I’ve Been Charged With A Felony DWI. What Does That Mean?

This is the fourth post in our series on DWI. If you are looking for information about misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor DWI, please check out our posts on first, second, or third DWI. DUI/DWI at any level is a serious charge in Minnesota. If you were recently arrested for a DWI, you should consult with a DWI Defense Attorney right away to review the specifics of your case.

Every case is unique, and we can’t provide a definite penalty for your charge. In this post we cover the potential penalties typical for felony DWI cases in Minnesota.

First, what is a Felony DWI?

In Minnesota, a felony is any crime where the sentence that may be imposed upon conviction is imprisonment more than one year. Under Minnesota law, First Degree Driving While Impaired is a felony.

First-Degree DWI Offense Criminal Penalties

It is a crime to drive, operate, or be in control of a motor vehicle in Minnesota under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and/or when a person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more. If you have already been convicted of three or more DWI(s) within the past ten years, you may be charged with a felony if you drive (or operate or control) a motor vehicle with a BAC over .08.

It is also possible to be charged with first-degree DWI if you have had fewer than three prior DWI convictions but have previously been convicted of certain felony criminal vehicular homicide or criminal vehicular operation crimes, or any prior felony DWI.

Because of Minnesota’s implied consent laws, refusal to take a test is a gross misdemeanor, and may be a felony under some circumstances. A test refusal will always be considered an additional charge to a DWI.

Fourth (or subsequent) DWI Offense Criminal Penalties