A DUI arrest is unlike any other criminal arrest as it may also involve civil actions. Knowing what to expect after a Minnesota DUI arrest will help you better deal with the after-effects.
Driver’s License Revocation
Minnesota law allows for the immediate revocation of your driver’s license, even if there has been no trial and you have not yet been found guilty. In some cases, your license may even be revoked before an arrest whenever an investigation is ongoing. This requires you to take immediate action to avoid a permanent suspension.
You must request a judicial review of the revocation within 30 days of receiving notice of it. This is done by petitioning the court and serving notice on the proper authorities. After filing the notice, the matter will then be set for a hearing.
Length of Suspension
The amount of time a license is revoked for will depend on your age and whether or not it is a first offense, and are as follows:
- 90 days if there are no prior DUI arrests within the past ten years, and no aggravating factors are present in the current arrest
- 180 days if you are under the age of 21 or have had an impaired driving incident during the last ten years
- One year if you have refused an alcohol test
- Indefinitely if you have four or more previous convictions or are otherwise deemed a threat to public safety
The length of time your driver’s license is suspended is doubled whenever you test at .20 or higher or are carrying a child under the age of 16 at the time of the traffic stop.
Limited Driver’s License
A Minneapolis DWI attorney may argue for a limited license, which would allow you to operate a motor vehicle only under certain situations-for example, going to work or school. The waiting period before one may request a limited license is:
For a first offense:
- 15 days if the blood alcohol level is .16 or under, or you are charged with a refusal
- 30 days if the blood alcohol level is over .16
For a second offense:
- 90 days if the blood alcohol level is under. 16
- 180 days if the blood alcohol level is over. 16
License Plate Impounding
A motorist’s license plate may be impounded by the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety in certain circumstances. These are when:
- You have had a previous impaired driving violation within the past ten years
- The results of chemical testing show a blood alcohol content of .16 or greater
- A child under the age of 16 was also in the vehicle
- You have a driver’s license that was canceled because you were a threat to public safety
The laws surrounding license plate impounding are confusing, since they may even include the tags of other vehicles registered to the same person. If a limited license is granted, you must use specially-coded plates for up to one year afterward.
In extreme circumstances, your vehicle could be impounded as well. This may occur when:
- There have been at least two other convictions within the previous ten years
- There is one other offense within the past ten years, and your blood alcohol content is above .16
- A child is present in the car, and your blood alcohol content is .16 or higher
- You already have a canceled license
- A DWI arrest is made after fleeing a police officer
There are several defenses to vehicle forfeiture; however, they must be exercised in a timely manner in order to prevail. When faced with a vehicle forfeiture, you should respond within 30 days. This is why seeking help from a Minneapolis DWI attorney right away is so crucial.
Required Court Appearances
In addition to appearing before the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, you will also have several appearances in criminal court. The first is known as the arraignment hearing, during which time formal charges are read against you. It is as that hearing that you may be assigned a Minneapolis DWI attorney unless you have already retained legal counsel on your own.
A pretrial hearing will follow at a later date. During a pretrial hearing, a plea arrangement may be discussed, and the judge will be updated on the case. If the case cannot be resolved, it will then be set for trial.
During the criminal trial, a jury will be chosen. Next, both sides will present their arguments and will enter any evidence they feel is relevant. It will then be up to the jury to determine your guilt or innocence.
The effects may not be over after trial, as you could then be required to attend counseling or acquire SR-22 insurance. A criminal record could also make it difficult for you to find employment for many years to come.