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Penalties for DWI with Children in the Car DUI, DWI

Penalties for DWI with Children in the Car

2 years ago by Brian
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In Minnesota, DWI means driving while impaired. If you ultimately sustain a DWI conviction, a judge may sentence you to high monetary fines, jail time, and other potential penalties. These penalties may increase if certain aggravating factors are present. One of those potential aggravating factors is operating a vehicle while impaired – and while having a child under 16 present with you in the vehicle. 

If you are currently facing a DWI charge, it is vital that you immediately seek legal representation in your case. In fact, if you show up to your trial date without a lawyer present, the presiding judge may think that you have waived your right to the presence of legal counsel. Consequently, the judge may make you go forward with your case without representation. 

Top DWI defense lawyers at JS Defense, PA, can represent you throughout your criminal proceedings and advocate for you at trial. Our legal team will work to help you achieve the best possible result in your case and minimize the potential consequences.

Legal Burden of Proof  

In any criminal case, including a DWI case, the state prosecutor must satisfy their legal burden of proof. The arrested driver – or the defendant – does not need to prove anything in the case. Moreover, at trial, the defendant does not even need to take the witness stand and testify. 

If the prosecutor establishes that you operated a vehicle while intoxicated – and that you had a child under 16 present with you in the vehicle – then they may obtain a conviction against you. A sentencing judge will then be left to impose the appropriate penalties.  


Potential Penalties if You Have a Child in Your Vehicle at the Time of Your DWI Arrest


A DWI where a child is present in the vehicle is automatically a third-degree offense. These offenses are gross misdemeanors under Minnesota law. If you ultimately sustain a conviction, you may be looking at one year of incarceration, a monetary fine of $3,000, or both. However, if additional aggravating factors exist, the judge could increase these penalties further. 

For a first-time DWI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 percent or higher – and a child under 16 is present in the vehicle – two aggravating factors exist. Consequently, the driver would be looking at a gross misdemeanor and a second-degree DWI charge. Upon conviction, the driver may receive the same fines and jail times, but they may also have to forfeit their vehicle. 

In addition to these legal penalties, offending drivers could lose their driving privileges for 90 days. They may also have to pay for and install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle. 


Speak to a Knowledgeable Woodbury DWI Defense Lawyer Today


If you are currently facing pending DWI charges, time is of the essence in your case. At JS Defense, PA, we can help you fight your DWI charge and lessen or eliminate the potential penalties and other consequences in your case. 

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced DWI defense attorney, please call us today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online to learn more.  


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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Justin M. Schiks who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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