Most first time DWI offenses in Minnesota are misdemeanors. The crime is called Fourth Degree DWI. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor Fourth Degree DWI is 90 days in local jail and a $1,000 fine, just like all misdemeanors. However, many DWI crimes are charged out as higher level offenses called gross misdemeanors or even felonies. Today I’ll talk about some of the ways that the law allows the government to use this enhanced type of charging. DWIs are charged out based on the number of aggravating factors that are present. Under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 169A.03, aggravating factors can include prior offenses, a child under 16 in the vehicle, or an alcohol concentration test at or above 0.20. Refusing to test also enhances the charging level, though it’s not designated as an aggravating factor under the statute. One aggravating factor (or refusal) will lead to a gross misdemeanor Third Degree DWI charge. Any combination of two aggravating factors (or refusing to test plus one aggravating factor) will get you a more serious gross misdemeanor charge called Second Degree DWI. Felony DWIs are called First Degree DWI. Aggravating factors don’t come into play in considering whether a felony level DWI is present. Instead, all that matters are the subject’s prior offenses. First Degree DWI can only be had where the person has either 1) three prior offenses within 10 years or 2) a prior felony DWI type offense.
Check out this page for more information on DWIs in Minnesota – https://siebenedmunds.com/dwi-lawyer. Sieben Edmunds PLLC is ready to defend you against DWI charges at any level.