Minnesota Criminal DUI/DWI
Drunken Driving Defense
Hiring a Minnesota DUI or DWI Lawyer can be one of the most important decisions of your life. The consequences of a drunken driving conviction on your record can have a lifelong impact on you, your friends, family and ability to gain employment or maximize earning capacity.
When seeking out a Minnesota DUI or DWI Lawyer, you should consider the following:
- Hiring an experienced attorney in the DUI / DWI field
- Contact an attorney as quickly as possible
- It makes a difference to have an attorney who knows the specific issues in your type of case
- Hiring an attorney who has a positive working relationship with colleagues in his field, prosecutors, judges, and probation agents
- Hiring an attorney who understands the science behind the Intoxilyzer, Datamaster and other testing procedures
- You will need an understanding that every DUI / DWI event has a potential of three cases stemming from the incident; the criminal case, and a civil cases involving the driving privilege and/or forfeiture of your vehicle.
Did you know?
Your vehicle can be seized if you are convicted of a DUI or DWI. You have only a limited window of time to challenge the forfeiture, otherwise your vehicle could be lost forever.
How Does a Criminal DUI/DWI Case Proceed?
The criminal case of a DUI/DWI case in Brainerd begins at the stop or initial contact with law enforcement. The case may continue with field sobriety testing and preliminary breath testing or with the refusal of a breath test. The arrest, together with the testing process or refusal of blood, breathe or urine testing are all entered into record and into evidence.
It is critically important to ensure that your rights were preserved and vindicated at all pre-arraignment stages in the process. Next is the court appearance portion of the preliminary part of the criminal part of a DUI / DWI case, to ensure that release from jail is obtained quickly, fairly and with just conditions or restrictions. Then we need to obtain and review of all critical evidence, prepare for the pre-trial hearing and jury trial itself. The criminal case portion of a DUI or DWI concludes with the sentencing.
Implied Consent and Your Vehicle
One part of the civil case is the Implied Consent proceeding, involving the fight regarding your privilege to drive. There exists a limited time window in which we can seek judicial review, and failure to take action can cost you your ability fight about driver license related issues.
The other part of the civil end of a DWI case involves the fight to get your forfeited vehicle back. This process also has a limited window of time to seek judicial review, and failure to act can result in you losing a valuable asset forever. An experienced attorney is the only way to confront, attack and protect your rights and assets.
Consequences of a DUI or DWI in Minnesota
Some of the possible consequences of a conviction may include:
- Difficulty getting your license reinstated
- Lengthy suspension period (up to three years)
- Court fees and program fees
- The cost of jail time / work release / electronic home monitoring
- Inpatient and outpatient treatment (at your cost)
- Increased cost of auto insurance
- Being prevented from entering foreign countries
- Loss of CDL for one year or life
- Difficulties changing or obtaining life / disability insurance
Types of DUI/DWI Cases Handled by Chuck Halverson in Brainerd, MN
Cases We’ve Handled
The following is a list of Minnesota DUI / DWI Defense cases that have been handled by Chuck Halverson in the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota area:
- Whiskey Plates
- Ignition Interlock
- B-Card Violations
- Open Bottle & Not A Drop Laws
- Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter
- Field Sobriety Testing
- Stop & Arrest
- Blood Alcohol Testing
- Drunken Driving Charges
- DUI / DWI Court Process
- License Suspension & License Revocation
- Vehicular Forfeitures & Car Forfeitures
- Implied Consent Test Refusal
- Underage Drinking & Driving
In Minnesota, there are four degrees of DWI offenses. Those degrees range in seriousness from a misdemeanor level to gross misdemeanor to, ultimately, felony DWI. How your offense can be charged varies with level of your test results; the number of offenses and time gap between any prior a offense; having a child under 16 as a passenger; whether you refuse the field sobriety test; if any prior DWI conviction was at a felony level. Offenses are typically enhanced by aggravating factors.
Experience you can count on.
Chuck Halverson has a great deal of experience handling misdemeanor and felony DUI and DWI cases in the Brainerd area and around northern Minnesota. DUI and DWI charges could result in harsh penalties that can change your life. Make sure you have an advocate you can count on.
Misdemeanor 4th Degree DWI
Typically a 4th degree DWI charge will be given to a first time offender or to an offender with a prior conviction outside the ten year time frame. This is a misdemeanor under Minnesota law and comes with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine or both. Fourth degree DWI may be factually based upon but are not limited to the following:
- Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than .08 and lower than .16
- Driving while exhibiting obvious signs of impairment with no test
- Having the presence of a scheduled controlled substance in your system, whether a prescribed substance or street drug, with no prior conviction within ten years
While a misdemeanor is the least severe, a 4th degree DWI can have lifetime consequences and should be taken seriously. Normally such an conviction will not result in any served jail once released. However, up to 90 days in jail will be hanging over your head and you will likely be placed on probation. Probation means that any failure to comply with conditions of that probation can exposes you to all or some of the 90 days left hanging over your head. Additionally, you will likely be ordered to pay fines of up to $1,000 and complete community service, along with completing an alcohol assessment program and loss of driving privilege.
Exact penalties and conditions vary from county to county throughout Minnesota. Having an effective and experienced attorney such as Chuck Halverson will ensure that you receive the guidance you deserve and the best result the facts of your case allow.
Gross Misdemeanor 3rd Degree DWI
Typically a driver is charged with a 3rd degree DWI when the driver has committed their second offense within a ten-year time span. A prior conviction or prior license revocation within ten years is often the aggravating factor to enhance a 4th degree DWI to a 3rd degree DWI, but not exclusively. Minnesota law provides that a first time offender may receive a 3rd degree charge should there exist one of the following aggravating factors:
- Refusal to test
- Having a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle during the time of the offense (when the child is at least three years younger than the offender)
- Having a BAC of .16 or higher within 2 hours of driving
Gross misdemeanor offenses come with a maximum penalty of 365 days in jail and a $3,000.00 fine or both. Some 3rd degree offenses are subject to mandatory minimum sentences of 30 days of served or executed time in jail. The offending driver can face up to 6 years of probation, be subject to the loss of driving privileges, alcohol monitoring, “whiskey plates” and hefty fines, penalties, and costs. If you’re facing a 3rd degree DWI charge in the state of Minnesota, it’s important that you consult an attorney as soon as possible. Having an effective and experienced attorney such as Chuck Halverson will ensure that you receive the guidance, help, and the optimal result the facts of your case allow.
Gross Misdemeanor 2nd Degree DWI
The charge of 2nd degree DWI is also a gross misdemeanor and carries with it a maximum penalty of 365 days in jail, a $3,000.00 fine, or both. Typically a 2nd degree DWI charge arises out a DWI circumstances when a driver has had at least two prior DWI convictions within a ten year time frame. Minnesota law provides that a second time offender may receive a 2nd degree charge should there exist one of the following aggravating factors:
- Refusal of field sobriety test
- Having a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle during the time of the offense (when the child is at least three years younger than the offender).
- Having a BAC of .16 or higher within 2 hours of driving
A 2nd degree DWI conviction can have crippling consequences. Some 2nd degree offenses are subject to mandatory minimum sentences of 90 days of served or executed time in jail, plus additional alcohol monitoring during certain periods of the years over the length of the probation period. Again, conviction can mean up to 6 years of probation, potential canceling of driving privileges, alcohol monitoring, “whiskey plates,” and hefty fines, penalties and costs.
If you’re facing a 2nd degree DWI charge in Minnesota, it’s critical that you requisition the services of an experienced and respect attorney such as Chuck Halverson. He will ensure that you receive the guidance you deserve and the best result the facts of your case allow, because another conviction in the future could be a felony. In cases of 2nd degree DWI, you need a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist on your side.
Felony 1st Degree DWI
Under Minnesota law a 1st degree DWI is a felony and, depending on your prior record and criminal history, can result in you going to prison. You will be charged with a 1st degree DWI if there exists any of the following factual circumstances:
- 3 previous DWI convictions or license revocations within ten years of the current offense
- If you have ever had a felony DWI conviction in your life time
- If you have a felony criminal vehicular operation conviction in your life time
- If you have a criminal vehicular homicide conviction in your life time
For a 1st degree DWI conviction the maximum penalty is seven years in prison, a fine of $14,000, or both. If sent to prison, you will be subject to a 5 year conditional release. A violation of that conditional release can land you back in prison for extensive periods of time.
If you’re facing a 1st degree DWI in Brainerd, it’s critical that you have an effective and experienced attorney such Chuck Halverson to ensure that you receive the guidance you deserve and fight for your freedom. When facing a felony 1st Degree DWI charge in the Brainerd area, you need a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist on your side.