Drivers are arrested and accused of driving while intoxicated every day in the state of Minnesota, and not always lawfully. It is the responsibility of the courts and the defense to make sure no one is wrongfully convicted or unfairly penalized for their actions.
A Breathalyzer and handcuffs is not the end of the story if you are accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Not only can DWI accusations and tests be challenged, but penalties can also be minimized and charges can be dropped. A good defense attorney can challenge your DWI arrest and license revocation on multiple fronts. The law firm of Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. has a long history of fighting and winning these cases.
Arrested on suspicion of drunk driving (DWI/DUI)?
A DWI charge is serious and shouldn’t be accepted lightly or passively. If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. Your actions immediately following your arrest are the most consequential towards your case, which is why it’s important to have the best support possible.
Aggressive DWI Defense, Whatever The Charge…
The lawyers of Sheridan & Dulas, P. A. understand the potential impacts of a DWI charge and know how to fight it. Our team has represented people of all walks of life and handled every impaired driving scenario from first offense DWIs to boating while intoxicated (BWIs) to high profile DWIs. We understand the importance of discretion and the impact a DWI charge can have on a person’s life.
Because of the complexities of DWI cases, our attorneys are experienced in areas covering drug-related DWIs, repeat offenses, high-profile DWIs, underage offenders, and breath and urine testing.
The Stakes Are Too High To Simply Take A DWI Plea Bargain
The laws and penalties regarding impaired driving in Minnesota make plea bargains an unreasonable concession. This makes it all the more important to hire an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer. Our goal is to get charges dismissed or to win your acquittal at trial, because the penalties and collateral consequences of a DWI conviction are so severe and long-lasting. Where some attorneys see plea bargains as a best case scenario for a guilty client, we know that this is rarely the case.
Penalties for a DWI Charge in Minnesota
Minnesota has four levels of DWI for which a driver can be charged. A charge at any level can have impacts on day to day life, so even the least serious charge shouldn’t be taken lightly. These penalties often include jail time, fines, license revocation, treatment, vehicle forfeiture, and employer ramifications.
Most DWI charges see a combination of these penalties, the number and severity of which are determined by the degree of the DWI and whether or not there were any aggravating factors. Having prior convictions, a high BAC (over 0.16), having a child in the car at the time of the incident, and refusing a chemical test are all considered aggravating factors and will increase the charges.
A fourth degree DWI applies to drivers who are found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol without prior offenses or aggravating factors. Fourth-degree DWIs are classified as misdemeanors and are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines as well as any of the above penalties.
A third-degree DWI applies to drivers who are found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with one aggravating factor or a refusal without an aggravating factor. This is a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in county jail and $3,000 in fines, as well as any of the above penalties.
A second degree DWI applies to drivers who are found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with two aggravating factors or one aggravating factor and a refusal. This is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and $3,000 in fines, as well as any of the above penalties.
A first degree DWI applies to drivers who are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with three priors and/or a test refusal. This is a felony offense punishable by up to seven years in state prison and $14,000 in fines. A first degree DWI can also be subject to five years of “conditional release,” or extended parole, after their prison term is served.
Additional Charges for Injuring or Killing Someone Due to Driving Under the Influence
If the driver is responsible for the bodily injury or death of someone due to their DWI, they may face additional, very serious, charges. These include:
- Bodily harm, or Serious bodily harm: Up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000
- Injury of death to an unborn child: Up to five years in prison and up to ten years for death, or a fine of up to $20,000
- Death of a human being: Up to ten years in prison or a fine of up to $20,000
Don’t Let Your Rights Slip Away, Our Legal Team Is Ready To Help
We do not start off with the intention of pleading your case out. We prepare to fight the charges in court. We prepare to challenge your administrative license revocation.
The outcome of your criminal case and your driver’s license case depends on the timely involvement of a lawyer. Renowned defense lawyers Jeffrey Sheridan and Randall Kins provide proven DWI/DUI defense in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota. Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., has been named one of the Best Law Firms for DWI/DUI defense in America in a survey by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers every year since 2010. Our philosophy is that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by fighting a drunk driving charge. Contact our office to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. From our offices in Eagan, we handle DUI or DWI charges in Dakota County, the Twin Cities area, and statewide.
I blew over .08, and frankly I have to admit that I was drunk. Should I just plead guilty and accept the consequences?
Even if your breath test results indicate that you were over the limit, there may still be a way to get the DWI charge dismissed or reduced to a non-alcohol driving offense. Factors such as the legality of the stop, the validity of the breath test results and others could lead to a positive outcome. In the American justice system, the question is not whether you can prove your innocence, but whether the state can prove your guilt. Experienced counsel is the only way to make sure your rights are protected. Attorney Jeff Sheridan will carefully examine all aspects of your case.
I’ve been arrested for DWI. Can I get limited driving privileges?
The first step to restoring driving privileges is to initiate action against the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety within 60 days of being served your notice of revocation. An experienced attorney can file the necessary papers and represent you in a judicial hearing. If your blood alcohol level was less than .16, you will not be able to drive for 15 days, after which you may obtain a limited license allowing you to drive for certain purposes. If your blood alcohol level was greater than .16 or you have a prior DWI conviction, you will have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car to drive. In either case, winning your judicial challenge to the revocation will get your license back immediately and, most importantly, remove the reference to the revocation from your driving record.
I refused to take the breath test. What are my options?
We can and should still fight the criminal charges and the license revocation based on lack of a legal cause to stop you and many other factors. It is vitally important that a challenge to the revocation be filed within 60 days or, no matter what happens in your criminal case, you will have a DWI on your record for life. Attorney Jeff Sheridan can review your case and provide further guidance based on the circumstances.
How do I get my driver’s license restored while my case is pending?
To restore your driver’s license you will have to apply for a new license, pay a $680 reinstatement fee, take a “rules of the road” test and a DWI knowledge test. If you pay the fee and we are successful in defeating your license revocation, the reinstatement fee will be refunded to you. Therefore, there is no reason not to get back on the road as soon as possible.
How do I get an ignition interlock device installed on my car?
In order to install an ignition interlock device, you must first obtain a restricted driver’s license. After that, you must:
- Pass the DWI knowledge test
- Pay a $680 reinstatement fee
- Apply for a new Class D driver’s license
- Sign and date the Ignition Interlock Participation Agreement
- Submit a Certificate of Insurance for the vehicle to be equipped with the device that is non-cancelable for a period not to exceed 12 months
- Sign the Special Review Awareness form (if required)
- Satisfy all requirements for any prior withdrawals
- Arrange for the installation of the ignition interlock with one of the six vendors approved by Driver and Vehicle Services