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Minneapolis DWI Lawyer

Trusted Counsel For Your DWI Charges in MN

In Minnesota, driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are essentially the same charge. If you have been charged with a DWI, act quickly and talk to an established and experienced Minneapolis DWI lawyer. The timeframe for petitioning to challenge the revocation of your driver's license is short. Our lawyers at Brockton D. Hunter P.A. have helped many clients successfully fight their DWI charges and reestablish their driving privileges.

Contact our Minneapolis DWI attorneys at (612) 979-1112 if you have been charged with driving while intoxicated.

DWI Matters We Handle

Minnesota's DWI Law

Minnesota Statute § 169A.20 is the law concerning intoxicated driving.

It provides that a person commits an offense when they:

  • Drive, operate, or are in physical control of a vehicle, and
  • Are under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, an intoxicating substance they know will cause impairment, or a combination of two or more of the substances listed here;
  • Had an alcohol concentration of .08 or more;
  • Had an alcohol concentration of .04 or more, and they were driving a commercial vehicle; or
  • Has any amount of a Schedule I or II controlled substance (except marijuana) in their system

What's important to note about Minnesota's DWI law is that a person may be charged with the offense if they were in "physical control" of a vehicle. To be in "physical control" means to have the ability to start the car without much difficulty. In other words, if someone is near their stopped vehicle and the keys are in the ignition or can easily be inserted there, they may be charged with a DWI. Thus, it's not only driving while intoxicated that's a crime.

There are many degrees of DWI that someone can be charged with. First-degree DWI is the most serious. If you refuse to submit to a DWI test after being arrested for a DWI, it can be automatically classified as a second- or third-degree DWI. A fourth-degree DWI does not carry a minimum jail sentence but can include probation and fines if you are convicted.

It is possible to be charged with DWI while operating the following:

  • Boats
  • All-terrain vehicles
  • Snowmobiles
  • Motorcycles

Degrees of DWIs and Penalties in Minnesota

Minnesota law separates DWIs into 4 different degrees, with a fourth-degree DWI being the least serious and a first-degree being the most. The severity level of the offense is determined by aggravating factors present at the time of the incident.

Aggravating factors include:

  • A previous DWI conviction within 10 years,
  • An alcohol concentration of .16 or more, or
  • A child under 16 years of age in the vehicle at the time of the offense and the alleged offender was more than 3 years older than the minor.

Fourth-Degree DWI in MN

A fourth-degree DWI is a basic DWI offense, meaning that no aggravating factors were present.

This is a misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to 90 days in jail and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

Third-Degree DWI in MN

A person may be charged with a third-degree DWI if:

  • One or more aggravating factor was present, or
  • They refused to submit to a chemical test to measure alcohol concentration

The offense is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail, and/or
  • Up to $3,000 in fines

Second-degree DWI in MN

A second-degree DWI is charged when:

  • Two or more aggravating factors are present, or
  • The offender refused a chemical test and one aggravating factor was present.

This crime is a gross misdemeanor and is penalized by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail and/or
  • Up to $3,000 in fines

First-degree DWI in MN

A first-degree DWI charge is levied when the offender:

  • Has 3 or more prior DWI convictions,
  • Has a prior felony driving while impaired conviction

First-degree DWI is a felony. A conviction can result in:

  • Up to 7 years in prison and/or
  • Up to $14,000 in fines

Our team handles all types of DWI matters in Minneapolis. Contact us today to get started on your case.

Is Your Driver's License Revoked in MN After a DWI?

A person arrested for driving while intoxicated may immediately face administrative penalties imposed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The punishments are separate from those levied upon a conviction.

One such administrative penalty is driver's license suspension and happens when a person refuses or fails a chemical test.

The administrative driver's license suspension periods are as follows:

  • First offense:
    • Alcohol concentration below .16: 90 days
    • Alcohol concentration over .16: 1 year
    • Chemical test refusal: 1 year
  • Second offense within 10 years:
    • Alcohol concentration below .16: 1 year
    • Alcohol concentration over .16: 2 years
    • Chemical test refusal: 2 years
  • Third offense within 10 years:
    • Alcohol concentration below .16: 3 years
    • Alcohol concentration over .16: 3 years
    • Chemical test refusal: 3 years
  • Fourth offense with 10 years:
    • Alcohol concentration below .16: 4 years
    • Alcohol concentration over .16: 4 years
    • Chemical test refusal: 4 years
  • Fifth or subsequent offense within 10 years:
    • Alcohol concentration below .16: 6 years
    • Alcohol concentration over .16: 6 years
    • Chemical test refusal: 6 years

Other administrative sanctions include license plate impoundment and vehicle forfeiture.

Minnesota Out-of-State DWI Defense

Were you visiting Minnesota from another state and charged with a DWI? Regardless of the circumstances, you must satisfy specific legal obligations in this state. If you're not familiar with local laws, you may be confused about what to expect. This is precisely why you should contact a Minnesota DWI lawyer who MN residents trust to handle their cases. They will be able to explain local DWI laws and help you figure out how to move forward.

Getting Out of Jail

Our team will work quickly to get you out of jail. We understand that you want to get back to your home and life. Once out of jail, you should understand that you may eventually have to return to Minnesota to face the DWI charges. In the meantime, your legal defense team will be working to make sure that you can return home after your court date and not have to return for any further legal proceedings.

Out-of-State DWI Conviction

The consequences for a DWI vary depending on many factors. You could face jail time, fines, or other penalties that the judge mandates. Working with Brockton Hunter is an effective way to seek to reduce penalties and possibly have charges dropped. Minnesota residents have trusted us with their own DWI cases year after year for a reason. We will ensure that if any procedure is not followed that could reduce your sentence, the court is notified immediately. Our knowledge of local laws gives us an advantage when working on your defense.

What Should I Do If I am Pulled Over for DWI In Minnesota?

If you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI you will have an important decision to make, whether or not to consent to chemical testing to determine your alcohol concentration level. In short, it is usually best to take the test.

Under Minnesota's DWI laws, refusing to submit to the test is a gross misdemeanor. As its own crime, refusal is often very easy for a prosecutor to prove at trial. In addition to the consequences of the criminal DWI case, your driver's license will be revoked for a period of one year.

When you are arrested in Minnesota for DWI, you will have the opportunity to contact a DWI attorney in Minneapolis for a consultation. But, because refusal is a crime, a Minnesota DWI attorney cannot instruct clients to refuse the test. In other words, DWI attorneys are not allowed to counsel a client to commit a crime. However, it is still best to take advantage of the opportunity to contact a Minnesota DWI lawyer. A DWI attorney can advise you on what possible consequences you are facing and what steps you can take to ensure the reliability of the blood alcohol test. For instance, an experienced attorney might recommend privately obtaining a separate test at your own expense.

Our Minneapolis DWI lawyers understand that being arrested for driving while impaired can be scary, and the criminal justice system is complex. Use the time you are given to contact a DWI attorney for advice on how to conduct yourself, how long you can expect to be held in custody, and what steps you should take once released from jail.

Minnesota's Laws on Refusing to Submit to DWI Testing

Under the law in Minnesota, each driver is required to submit to a chemical test, whether a blood, breath, or urine analysis, when they are pulled over for DWI. This law is called "implied consent." If you are driving in a motor vehicle or boat, you automatically consent to taking a chemical test to determine your level of blood alcohol content (BAC).

Another circumstance where you are required to submit to a chemical test is if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in:

  • Property damage
  • Injury
  • or death

The test must be taken within two hours of when you were last driving or operating the boat. The officer has the right to choose which test or tests you take.

You might also be required to participate in a preliminary breath test (PBT). Like a field sobriety test, you are not required to take PBT, but refusal could result in another set of penalties.

If an officer has requested that you take one of these tests, they must inform you that, under state laws, you are required to submit a sample and a refusal could result in a criminal charge.

Minnesota DWI laws are constantly changing. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Minnesota DWI attorney to ensure your rights are protected.

Turn to Our Trusted Minneapolis DWI Lawyers

At Brockton D. Hunter P.A., we have helped many clients by providing aggressive and insightful legal representation. As Minneapolis DWI attorneys, we understand that this can be a confusing and upsetting time for you and your family. That's why we take the time to get to know you and learn how the matter is affecting you. We can use all the information we gather to develop a bold and effective defense strategy.

Do you need an accomplished Minneapolis DWI Lawyer? Contact us at (612) 979-1112 to set up a FREE consult.

  • Nearly 30 Years of Combined Experience

  • Selection to the Minnesota Super Lawyers® List for 8 Consecutive Years

  • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating

  • Personalized Attention and Care for Clients