Posted: October 8, 2015
In Minnesota there are varying degrees of driving while impaired (DWI) offenses. An individual can be charged with a DWI for operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration that is .08 or over. If “aggravating factors” are present, then the driver will face a more severe charge and stiffer penalties if convicted.
An “aggravating factor” can occur in one of three scenarios. According to Minnesota Statute 169A.03, an aggravating factor includes:
- A prior impaired driving incident within the ten years immediately preceding the current offense
- An alcohol concentration of .16 or more, or
- Having a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle who is more than 36 months younger than the offender.
What will I be charged with if an aggravating factor is present?
If one aggravating factor is present while violating Minnesota Statute 169A.20, then you will be charged with a 3rd degree gross misdemeanor DWI. Two or more aggravating factors leads to a 2nd degree gross misdemeanor DWI.
What happens if this is my first DWI and an aggravating factor is present?
Let’s say that you are pulled over, arrested, and charged with a DWI. We will also assume that this is your very first offense. Normally you would be charged with a 4th degree DWI for driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. Matters are complicated when you have a child in the vehicle or an alcohol concentration of .16 or more. This automatically turns your first-time offense into a more serious 3rd degree DWI, a gross misdemeanor instead of just a misdemeanor.
If you are charged with a DWI, then you need an experienced attorney to take a closer look at all the facts and evidence in your case. We at DWI defense attorney Mendota Heights, Minnesota Sieben Edmunds PLLC strive to ensure that our clients get the very best defense. You can reach us by phone at 651-994-6744 or visit our contact page to find out how we can help you.
Stay tuned for the next installment in this DWI blog series!