When Can a DWI be a Felony?
2 years ago by Brian
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) are serious criminal offenses that can have serious consequences, including possible prison time.
The charges and penalties can become even more serious due to certain circumstances.
No matter what charges you face seek help from a Woodbury MN DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
Classification of DWI in Minnesota
The law in Minnesota classifies most DWI as misdemeanors, which means if you are found guilty or plead guilty to the offense, you might face a fine, probation, and possibly losing your license.
The classification of DWI in Minnesota depends on aggravating factors alleged in a specific case.
These are things involved in the commission of the crime, such as how intoxicated you were, if there was a person injured in the accident you caused, whether you were speeding, and other factors.
Other aggravating factors include the following:
- Having prior DWI convictions within the past ten years
- Children in the vehicle at the time of the offense
- Testing over 0.20 BAC
- Refusal to take a sobriety test
The number of aggravating factors in your case will determine how your case is classified.
If you have no aggravating factors, then you will likely have a 4th-degree offense for which you might face a fine of up to $1000 and/or 90 days in jail.
A 3rd or 2nd-degree offense is classified under Minnesota law as a gross misdemeanor and will expose you to punishments of up to a $3000 fine and/or up to one year in jail.
First-Degree or Felony DWI in Minnesota
First-degree DWI is the most serious drunk driving offense in Minnesota and carries the most severe punishment.
The offense is also a felony and happens when the person who commits the crime has three prior DWI incidents within the last ten years or has a prior felony DWI.
The offense carries a sentence of between three and seven years in prison and a fine of up to $14,000.
Typically, a person convicted of this crime is required to serve a minimum of not less than six months in jail.
Besides the criminal penalties, there are many other collateral consequences that routinely attach to a felony DWI conviction, such as license revocation, vehicle forfeiture, and the inability to find work after serving time.
At JS Defense, we routinely help individuals who have been charged with DWI in seeking the most favorable resolution of their case possible under the circumstances.
If you have been charged with DWI, then our firm is the right one to represent you.
We have the experience and knowledge of the court system that you need to present the strongest possible defense.
Reach Out to a Woodbury, MN Felony DWI/DUI Lawyer
It is always best to contact our Woodbury-St.Paul DWI legal team right away after an arrest for a free consultation.
We will discuss the circumstances surrounding your case and start developing a defense strategy for you right away. Never wait to start protecting your rights and future following DWI charges. Call: 651-968-9652.