DWI Defense

If you've been charged with a DWI, you need a lawyer who will do more than hold your hand and plead you guilty. You need a lawyer who will fight for you.

The consequences of a DWI conviction and a license revocation in Minnesota are lifelong. The window to fight drunk driving charges and keep your record clear is limited, and the clock is ticking.

Call today to discuss your case with DWI defense attorneys Jeffrey Sheridan and Randall Kins.

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Experienced Counsel

The Stakes Are Too High

Impaired driving laws and penalties in Minnesota are so severe that the usual plea bargains often lead to unreasonable concessions. This makes it even more important to hire an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer.

We force the state to prove their case, not simply show you how to plead guilty at the first opportunity. Where some attorneys see quick guilty pleas as a best-case scenario for a client, we know this is rarely the case. You need an attorney who demands the state provide all the evidence related to your charges and takes the time to go through it. Anything less leaves you without a full defense.

When officers fail to follow their training, it helps your case and gives us something to fight about in court. The only way to find out if officers made a mistake with your case is by hiring experienced attorneys to defend your case.

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Tenacious Representation

Your Window To Fight Is Closing

When you are arrested for DWI in Minnesota two things happen. First, your driving privileges are revoked. Second, you are charged with a crime. You only have 60 days from the date your license is taken away to challenge the revocation and your 60 days are likely already ticking away. Second, you are charged with the crime of DWI. Even if you are found not guilty of the crime of DWI, the revocation of your driving privileges can remain on your driving record for the rest of your life.

Hiring us to represent you means police officers and breath tests don’t get to convict you of a crime and taint your driving record for the rest of your life. It’s not your job to prove you're innocent of a DWI charge. It’s the state's job to prove you're guilty. We uncover every detail in your case and hold the state’s feet to the fire. We do everything possible to help you avoid a DWI conviction and permanent stain on your driving record.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by hiring us to fight for you.

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DWI Penalties

There are four degrees of DWI under Minnesota law, which are based on the following factors and circumstances.

First-degree DWI

Test refusal or DWI/DUI with three previous DUI/DWI convictions. This is a felony, punishable by up to 7 years in state prison and fines of up to $14,000, as well as a variety of other penalties and release conditions (parole) after release from jail.

Second-degree DWI

Test refusal with one aggravating factor or failing a DWI test with two aggravating factors will result in second-degree DUI. This is a gross misdemeanor, carrying penalties of up to 1 year in county jail and $3,000 in fines.

Third-degree DWI

Drivers who refuse a BAC test or who are found to be under the influence with one aggravating factor will be charged with third-degree DWI. This is a gross misdemeanor, carrying penalties up to 1 year in county jail and up to $3,000 in fines.

Fourth-degree DWI

Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol with no aggravating factors will be charged with a misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI, which can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.


Reviews For Sheridan, Dulas & Kins, P.A.

See what our clients are saying.


I could not have asked for a better outcome with a committed lawyer. I would highly recommend Randall Kins to those who need the right representation. Thanks again Randall for the great job you have done.


Randall and his team helped me with my case in a very professional way. I have never experienced anything like this before and Randall took the time to explain to me every single detail more than once. Is a very complicated system and he totally took the time to explain it to me. I would totally hire him and his law firm.


Randall was extremely helpful regarding my DUI case. I had no idea how to precede or what to expect as this was my first offense. He gave great advice regarding my case and he never rushed anything and kept me updated along the way throughout the long process. He was able to negotiate to get my license back while we waited for the final ruling which was very helpful. I had a great outcome on my case and would recommend him to anyone looking for an attorney.


I met with Randall due to my 3rd Degree DWI charge. I was shaken, I was scared (because who wouldn't be). He made me feel at ease. He was very informative on how a DWI case goes, there are 2 cases to be fought out. When I told my peers about that, they were surprised because they didn't even know there were 2 sides to a DWI charge. He will fight tooth and nail to get every piece of evidence, study all that is given to him and make sure that you are satisfied with the outcome. I would just like to say that the outcome that I received on my case is the best that I could have ever hoped for. It went from a 3rd Degree DWI down to Careless Driving. I won my case with a lesser charge and I am truly happy about it. All this could not have been possible without the knowledge, trust, and hard work that Randall did for me.


Immediately after I was involved in a DWI incident I contacted Mr. Kins. During a free consultation, he actively listened to my story and made me feel comfortable. I hired him immediately and he continued to be a great resource and trusted attorney. Throughout my complicated two-year case, he maintained professionalism and always had my best interest in mind. The result of my court case turned out better than I could have expected, and I would recommend him to anyone that needs a competent and trusted attorney.

Vanessa B.

They made a very difficult time for me as quick and as painless as possible.


Randall was professional and got better results than I anticipated! He has his client's best interests at heart and works hard to achieve outstanding results.


I retained Mr. Sheridan based on reviews from this very site. Those reviews were not wrong. Through a long drawn-out process he never wavered. He guided me in every aspect of the ordeal. He stuck with me till the end. And in the end, the charges were dismissed due largely I believe cause he never stopped fighting for me. I would recommend Mr. Sheridan to anyone in a heartbeat.


Randall took what looked like an unwinnable situation and was able to reduce my DUI to reckless driving. I highly recommend retaining him. He talks to you straight and gives you the facts and what your options are.


Professionalism, smart strategy, expert advice, and kindness make for the exact right combination when a person confronts difficult challenges. The law firm of SHERIDAN & DULAS, P.A., and Randall Kins are exceptional attorneys. They are both professional and personal; providing me with services that made a difficult situation better and provided an amazing outcome for its resolution. I found myself in a terrible situation that threatened all aspects of my life and without the expertise of Randall Kins and his law firm I would have been lost. I highly recommend them and their services. I cannot imagine what I would have done without their help. Thank you so much Randall Kins and SHERIDAN & DULAS, P.A.

Let's Fight This Together

Building the Best DWI Defense

When you fight a DWI charge, you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. The worst things the state can do to you have already happened. Perhaps you have already spent a night in jail. You have also lost your license. Whatever the case may be, fighting your DWI charge in court can only make things better. We will give you the best opportunity to defend your freedom and protect your future from a DWI conviction.

At Sheridan, Dulas & Kins, P.A., we never look for quick and easy plea deals. Our clients want to fight their DWI charges, and we do just that. We never back down from a DWI trial, and our team is willing to take any case to a jury if that is the best way to avoid a DWI conviction.

If you are ready to fight your DWI charge, contact our office today. Let’s discuss the specific facts of your case and develop a strategy specifically designed to give you the best defense against DWI conviction.

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DWI Criminal Penalties

Along with administrative penalties, all DWIs will carry criminal penalties. These will vary depending on the degree of the DWI charge, which is split into four “degrees.” Fourth-degree DWIs are the least serious, while first-degree DWIs are the most serious.

Fourth-degree DWIs are misdemeanors, and may be penalized with up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Most first-time offenders are charged with a fourth-degree DWI.

Third and second-degree DWIs are “gross misdemeanors,” with potential penalties of up to one year in county jail and $3,000 in fines. You may be charged with a third or second-degree DWI if you refuse a chemical test, you are a repeat offender, or there are other “aggravating factors” like a child in the car, or a BAC that’s over 0.16.

First-degree DWIs are felonies. You will be charged with a first-degree DWI only if you have three previous DWI/DUI convictions within the preceding 10 years. This is punishable with up to 7 years in state prison and a fine of up to $14,000. Those convicted of felony DWI will also be subject to a variety of other penalties and release conditions after being released from jail.

What Happens To My Driver’s License After A DWI?

First-time offenders will have their driver’s license revoked for up to 90 days. This increases to 1 year if a chemical test was refused, or a BAC of 0.16% or higher was present. In addition, your plates will be impounded if your BAC was over 0.16%, or a passenger younger than 16 was in the vehicle. Persons with prior DWIs can have their licenses revoked for up to 6 years.

If you wish to continue driving during this period, you must either:

  • Pay for the installation and all related costs of an ignition interlock device (IID).
  • Apply for a limited license to drive to work, school, or treatment after 15 days of no driving. This is not applicable to offenders with a BAC over 0.16 or with prior DWIs on their record.

Once the revocation period is over, the revocation will not end until you pay a driver’s license examination fee, DWI reinstatement fee, and applicable plate impoundment fees to recover your driving privileges.

Further Ramifications of a DWI

A DWI can hurt more than just your personal driver’s license and your wallet, it can hurt your employability.  Even a first-offense DWI can lead to the revocation or reduced ability to obtain a commercial driver’s license. If part of your job requires driving you may lose your job or see a significant wage decrease if these penalties are enforced. You could also see a permanent criminal charge on your record, which could impact future employability.

Another serious financial impact of a DWI charge, even if it is the first offense, is the increased insurance rates. Most insurance companies see a DWI charge and an indicator of increased risk and charge those convicted higher premiums. Just as with any other criminal charge, even a misdemeanor can follow you for the rest of your life. This is why it is vital to ensure that you have the best defense possible immediately after your DWI arrest.

Frequently Asked Questions About DWI

What Is The Difference Between DWI/DUI?

There is no difference between these terms. DWI means “Driving While Impaired,” and DUI means “Driving Under the Influence.” Technically speaking, Minnesota law uses the term DWI, but in practice, these terms are completely interchangeable.

What Is The Legal Limit In Minnesota?

The legal blood alcohol concentration limit in Minnesota is .08. However, it’s also important to note that you can be charged with DWI even if you are under the legal limit. If the officer believes that you are under the influence or are impaired, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI even if you test below the 0.8 limit.

Can I Refuse A Field Sobriety Test?

Yes. You have a legal right to refuse field sobriety testing. This is also true of a breath test conducted in the field, also known as a PBT. You can refuse any of these roadside tests.

However, even if you refuse these tests, you may still be arrested if the officer believes you are intoxicated. This is where some people get confused. After they arrest you, the officer can then take you to a hospital or police station for a “evidentiary” chemical test of your blood, urine, or breath. 

You cannot refuse this test without consequences. Refusing an evidentiary test is a crime and can result in a longer license revocation.

What Should I Do If An Officer Asks If I Have Been Drinking?

You have a constitutional right to safeguard yourself against self-incrimination. This means that if an officer asks you if you have been drinking, you could say “I would prefer not to say,” or request to speak to your attorney. You have a right to consult with your attorney before you submit to a breath test, so long as it does not unreasonably delay the administration of the test.

Will I Lose My License After A DWI?

If you are arrested with a BAC of .08 or more and are charged with A DUI, you may lose your driving privileges for a period of time. The length of the revocation will depend on a few different factors, such as your BAC, a history of past DUIs, whether you were involved in an accident, and other such circumstances. Regardless of the length, you can obtain either limited or restricted driving privileges during the revocation period.

At Sheridan, Dulas & Kins, P.A., our attorneys fight for you in both criminal and civil court - helping you keep your driving privileges and maintain your freedom.

Will I Have To Go To Jail For A DWI?

If you are arrested for a DWI, you may be taken into the police station for processing and put in jail until your information has been processed and you can be released. However, if the arrest is your second or you tested .16 or more, you will likely be held in custody until you have seen a judge and bail is set.

However, it is unlikely that you will face any jail time as part of your penalties if you’re a first-time DUI offender, and there were no aggravating factors, such as having a child in the car or being involved in an accident. Under Minnesota law, first-time offenders can face a $1,000 fine (BAC under 0.16) and 90 days in jail, or a $3,000 fine (BAC over 0.16) and a year in jail.

In practice, actual jail time is extremely rare for these cases. It’s more likely that you will have to submit to EHM (Electronic Home Monitoring) or REAM (Remote Electronic Alcohol Monitoring) in lieu of any kind of jail time. You may also be required to do community service, or complete certain driver education programs related to DWI/DUI. 

However, repeat offenders are more likely to have to spend time in jail. Second and third DUI offenses carry heavy penalties, and the fourth DUI offense in 10 years is considered a felony, and could carry up to 7 years in prison.

Do I Need An Attorney If I’m Charged With A DUI In Minnesota?

The short answer is “Absolutely.” No matter what the situation may be, hiring an experienced DWI attorney is the best way to protect your rights after you have been charged with a DWI.

DWI attorneys understand every aspect of the law. Not only can an attorney help you build a better defense and protect yourself from these charges, but they will also assist you as you navigate the complexities of the process, which is very helpful for first-time offenders who may not understand how DWIs in Minnesota work.

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