Prosecutors throughout Minnesota aggressively pursue driving while impaired (DWI) charges. Due to the public outcry regarding these cases, it is not unusual for the state to seek substantial penalties upon a conviction – especially in cases that involve a repeat offender.
If you are convicted of DWI, you can expect your life to change for the worse in a number of ways. Some of these consequences might be temporary, but many have the potential to last a lifetime.
The good news is that your arrest for DWI does not guarantee your conviction. With a strong defense and the right Minneapolis DWI Defense lawyer by your side, you can obtain a favorable outcome in your DWI case. To learn more about your defense options, contact the attorneys of Gerald Miller right away.
You Risk Jail Time
The potential for jail time is the primary concern of most people arrested for DWI. Depending on a series of aggravating factors, the jail term that comes with a DWI conviction could be substantial.
For most first-time offenders, their stay in jail immediately following their arrest will be the only time they spend behind bars. Other circumstances could see those potential penalties increase, however. In some cases, a DWI can carry a minimum jail term.
One of the primary factors that can impact the jail term you might serve is your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest. Your BAC is a measure of the amount of alcohol within your bloodstream. If your BAC registers at .16 or above, you could face steeper penalties.
Another important factor that determines your potential sentencing range is the number of prior DWI convictions you have accrued. The state will not count all of your previous misdemeanor convictions, but only those that occurred in the 10 years preceding this arrest. With enough previous arrests, you could face a felony charge as well as the lengthy prison terms that come with a conviction.
You Face Substantial Fines
On top of a jail term, you also risk monetary fines upon conviction for DWI. Because we’re experienced DWI Defense attorneys in Minneapolis, we know these fines top at $1,000 for the lowest level misdemeanor. For the highest level of misdemeanor, you could face a minimum fine of $900 and a maximum fine of $3,000. While the court has the power to waive these fines due to financial hardship, there is no guarantee that will occur in your case.
The fines that come with a felony DWI conviction are much steeper. The court has the power to levy a fine of up to $14,000 on top of any jail time they might also order. This is on top of any court costs, license suspension fees, or restitution the court could order.
You Lose Your Driving Privileges
A DWI conviction also results in the loss of your driving privileges. The amount of time you could be without a driver’s license depends on the severity of the charge. While first-time offenders could face a 90-day suspension, it could stretch to as much as two years for higher-level misdemeanors.
For a third or fourth DWI conviction, the state will cancel a driver’s license as “inimical to public policy.” Getting a license back after this cancellation due to a third DWI can be challenging. It can take years of alcohol testing and ignition interlock device use before the courts will agree to reinstate the license in full. This suspension could last up to six years in cases of a fourth offense.
You Face Collateral Consequences
There are other consequences you might not expect to come with a DWI conviction. These consequences could include:
- Vehicle forfeiture
- Difficulty maintaining employment
- Difficulty obtaining housing
- Immigration consequences
- Child custody complications
- Loss of voting or firearm rights
The Reputed Minneapolis DWI Lawyers of Gerald Miller Can Help
Much of what can happen to you following a DWI conviction could alter your life forever. The good news is that many DWI arrests are defensible. If you avoid a conviction through the help of a skilled DWI attorney in Minneapolis, you will not have to face any of the hardships described above. The attorneys of Gerald Miller are ready to review your case and discuss your defense options. Call on (612) 440-4610 right away to schedule your free case evaluation.