DWI Bail in Minnesota–Part II

Here is part II of our discussion of Minnesota DWI bail in Misdemeanor DWI’s, Gross Misdemeanor DWI’s and Minnesota Felony DWI’s:

3rd Degree DWI:

3rd Degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor. 3rd Degree DWI occurs when one (1) aggravating factor is present.  The maximum amount of bail that may be set for 3rd Degree DWI is $12,000.

3rd Degree DWI can carry a mandatory maximum bail, with mandatory conditions, under certain situations. Mandatory maximum bail for a 3rd degree DWI means that a Judge is required to set bail at $12,000 without conditions. Mandatory conditions mean that, in an alternative to posting $12,000 bail, a Judge is required to have an individual agree to intensive alcohol monitoring while their case is pending, which usually costs around $30 per day.

3rd Degree DWI carries these mandatory maximum bail and mandatory conditions if one of the following aggravating factors are present:

1. the individual has no prior offenses, but submits to a chemical test which registers alcohol concentration at .20 or more


2. the individual has a child under the age of 16 in the car, and the individual is 36 months older than the child.

So, if an individual is charged with a 3rd Degree DWI, but tests under a .20 and does not have a child under 16 in the car, then the individual is not subject to mandatory maximum bail or mandatory monitoring conditions.

2nd Degree DWI:

2nd Degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor and occurs when two (2) or more aggravating factors are present.  All 2nd Degree DWI charges carry a mandatory maximum bail of $12,000 without conditions or, in the alternative, release with a lower amount of monetary bail, provided the offender is willing to submit to intensive alcohol monitoring.

1st Degree DWI:

1st Degree DWI is a felony. 1st Degree DWI occurs when the individual has 3 prior convictions within the past 10 years. Note that felony DWI does not occur because 3 aggravating factors are present All prior convictions are aggravating factors, but not all aggravating factors are prior convictions. The person must have 3 prior convictions within the past 10 years to be charged with felony DWI.

Despite what you may read elsewhere, there is no mandatory maximum bail for felony DWI. Felony DWI bail is solely up to the discretion of the Judge. So, if a friend or family member needs bail set on a Minnesota DWI bail, contact an experienced, agressive Minnesota DWI bail attorney right away.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

People facing criminal charges in Minnesota often ask, “Can you defend yourself in court?” You can represent yourself in court when charged with a crime. Self-representation, however, is not typically in the accused's best interests, even if courts allow it.
Parents whose children have been arrested or accused of committing a heinous crime might wonder, “Can a minor be charged with a felony?” A minor aged 14 years or older but below 18 years may face felony charges in Minnesota.
People accused of or under investigation for assault might ask, “What are the charges for assault?” Minnesota has five levels of assault charges. First-degree assault is the most serious offense, and a conviction often results in the most severe penalties, like long prison time and hefty fines.