If you’ve been charged with a DWI, we understand how difficult this is for you. Clients often come to us feeling shameful, embarrassed, desperate and remorseful - worried how it will affect their job, their lives and the lives of their loved ones. These feelings are normal, and it's our job to make sure you're more at ease throughout the process. Although it's a stressful time, you have many options, which we will fully explain.
Driving while impaired is an ever evolving crime in the State of Minnesota. It seems as if year after year, the Legislature enacts new measures in an attempt to discourage people from driving after they've been drinking. These measures often have the effect of greatly increasing the punishment you could face if convicted.
Although the area of DWI has become increasingly difficult to defend, there are still ways to fight the charges. There are various procedures that a police officer is required to follow, and in a certain order, from the moment they suspect you’ve been drinking and driving. Failure to follow the proper procedures can result in a case being dismissed. The experienced defense lawyers at Heefner Nelson Law will ensure every aspect of the case is vigorously investigated, and your rights are fully protected.
- A first offense with a test of .08 or more, but less than .20
- A first offense in ten years with a test of .08 or more, but less than .20
Maximum Penalty: 90 days in jail and/or $1000 fine
Gross Misdemeanor DWI:
- A first offense with a test refusal
- A first offense with a test of .20 or greater
- A second offense in ten years
- A third offense in ten years
Maximum Penalty: 1 year in jail and/or a $3000 fine
- A fourth offense in ten years
- Any offense if previously convicted of felony DWI
Maximum Penalty: 7 years in prison and/or a $14,000 fine
Click the link below to download the MN Department of Public Safety -
Revocation Time Period Chart
Driver’s License Penalties: (beginning July 1, 2011)
If an individual is charged with DWI, there are various ramifications that come into play. The following is a list of license revocation periods in the State of Minnesota:
- A first offense with a test of .08 or more
Penalty: 90 day revocation, limited license after 15 days
- A first offense with a test of .16 or more
- A first offense with a test refusal
Penalty: 1 year
- A second offense in ten years with a test of .08 or more
- A second offense in ten years with a test of .16 or more
- A second offense in ten years with a test refusal
- A third offense in ten years with a test of .08 or more
- A third offense in ten years with a test of .16 or more
- A third offense in ten years with a test refusal
- A fourth or more offense
*In some circumstances, driving privileges may be reinstated by installing an ignition interlock system on your vehicle.
In order to protect your rights, you have 30 days from the date of your arrest (or, in the case of urine or blood testing, 30 days from the date of revocation) to file an Implied Consent Petition to challenge the revocation or cancellation of your license.
License Plate Impoundment:
Certain DWI offenses trigger a provision in the law that requires the police officer to impound your license plates and forces you to purchase special registration, or “whiskey” plates, which must be put on every car you own and remain for a minimum of 1 year. The following are the circumstances under which the provision is triggered:
1. First offense with a test .20 or greater
2. Second offense within 10 years
3. First offense with child under age 16
4. Driving while license is cancelled as "inimical of public safety"
Under certain circumstances, an officer can seize your vehicle and initiate forfeiture proceedings. If this happens, it means that the State of Minnesota intends to keep your vehicle and, more likely than not, sell it at auction. The following are circumstances when an officer can initiate this process:
1. Felony DWI
2. Third offense within 10 years
3. Second offense within 10 years if certain factors apply
4. Charged with DWI and license is cancelled as "inimical of public safety"
5. Charged with DWI and license has a “no use” restriction
In order to protect your rights, you have to file a Petition to challenge the forfeiture of your vehicle within 30 days of your arrest.