Ten Things You Should Know When You Get Pulled Over For a DWI in Minnesota

When a driver is pulled over for a DWI in Minnesota, he/she can face arrest, charges, and stiff penalties. A DWI is not an offense to take lightly. Felony DWI charges can result in up to seven years in prison, so a DWI attorney St. Paul is required for legal advice and representation.

A DWI is a serious offense. If pulled over by the police, a DWI attorney St. Paul can answer important legal questions and explain the DWI process related to an impending arrest and charges. Here are ten things to remember:

  1. A “DWI” means “driving while intoxicated” which is usually defined by a blood alcohol level of .08 in Minnesota. A “DUI” may or may not include a specific blood alcohol level.
  2. Even with a first offense DWI, a gross misdemeanor charge can be filed if a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .20 or above, or if a driver refuses testing.
  1. When stopped for a DWI in Minnesota, refusing to take a blood, breath or urine test is a crime under Implied Consent Laws, but drivers are allowed to talk to a DWI attorney St. Paul before tests are administered.
  2. In Minnesota, the criminal penalties imposed for a DWI are based on the number of prior aggravating factors a driver has at the time of the offense.
  3. In addition to criminal penalties for a DWI, Minnesota also imposes civil sanctions that include a driver’s license revocation, license plate impoundment, and vehicle forfeiture.
  4. If pulled over, there is a possibility of going to jail, but it’s not a probability. A DWI attorney St. Paul can explain the mandatory minimum penalties for Minnesota repeat offenders.
  5. Under Minnesota law, a person charged with a first-degree felony DWI can be sentenced to a minimum of 180 days in jail and a maximum of five to seven years, as well as fines of up to $14,000.
  6. A charge of Criminal Vehicular Homicide is a felony. Under Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, death to an unborn child or a conviction for criminal vehicular homicide carries a sentence of four years in prison.
  7. If arrested and charged with a DWI, jail time will be imposed if conditions ordered by Minnesota Courts are violated.
  8. In Minnesota, DWI convictions stay on a driver’s official driving record for at least 15 years. Actual driving records are retained indefinitely.

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.