Criminal Consequences of a DWI/DUI

Minnesota drivers charged with DWI/DUI face the possibility of serious criminal consequences.  Depending on the severity of the charges, criminal consequences can include jail time, mandatory treatment, heavy fines, and supervised probation.  A conviction can limit your ability to travel to other countries, including Canada.  Minnesota law also requires all drivers convicted of a DWI/DUI offense to complete a chemical dependency evaluation and any classes or treatment programs that evaluation may recommend. 

The length of time a driver will spend in jail and the conditions of probation generally depend on the severity of the offense, which is determined by the number of "aggravating factors" at issue.  Under Minnesota law, a prior conviction within 10 years, a blood alcohol content of 0.16 or more, or the presence of a child under 16 in the vehicle are all "aggravating factors" that will increase the seriousness of the offense.  A driver who refuses to submit to a test will also be charged with a more serious offense.  

First Time, Fourth Degree Offense:

Olson Defense has helped many drivers charged with misdemeanor fourth degree DWI/DUI avoid jail time entirely.  Olson Defense can also guide drivers charged with this offense to educational classes they can complete online at their convenience.  Many of our clients charged with this offense ultimately receive unsupervised probation, with perhaps a couple days of community work service or work crew, also known as "sentence to service."

First Time, Third Degree Offense:

When a first time offender has a test result over 0.16, has a child under 16 in the vehicle, or refuses to submit to a test, then he or she can be charged with a gross misdemeanor offense and may be held in jail after their arrest.  Although a gross misdemeanor offense is more serious than a misdemeanor, the attorneys at Olson Defense have helped many drivers charged with this offense obtain early release from jail after their arrest and a sentence substantially similar to what might be expected in a misdemeanor case.

Second Offense in Ten Years:

A driver convicted of a second DWI/DUI offense within ten years of the first offense faces a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail.  Probation is generally also much more intense, requiring drivers to remain in contact with a probation officer, abstain from alcohol, and submit to random tests of urine to ensure abstinence.  Olson Defense has helped many drivers in this situation avoid the mandatory minimum jail time and minimize the burden of probation.

Third Offense in Ten Years:

Minnesota law requires a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail for a driver charged with a third offense in a ten-year period.  Prosecutors also often seek the maximum probationary period of 6 years in these cases.  Again, Olson Defense has helped clients charged with a third DUI/DWI to avoid mandatory minimums and excessive probation.

Fourth Offense in Ten Years:

The most serious DUI/DWI charges are reserved for drivers who commit a fourth offense in a ten year period.  A driver arrested for a fourth DWI/DUI in ten years will be charged with a felony and will face a mandatory minimum 180 days in jail.  These drivers can also be placed on probation for up to 7 years with strict requirements.  Olson Defense has represented many drivers charged with felony DWI/DUI, and, in some cases, have helped these drivers avoid jail entirely, even after a conviction.

Any DWI/DUI offense is serious under Minnesota law.  When the evidence is strong, prosecutors must be convinced that mandatory minimums and strict probation are not necessary.  If you, a family member, or a friend has been arrested for or charged with DWI/DUI, please call Olson Defense at 952-835-1088 to discuss how our lawyers can fight your case. 

Olson Defense, PLLC

Whether you need assistance evaluating your DWI or criminal case, guidance on a current situation or advice when the police are at your door, legal help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges or a DWI, contact Olson Defense. We are always glad to meet with you for a free consultation at our office, in the Twin Cities metro area, or any convenient location. If you find yourself in jail or any emergency situation, call Olson Defense before you talk to the police.