3 Aggravating Factors in a Minnesota DWI

DWI is an “enhanceable offense” in Minnesota, meaning the severity of a drunk driving charge is based on several aggravating factors that are present during the arrest. The presence of one or more of these factors results in higher DWI charges and harsher penalties.

Aggravator Factors in Minnesota DWI

  1. Having a previous DWI offense on your criminal record within the last 10 years of the current offense.
  2. Having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .16% or higher, which is two times the legal limit.
  3. Having a child younger than 16 years old as a passenger in your car at the time of the offense (if the driver is at least 36 months older).

DWIs are in Minnesota are categorized by degrees—with a first-degree offense being the most severe and the fourth-degree being the least serious. If anyone of these aggravating factors—or a combination of them—are present, you will be charged with a higher degree of DWI.

The following is a breakdown of how aggravating factors result in a Minnesota DWI:

  1. No aggravating factor involved – You will be charged with a fourth-degree DWI, which is considered a misdemeanor. Penalties include a maximum probation period of two years, fines of up to $500, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
  2. One aggravating factor involved – You will be charged with a third-degree DWI, which is considered a gross misdemeanor. Penalties include a maximum jail sentence of one year.
  3. Two or more aggravating factors involved – You will be charged with a second-degree DWI, which is also considered a gross misdemeanor.
  4. If the current offense is your fourth DWI within a 10-year period – You will be charged with a first-degree DWI, which is a felony offense. Penalties include a jail sentence of up to seven years and a fine no larger than $14,000.

If you have been charged with a DWI and one of these aggravating factors was present upon arrest, do not give up hope just yet. Our Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer at Brockton D. Hunter, P.A. can review your case, determine your legal options, and help you either get your entire case dismissed or your penalties reduced to avoid serving jail time.

Contact us and speak with our legal team for more information today.