DWI Bail in Minnesota–Part I

Unlike in federal criminal court, in Minnesota state court any person charged with a crime has a right to bail. A person cannot be held without bail on a new criminal charge; holding someone without bail can only occur after an individual is convicted. People who are alleged to have violated their probation can be held without bail, as can people who have (1) pled guilty or been found guilty by a jury and (2) are awaiting sentencing.

On DWI charges, bail will typically be set at the person’s first appearance. An exception occurs when someone is arrested on the weekend, hires an attorney, and the attorney convinces a Judge to set bail over the phone. “Weekend bail” is only available in certain counties. And even with weekend bail, the same maximum amounts and mandatory conditions apply.  Bail for a Minnesota DWI is dependent on the level of the charge and the nature of the offense. The nature of the offense is dependent on what Minnesota calls an “aggravating factor.” An “aggravating factor” is one of the following:

1. A prior conviction OR license revocation under implied consent laws within the past 10 years.

2. A child under the age of 16 in the vehicle when the offense occurs, if the child is more than 36 months younger than the offender.

3. A chemical test (breath, blood, or urine) with a result of .20 or more.

4. Refusing to submit to a test.

Minnesota DWI bail is then set as follows:

4th Degree DWI:

4th Degree DWI is a misdemeanor. 4th degree DWI occurs when the offender is charged with a  DWI and zero (0) aggravating factors are present. The maximum amount of bail that may be set for a 4th degree DWI is $4,000. There are no mandatory conditions associated with an offender’s release on his own recognizance. Most counties in the metro area will release an individual charged with 4th Degree DWI without bail and without any monitoring. Some outstate counties will require monetary bail, usually in the amount of $1,000, to obtain release without conditions. The outstate counties will allow a person to be released without bail if they promise to go on an alcohol monitoring program. If you need bail set for a friend or family member, call an Experienced, Knowlegeable DWI Defense Attorney Right away at 952-913-1421.

In our next blog post tomorrow, we will discuss DWI bail in 3rd degree DWI, 2nd degree DWI and 1st Degree Felony DWI.

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.

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