What are the degrees of DWI in Minnesota?

Posted by Eric Olson | Apr 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Minnesota DUI laws are segmented into first, second, third and fourth degrees. The lower the severity of the offense, the higher the degree of the charge. The degree of your DWI/DUI is based on what we call aggravating factors. Aggravating factors are prior DWI/DUI's in the past 10 years, having an alcohol concentration of .20, or having a child under the age of 16 in your car at the time of your arrest. Below you will find a more detailed definition of these offenses.

First Degree

A first degree DWI does not mean it is an individual's first DUI. The first-degree offense is the most severe and could mean prison time. A driver can be charged with a first-degree DWI if the current incident is their fourth DWI violation within 10 years. Another way to be charged with a first-degree DWI is if the driver has a previous felony DWI conviction or has a previous criminal vehicular homicide or injury substance related offense.

Second Degree

Minnesota DUI laws state a second-degree DWI is when two or more aggravating factors are present, not whether it is the driver's second DWI.  Second degree DWI is labeled as a gross misdemeanorand can be punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000fine. At a minimum, a judge is supposed to impose 90 days of incarceration.

Third Degree

A third-degree DWI results when one aggravating factor is present or the driver refuses to take a blood, breath or urine test. This is also labeled a gross misdemeanor. A third-degree DWI can be punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.  At a minimum, a judge is supposed to impose 30 days of incarceration.

Fourth Degree

A fourth-degree DUI in Minnesota is when zero factors from the above list are present.

Not only do DWI's come with the above-mentioned criminal penalties, you may also suffer license revocations. DWI lawyers are able to clearly define where you stand within the Minnesota DUI laws and help fight your case to help restore order in your life. Contact Eric Olson if you or a family member have been charged with a DWI/DUI.

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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