DWI Probation Violations Attorneys in Minnesota

When someone is convicted of a DWI, whether through a guilty plea or after a trial, the individual is placed on probation. For misdemeanor DWIs, the probationary period is one to two years. For gross misdemeanor DWIs, the probationary period is generally two to six years. For counties in the Twin Cities metro area, a probationary period for third-degree DWI is usually three to four years. For second-degree DWI, the probationary period is typically four to six years.

For gross misdemeanor DWIs (third or second degree), the individual will usually be placed on supervised probation. Sometimes this supervision will require random testing for alcohol use, along with other intensive supervision. For misdemeanor DWI, the probation will likely require less supervision. With the right attorney, you can work to get unsupervised probation for a misdemeanor DWI and, in some instances, unsupervised or lightly supervised probation (i.e. no random testing or monitoring requirements) for gross misdemeanor DWIs.

But what happens if you violate your probation? That depends on, among other things the nature of the violation, the number of previous violations and the county that supervises your probation. Generally speaking, the most common probation violations on DWI offenses are the following:

Failure to Complete STS, EHM or Community Service

Sometimes, people don’t complete their sentence to service (STS), electronic home monitoring (EHM) or community service on time. Ideally, everyone would complete these requirements on time. If you’ve been given the option of STS or EHM in lieu of jail, you should do everything you can to complete the task on time. If you can’t, try to reschedule with your probation officer.

If the individual violates the probation agreement by failing to complete STS or EHM on time, the court will either give the person additional STS or EHM to complete, or order the balance of the uncompleted time converted to jail time (for example, if you failed to complete five days of STS, then the court will order you to do five days of jail instead).

Failure to Abstain from Alcohol

The penalty for failure to abstain from alcohol depends on the county. For a first violation in a metro area county, the penalty will usually vary from additional treatment and additional EHM to a few days in jail. Some counties, such as Wright County, always ask for jail time for failure to abstain from alcohol, even on a first violation.

If there are multiple violations for failure to abstain from alcohol, the court will likely order the individual to serve some jail time. Depending on any previous violations, the court may order the sentence executed (i.e., the person serves 365 days’ jail on a third-degree or second-degree DWI, or 90 days on a misdemeanor DWI) minus the time already served.

Failure to Remain Law Abiding, as a Result of a Non-DWI Offense

The penalty for this type of DWI probation violation depends on the offense. If the offense is something minor, like a petty misdemeanor littering charge, there will probably be no penalty. If the offense is a similar charge to DWI or involves alcohol or drugs, the penalty will range from additional jail time to an executed sentence.

Failure to Remain Law Abiding, Because of a New DWI Offense

If the individual is charged with a new DWI while on probation, the prosecutor will likely ask to execute all or part of the person’s sentence.

If you need help on a DWI probation violation, contact a qualified, experienced Minnesota DWI criminal defense attorney right away!

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

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.