A DWI Conviction Could Cost You Your CDL

A person convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lose his or her serialized Commercial Driving License (CDL). This penalty applies even if the person is convicted of DWI in a non-commercial vehicle. It also applies even if it’s the first time he or she has been convicted of DWI.

Federal rules insist that reporting DWI convictions isn’t just an employment issue but a public safety issue. Likewise, Minnesota DWI laws make it clear that those who drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) while under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances can face criminal penalties like imprisonment, fines, and court expenses,

DWI Penalties for CDL Holders

In every DWI case involving a CDL, careful planning and aggressive defense by an MN DWI attorney can increase the odds of securing a favorable outcome. Besides the driver losing the CDL, he or she may face jail time,  steep fines, and other hidden consequences of a DWI conviction. In Minnesota, the fine is between $3,000 and $14,000. It’s not unusual for the state to require a person who had temporarily lost his or her CDL due to a DWI conviction to complete an alcohol education course before reinstating it.

The state can also require convicted CDL holders to complete community service — anywhere between 40 and 160 hours. A CDL holder can be subject to all these penalties whether he or she was convicted of DWI in a non-commercial vehicle or commercial truck. If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury or death to another person, then the commercial driver may face civil lawsuits.

License Plate Impoundment

Minnesota may also impound the license plate of commercial drivers under certain circumstances. A DWI conviction, CDL cancelation because of drug test failure or refusal, and two or more DUI/DWI convictions in ten years are some reasons a commercial license plate can get impounded.  

Appealing a DWI Conviction in Minnesota

Getting a DWI conviction isn’t the end of the road for a commercial driver. The driver has the right to appeal the ruling with the Minnesota Courts of Appeals within the required timeline. An MN DWI attorney can review the unique facts of the case and come up with solid grounds for requesting the appellate court to reverse the DWI conviction. The attorney can then present compelling oral arguments that will convince the appellate court to overturn the DWI conviction.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and 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. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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

Knowing how to choose a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, can help you hire a lawyer who will prepare an effective defense strategy and fight for the best result from your case. One of the crucial tips when selecting a criminal defense lawyer is to vet those with relevant experience in cases like yours. You can only do this when you thoroughly understand the charges you are facing.
People anticipating an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, might ask, “What is the role of a defense attorney during an arrest?” A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options, ensure the police follow the rules, and protect your rights. The attorney will build a solid defense, talk to the prosecutor, and fight for your best interests.
Knowing when to hire a criminal lawyer for your case in Minnesota can help protect your constitutional rights and turn the odds in your favor. You should retain a criminal lawyer immediately after learning you are under investigation, get arrested, or are charged with a crime. Seasoned criminal lawyers understand the criminal justice system, can build a winning defense strategy, and aggressively push for a positive outcome of your case.