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Many people fail to take charges of driving while impaired (DWI) as seriously as they should. DWI seems to be a more acceptable criminal offense among many social groups, however, you should always know that the law and authorities in Minnesota take this offense extremely seriously, and a conviction can disrupt your life in many ways.
When a court convicts you of DWI, the judge will order a sentence specific to the circumstances of your case. The maximum penalties can be surprisingly serious and may include the following:
If you had a child in the car at the time of the DWI, you can face the gross misdemeanor charges and penalties no matter what your BAC measured. As you can see, DWI penalties are costly – both for your finances and your freedom. Most people do not realize how serious the penalties for even a first offense can be.
Once you have one DWI conviction, the situation becomes much more serious if you are accused of DWI again. The penalties may increase, as follows:
As you can see, judges can impose stricter penalties for subsequent DWI convictions, so you should always seek to avoid even a first conviction whenever you can. If you already have one or more DWI convictions on your record and face charges again, you need a highly skilled DWI defense lawyer who can work to prevent another conviction on your record.
Court-ordered penalties can be costly enough, though you should also consider additional lasting consequences of having a DWI conviction on your record. Having any criminal record can affect your life in many ways, especially a conviction for DWI. The following are only some of many possible collateral consequences of a DWI conviction:
There could be a variety of additional collateral consequences depending on your situation.
Many people believe they have no way to fight a DWI charge, especially if a breathalyzer or blood test showed they were over the legal limit. This is far from the case, however, and you should always discuss your options with an experienced DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. Our lawyers regularly and aggressively defend against DWI charges, and some defenses may include:
Of course, possible defenses can only be identified by examining the specific facts of your individual case, so do not wait to consult with one of our attorneys today.
The legal team at the Capitol City Law Group has fought zealously against DWI charges for many clients in the St. Paul area. If you were arrested on suspicion of DWI or any other criminal offense, contact us online or call 651.212.4073 to set up your free case evaluation.