Minnesota staggered sentencing: what is it?

Posted by Eric Olson | Mar 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

In our previous blog posts we've talked about the potential penalties that come with a DWI conviction under Minnesota Statute 169A.20. Today we'll take a look at another potential outcome of a DWI conviction: staggered sentencing.

Staggered sentencing, Minnesota Statute 169A.275 Subdivision 6(b), provides an alternative to longer jail time for repeat DWI offenders. Isanti County District Judge James E. Dehn is credited with devising the program specifically for these instances.Individuals convicted of a gross misdemeanor or a felony will face the same sentence they normally would, but under staggered sentencing the jail time is broken down into equal segments and spread out over three consecutive years or more.

Offenders must serve this first segment but before they serve their second, they will be enrolled in a “structured sobriety group,” as required by statute. Terms of the sentence may also include abstinence from alcohol and participation in community service. These terms are determined by the sentencing judge.

The offender also has the right, before being sent back to jail, to move the Court to have a segment of incarceration stayed, which is decided by the original sentencing judge. Before the offender can bring such a motion, they must participate in a remote electronic alcohol-monitoring program for 30 days, at the direction of their probation agent. Once the motion is brought forward, the judge may choose to stay a subsequent segment of monitoring or even a segment of incarceration. Results of the 30-day monitoring program are taken into account prior to the judge's decision, as are opinions of the probation agent.

If it is deemed that the offender has complied with the terms of his staggered sentence, the individual may be allowed to complete their sentence through home monitoring or house arrest instead of jail. The offender's failure to comply with the terms of the staggered sentence while at home will result in strictly-enforced consequences.

If you are facing DWI charges, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.

About the Author

Eric Olson

Eric J. Olson has dedicated his career exclusively to criminal law, with a focus onDWI defense. For the past 16 years, Mr. Olson has developed a reputation in the legal community as an aggressive, compassionate advocate for his clients.


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