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What You Need to Know About Mandatory Minimums for DWI Charges in Minnesota

by | Feb 16, 2023 | DUI/DWI

Intoxicated driving is a serious criminal offense in Minnesota. It is also one of the most common criminal charges filed in the state. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, an average of 68 people are arrested each day statewide. A conviction for any type of DWI charge carries the risk of jail time in Minnesota—even a first time offense. Any subsequent DWI (second or more) conviction carries a mandatory minimum jail term in our state. Here, our Mankato DWI defense lawyer explains the key things to know about mandatory minimums for intoxicated driving charges in Minnesota.

Minnesota Law: Mandatory Minimums for Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth DWI Convictions

A first-time DWI is a serious matter. As stated previously, a conviction for even a first-time DWI can carry significant criminal penalties in Minnesota, potentially including fines, the suspension of your driver’s license and even jail time. Any subsequent DWI charge carries the risk of a mandatory minimum jail term. Here is an overview of the mandatory minimums for DWIs in Minnesota:

  • Second-Time DWI Offense: At least 48 hours in jail. For each day fewer than 30 days spent in jail, the defendant must also perform 8 hours of community service.
  • Third-Time DWI Offense: 90 days in jail, with at least 30 days being served consecutively.
  • Fourth-Time DWI Offense: 180 days in jail, with at least 30 days being served consecutively.
  • Fifth-Time DWI Offense: 365 days in jail, with at least 60 days being served consecutively.

It is important to clarify that these mandatory minimum penalties apply if the DWI convictions are within the same ten-year period. A DWI conviction from 30 years ago is not counted against a person in Minnesota—at least in the context of a mandatory minimum. Of course, not everyone who is convicted of a DWI gets the minimum sentence. Quite the contrary, prosecutors can and do pursue the maximum possible criminal punishment in many cases.

Be Proactive: Professional Representation Can Make the Difference

DWI arrests, especially for a second or third time, carry severe penalties in Minnesota. It’s crucial to seek professional representation in such cases to minimize the potential consequences. A Mankato, MN DWI defense attorney can help navigate the complex legal system and protect your rights. Your lawyer can also help negotiate with the prosecution and provide an objective analysis of the evidence. Moreover, a skilled DWI defense lawyer in Minnesota may be able to reduce the charges, secure a favorable plea agreement, or even get the case dismissed.

Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a DWI Defense Attorney in Mankato, MN

At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Mankato criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience defending intoxicated driving charges. Arrested? You need strong professional representation. Give us a phone call now or send us a direct message to set up your completely confidential initial appointment. With an office in Mankato, defend DWI charges throughout the area, including in Albert Lea, Faribault, St. Peter, New Ulm, and Rochester.