At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Southern Minnesota DWI defense attorneys are passionate, skilled, and solutions-focused advocates for justice. With deep experience handling the full range of DWI charges, our legal team will protect your rights. If you or someone you care about was charged with intoxicated driving, we are here to help. To set up a fully confidential consultation with a drunk driving defense attorney in Southern Minnesota, please contact us at our Mankato law office or our Rochester law office.
An Overview of DWI Charges in Minnesota
Were you arrested for a DWI or DUI in Minnesota? If so, it is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your rights. You cannot rely on police or prosecutors to look out for your best interests. Under Minnesota law (Minnesota Statute §169A.20), driving while impaired (DWI) is a serious criminal offense. A DWI is the official term for the charge in our state. Though, you may also hear it referred to as driving under the influence (DUI). It is effectively the same charge. A driver can be arrested and charged with a DWI in Minnesota if:
They are found to be in actual physical of control of a motor vehicle; and
They are impaired by alcohol or drugs.
In Minnesota, the greatest permissible blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08 percent. If your BAC is above 0.08 percent, you can be arrested and charged with drunk driving. Notably, the maximum legal limit for alcohol in Minnesota is actually even lower than that in a few specific circumstances. A driver operating a commercial vehicle cannot have a BAC higher than 0.04. Further, Minnesota has a zero-tolerance, not-a-drop law for underage drivers. A driver who is younger than 21 could be arrested for a DWI charge if they have alcohol in their system.
Understanding the Minnesota Implied Consent Law
Similar to other states, Minnesota has an implied consent law. In effect, this law means that all drivers on public roads in the state “pre-consent” to post-DWI arrest chemical testing. If you are arrested for DWI, you are required to provide a chemical sample, such as blowing into a breathalyzer. If you refuse to provide a sample, you can be charged with a DWI refusal. You could also still be charged with a drunk driving offense. To get more information about DWI refusal, please do not hesitate to contact our Southern Minnesota criminal defense lawyer.
What are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction?
A DWI is a serious criminal offense in Minnesota. A person convicted of a DWI will face significant criminal penalties. The punishment will vary based on a number of different specific factors—with the most important being the defendant’s history of prior DWIs/DUIS or lack thereof. Minnesota has a ten year lookback period for DWIs. A very old DWI offense may not impact your penalties. Here is a general overview of the DWI penalties in Minnesota:
First Time DWI Offense: A maximum $1,000 fine, up to 90 days in jail, and a license revocation of up to 90 days, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car.
Second Time DWI Offense: A maximum $3,000 fine, a minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum of one year in jail, a one year driver’s license revocation, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
Third Time DWI Offense: A maximum $3,000 fine, a minimum of 90 days in jail and a maximum of one year in jail, a minimum three year driver’s license revocation, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
An Aggravating Factor Could Lead to a More Severe DWI Charge or DWI Penalties
Your history (or lack of history) of DWI offenses is not the only issue that will affect your penalties. You could face a more harsh DWI charge or DWI sentence if an “aggravating factor” was present. Some notable examples of an aggravating factor that could make a DWI charge or DUI charge more serious include:
High degree of intoxication (BAC of 0.16 or higher);
A child being present within the vehicle; or
Causing a serious or fatal accident while intoxicated.
What to Know About a DWI Arrest and Your License
As noted above, a DWI conviction is likely to lead to the revocation of your license. You could be entitled to a limited purpose license during this period of revocation. That being said, a DWI arrest could also lead to a more immediate suspension of your driving privileges. This is called an administrative suspension. If you do not take immediate action to address the administrative suspension, you may lose your license without ever actually being convicted. Our Southern Minnesota DWI defense attorney will help you take action to save your license.
How Our Minnesota DWI Defense Lawyer Can Help
Few things are more stressful, frustrating, or downright scary than facing a criminal charge. A DWI arrest is a serious matter. You should not go up against the police and the prosecutors alone. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., we provide proactive representation in drunk and drugged driving cases. Among other things, our Southern Minnesota DWI defense attorneys are prepared to:
Conduct a comprehensive, review of your case;
Answer questions and explain your legal rights and legal options;
Investigate the charges―ensuring that your rights were respected by police;
Gather and organize all evidence that can be used to exonerate you; and
Craft a personalized legal strategy focused on securing your future.
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Southern Minnesota DWI defense lawyer is an aggressive, relentless advocate for justice. If you or someone close to you was arrested for impaired driving, we can help. Contact us today for a fully confidential review of your charges. With law offices in Mankato and Rochester, we provide DWI defense representation throughout all of Southern Minnesota, including in Blue Earth County, Nicollet County, Le Sueur County, Olmsted County, Waseca County, Rice County, and Dodge County.
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“I contacted Tom Hagen for a DWI charge, I was extremely impressed with Mr. Hagen, he knows his stuff, he’s patient and made sure that I understood what was going on. He set me up with an amazing plea agreement and helped me out more than I was expecting. If you are looking for a good lawyer, I would highly recommend looking into this office.”
– ALEXIS U.
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