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

One of the questions people facing a criminal charge ask is: How long does a criminal case take? The timeline of your criminal case in Minnesota will depend on the nature and severity of the alleged crime, the speed of the criminal justice system, the duration of the trial, and whether an appeal will be necessary. Delays at any stage of the criminal justice process may impact how long your criminal case will last. Generally, however, misdemeanor cases may resolve within weeks or months, while felony cases may linger in courts for up to a year.
People accused, arrested, or charged with a crime often ask, “How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost in Minneapolis, MN?” It is difficult to accurately determine how much a criminal defense lawyer will cost. The reason is that numerous factors impact the cost of legal representation in criminal matters. These factors include the type and severity of criminal charges, the lawyer’s experience and reputation, required time and effort, and geographical location.
Social media can have legal implications, particularly when it comes to criminal cases. Since its advent, social media has become a powerful tool for communication and self-expression. As of 2023, an estimated 4.9 billion people worldwide use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to share thoughts, experiences, and moments from their lives. However, in this digital age, social media activity can be used as evidence in criminal cases in Minneapolis and elsewhere.