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Can You Avoid Jail Time After Getting a DUI in Minneapolis?

If you have been arrested under suspicion of driving while impaired—or DWI—in Minneapolis, you could be facing a wide range of penalties. Many drivers lose their license or even their vehicle. Steep fines are a possibility. But the most significant penalty associated with DWI is incarceration.

DWI arrests are common in Minnesota. According to the Department of Public Safety, there are 68 DWI arrests on average each day throughout the state. That means that thousands of Minneapolis residents face these charges each year. The good news is that there are ways to fight back with the help of an experienced DWI lawyer.

An arrest for DWI in Minneapolis does not have to mean jail time. In some cases, a DWI lawyer could help you negotiate a fair plea bargain that avoids time behind bars. In other cases, your legal counsel could avoid a conviction altogether. Let the attorneys of Gerald Miller help you avoid jail time in your DWI case.


When is Jail Time Likely following a DWI Arrest in Minneapolis?

Every conviction for DWI in Minneapolis carries with it the risk of incarceration. While this is only one of the penalties that might apply, incarceration is often the primary concern for those charged with DWI.

The penalties for a DWI conviction vary depending on a number of factors. One of the most important factors is the number of previous DWI conviction you have on your record. Of course, not every prior conviction will count against you. To determine the penalties associated with your case, the court will consider any DWI convictions received in the previous 10 years. Other factors that can impact your time behind bars include the results of your breathalyzer test and the presence of minor children in the car at the time of your arrest.


First Offenses

Like with any DWI case, incarceration is possible even for first-time offenders. According to the law, the maximum penalty for a first-offense DWI is 90 days in jail. In reality, most first-time offenders will not be sentenced to additional jail time beyond what they served the night of their arrest. However, there are factors that could increase these penalties. You could face up to a year in jail if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .16 or higher. These additional penalties could also apply if you refused to give a breath sample after your arrest.


Second Offenses

The maximum fine for a second offense is the same as a first offense. However, there are mandatory minimum sentences that apply for a second DWI. According to the law, you must spend at least 48 hours behind bars for a second conviction. This could also be spent in a workhouse or through community service if the judge approves.


Third Offenses

The third DWI conviction in 10 years is treated as a gross misdemeanor. Under the law, this could result in up to one year in jail. You can expect to spend at least 90 days in jail as the result of a third DWI conviction.


Felony Offenses

After a fourth offense in 10 years, you are facing a potential felony conviction. The penalties associated with this offense because much more severe once a case is treated as a felony. If you are convicted of felony DWI, you could spend as much as seven years in state prison. Depending on the number of prior convictions you have, you could face a minimum term of either 180 days or one year in prison for a felony DWI.


Ways to Avoid Jail time in a DWI Case

There are many ways a DWI lawyer could help you fight back against the prosecution. If these efforts are successful, you could avoid jail time or even a conviction.

The attorney of Gerald Miller have extensive experience defending against accusations of impaired driving. Our team knows how to defend these cases, and our combined experience could make the difference in your situation. Some of the ways we could help you avoid jail time include:


Having your Case Dismissed

If you have already been arrested for DWI, the best-case scenario is to have the charges against you dropped by the state. While this might not sound realistic, the truth is that our firm has secured numerous dismissals in DWI cases over the years.

The prosecution will not simply dismiss the charges against you out of the goodness of their heart. You must show them that the case against you is so weak that there is no point in moving forward with it.

Often, a dismissal will be the result of a successful motion to exclude evidence. There are different grounds upon which your DWI lawyer could exclude evidence against you. For instance, if they can show that your traffic stop was illegal, all the evidence collected from the stop could be excluded. The same is true for excluding the result of your blood, breath, or urine test. If these samples were improperly obtained or tested, the results could be barred from trial.


Negotiate a Plea Bargain

Most people contact a lawyer with the hopes of avoiding a criminal conviction entirely. The reality is that there are times when the case against the accused is strong. That does not mean you are out of options. For many people, a plea bargain could reduce the consequences of a conviction to a manageable level.

One of the most important ways a plea bargain could help is by avoiding jail time. While the prosecutor might initially want jail time to be a part of any plea, your legal counsel could negotiate with the state in order to help you avoid it.

There are times when it is possible to negotiate a reduced charge or even a stay of adjudication. A stay of adjudication means that the court accepts a plea of guilty but does not immediately accept it. Instead, you are given certain guidelines you must follow. If you meet all of the conditions, the court could eventually dismiss your charge instead of accepting your plea. This means that you could ultimately see all of the criminal charges against you dismissed without a conviction.


Win at Trial

If the prosecution refuses to dismiss the charges against you, you have a decision to make. Many people will agree to an offer and plead guilty to DWI. In many cases, this is not the best option. It is possible to beat a DWI charge at trial in many cases, and our firm could help you do it.

It is important to remember that this option carries risks. If you succeed, you will avoid a conviction and walk away from the trial with a clean record. If you are unsuccessful, you could find yourself with penalties that are steeper than what may have been offered in a plea bargain.

Taking your case to trial is not a decision you should make on your own. Instead, you could benefit from the guidance of an attorney. The attorneys of Gerald Miller have successfully prevailed at trial in DWI cases. DWI lawyer Gerald Miller could provide you with advice on how to approach your case.


Talk to Gerald Miller About Your DWI Case

A DWI arrest is a cause for concern, but it is never a guarantee that you will be convicted. If you are worried about the potential for spending time behind bars following your DWI arrest, it is important that you begin building a winning DWI defense as soon as possible.

There are different ways that you could diminish or eliminate the penalties associated with a DWI. You could work to have your case dismissed or negotiate a plea bargain that keeps you out of jail. If you take your case to trial, you could avoid a conviction entirely. A DWI lawyer serving Minneapolis could provide you with the best chance for a favorable outcome in your case.

Your DWI case is important. Seeking out guidance from the attorneys of Gerald Miller could be your best option for security a fair outcome in your case. Before you accept a plea bargain or act as your own attorney, contact our firm today for a free consultation.

About the author

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.

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