If you are facing your second DWI charge in the last ten years, you’re up against a more serious charge this time around. One possible aggravating factor in Minnesota is having one or more previous DWI convictions in the last decade, which means the severity of your charges will automatically be increased. Minnesota’s impaired driving penalties can be quite severe, so when you’re facing a second offense DWI in Minnesota, it pays to work with an experienced DWI lawyer.
Minnesota Second Offense DWI Laws
Minnesota levels of DWI charges are largely based on how many (if any) previous DWI convictions a defendant has. They range from fourth degree to first degree DWI, with the former being a standard first-time DWI charge.
If you have previously been convicted of DWI, you may have a good grasp on the factors the prosecution must prove to obtain a conviction. If it’s been a while since your last conviction, it’s best to brush up on the definition of driving while impaired: driving, operating, or being in physical control of a motor vehicle while:
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Having a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of at least .08%
- Knowingly being under the influence of a hazardous substance that can significantly impair driving abilities
- Having any amount of a Schedule I or II drug in the body (with the exception of marijuana)
Minnesota’s DWI laws are constructed to make subsequent DWIs within a ten year period more serious than the original charge. The second time you are charged with DWI in Minnesota, you will be faced with a gross misdemeanor.
Minnesota Second Offense DWI Penalty
The penalties for DWI are twofold: first, there are the criminal penalties. These penalties, such as fines and jail time, are implemented once the defendant is convicted, although you may still spend time in jail before your bail is set. The maximum penalty for a second DWI is one year of jail time and a fine of $3,000.00.
There are also administrative sanctions that will affect you as soon as you are arrested. These penalties are administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. For a second DWI charge in ten years, the administrative penalties include plate impoundment and driver’s license revocation for at least a year. Plate impoundment refers to what are commonly called “whiskey plates” in Minnesota. The defendant must surrender the license plates of all vehicles in their name (even if they are driven by another family member). If they would like to drive these vehicles again, they must apply for whiskey plates. This is incredibly inconvenient for the entire family, and it can be embarrassing to have whiskey plates on your vehicles – especially if your spouse or child is the primary driver. Fortunately, recent law changes make it possible for us to avoid whiskey plates for our clients in many cases.
DWI-DUI Lawyers in Minnesota
Clearly, it’s incredibly important to take your DWI charge seriously to avoid significant penalties. If you’re facing a second DWI charge in ten years, you will need the timely advice of an experienced DWI defense attorney. As soon as you or a loved one has been arrested for DWI, contact Sieben Edmunds Miller. Our criminal defense attorneys have dedicated their practice to representing and protecting the rights of the accused. We have the legal experience needed to craft a successful defense while ensuring that your rights are protected. Call our office at (651) 994-6744 or submit your information and we’ll be in touch shortly.
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