THC products, Minnesota has criminalized “being under the influence of” marijuana and THC or hemp products. This may be difficult for a prosecutor to prove, and how this is being enforced and interpreted by the courts is still to be determined. If you are arrested for being under the influence of marijuana or THC products, you will need to have your case reviewed by an attorney.
Ignition Interlock Attorney
Tests above .16 or any second time DWI will require the use of an interlock to drive. You can get the Ignition Interlock for 4th Degree DWIs as well, but it often is not worth it. Contact an attorney to discuss if it will be the right choice for you. There are many recommendations and pitfalls of the interlock process that we can advise you of.
There are many other vehicle related crimes. Below is a list of common crimes and links to their corresponding state statute. If you are charged with one of these crimes, or any other crime, you should speak with an DUI defense attorney. Your initial consultation is free.
Links to learn more about your DUI or DWI case:
- Minnesota DWI Statutes
- Minnesota DVS (Drivers License Bureau)
- Check your Driver’s License Status (click More Driver Services – Driving Privilege Lookup)
- Visiting Canada with DWI
- DVS Ignition Interlock Website
- Ignition Interlock Checklist – Revoked
- Ignition Interlock Checklist – DAC-IPS
- Stearns County Program Resource List – (bottom of the page)
- Sherburne County Program Resource List
Alcohol Treatment Links: (NOTE: DO NOT SIGN A RELEASE OF INFORMATION FOR ANYONE EXCEPT YOU AND YOUR ATTORNEY – DO NOT SEND IT TO THE STATE, COURT, OR PROBATION OR ANYONE ELSE UNLESS YOUR ATTORNEY SAYS SO)
- https://findtreatment.gov/ (search by area code)
- St. Cloud Hospital (Recovery Plus)
- Sobriety First (St. Cloud, Sauk Centre, Milaca)
- Effective Living Center (anger and chemical dependency counseling) (St. Cloud)
- Rule 25 from County Social Services:
- Stearns County 320-656-6000 (ask for RISE)
- Benton County 320-968-5087
- Sherburne County 800-433-5239
- Morrison County 320-632-2951
- Central Minnesota Mental Health Center (St. Cloud, Buffalo, Monticello)
- Recovery Plus (Alcohol and Drug Counseling) (St. Cloud)
- St. Cloud Treatment Center (Opioid Addiction)
- MADD Impact Panel (MADD VIP – To do it online click the box “Check if you are eligible”) (en español)
- Smart Recovery
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Intoxalock Ph: (833) 210-8428
- Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Ph: (855) 855-4542
- LifeSafer Interlock, Inc. Ph: (800) 745-0331
- Draeger, Inc. Ph: (866) 694-6099
I recommend Speedy Release Bail Bonds https://speedyreleasebailbonds.com/location/st-cloud/