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How Often Do People Go To Jail for DUI in Minneapolis, MN?

If you have been arrested under suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI) in Minneapolis, the prospect of spending time in jail for DUI is likely weighing on your mind. Whether this is your first offense or you have been arrested for DWI before, incarceration is a possibility if you are ultimately convicted.

That said, some cases are more likely than others to result in time in jail for a DUI. For the most part, first-time offenders are unlikely to spend time outside of the night in jail for a DUI arrest. This is not the case for many repeat offenders.

It is important to remember that the threat of going to jail for DUI only becomes a reality if you are convicted on Driving While Impaired charges. If you have your case dismissed or prevail at trial, you will avoid going to jail for DUI entirely. The attorneys of Gerald Miller could work with you to identify a defense strategy that gives you the best chance of a favorable outcome.


What are the Possible Sentences for DWI in Minneapolis?

Like all criminal offenses, there is a maximum limit on the amount of time in jail for DUI you could face with any driving while impaired conviction. The maximum sentence you are facing will largely vary depending on the number of previous DWI convictions on your record. The maximum sentences for each type of driving while impaired include:

  • First-Offense DWI. Most of the time, a first-time offender will face a maximum term of 90 days in jail for a DUI. However, there are factors that could increase that maximum term to as much as one year behind bars. These factors include high levels of alcohol in your system or the refusal to take a chemical test.
  • Second-Offense DWI. The maximum sentence for a second offense is the same as a first offense. The only difference is that there is a mandatory minimum for a second-time offender.
  • Third-Offense DWI. Unlike the first two convictions, a third DWI is typically treated as a gross misdemeanor. That increases the maximum jail for a DUI term for a conviction to one year.
  • Fourth-Offense DWI. A fourth DWI in a 10-year time span is treated as a felony in Minnesota. A conviction in these cases could lead to as much as seven years in prison.
  • Fifth-Offense DWI. The maximum penalty for a fifth offense is also seven years. However, the mandatory minimum sentence is higher.


What are the Likely Sentences for DWI in Minneapolis?

Understanding the maximum sentences available in a Minneapolis driving while impaired conviction is helpful, but it is important to note you are never guaranteed to face the maximum sentence. In fact, judges rarely issue the maximum sentence in DWI cases.

If you are facing your first driving while impaired charge, the chances are good that you will not face additional jail time following your arrest. While a 4th degree DWI conviction carries a potential penalty of 90 days in jail for DUI, most judges will not require jail time. In some jurisdictions, you can expect the court to require public service for a first offense. Unlike other DWI offenses, a 4th degree DWI does not include a mandatory minimum sentence.

There are some DWI offenses that include mandatory minimum jail sentences. Even in these cases, the judge often has the power to substitute some or all of that sentence with public service. These minimum sentences include:

  • Second: Minimum 30 days in jail for DUI
  • Third: Minimum 90 days in jail for DUI
  • Fourth: Minimum 180 days in jail for DUI
  • Fifth: Minimum one year in jail for DUI

There are many different ways our firm could help you fight back against a stiff jail sentence in your driving while impaired case. In some cases, we might be able to have the charges against you dismissed entirely. In other situations, we could show the court that the degree of DWI offense you are charged with is inappropriate. In either case, the attorneys of Gerald Miller are prepared to work tirelessly to help you pursue a favorable outcome in your DWI case.


What Other Consequences Could a DUI Conviction Bring in Minneapolis?

The prospect of incarceration is typically the foremost concern for anyone that has been arrested for driving while impaired. Spending time behind bars is a serious matter, but it is only one of the consequences you might face upon conviction. In fact, there are other consequences that could continue to haunt you long after you finish your sentence.



Jail time is not the only statutory penalty available for a DWI conviction in Minnesota. Monetary fines are another important element of a conviction. As is the case with jail time, the potential fines you face will vary depending on the severity of your driving while impaired charge. In general, your fines will increase depending on the number of prior DWI convictions you have on your record.

Most driving while impaired arrests are treated as misdemeanors. If you are convicted of misdemeanor DWI, you face a maximum fine of up to $1,000. The maximum fine increases if you are charged with a gross misdemeanor. In these cases, you could face up to $3,000 in fines. The maximum fine dramatically increases for felony convictions. If you are convicted of felony DWI in Minnesota, you could be on the hook for up to $14,000 in fines.


License Suspension

The loss of driving privileges is another factor to consider in your DWI case. If you are convicted of driving while impaired, you can expect to have your driver’s license revoked for a period of time. The length of that suspension will depend on the specific offense you are convicted of.

The length of time your license could be revoked will depend on a number of factors. Many first-time offenders face a revocation period of 90 days. However, that period could be extended to one year in cases where they refused to submit to a chemical test or had a high blood alcohol concentration.

At the highest end of the spectrum, 4th-degree DWI convictions could lead to a total cancellation of your license. This cancellation could last between four and six years, and getting the license back is incumbent on no detected use of alcohol or drugs.

It is worth noting that you might be able to secure a work permit license following revocation. With a work permit license, you have the limited ability to drive legally. You can only drive to and from work, school, or other authorized locations like your doctor.

A work permit is never guaranteed in a DWI case. While the court has the power to deny your request, our firm could help you secure the work permit license you need to maintain your employment.


Collateral Consequences

There are also collateral consequences to think about. Collateral consequences is the term used for those consequences that occur outside of formal criminal penalties. While these consequences are not handed down by a judge, their impact is real.

One of the primary collateral consequences related to a DWI conviction is the harmful effect it can have on your employment. Employers in Minneapolis have the right to discriminate based on your criminal history. Unless you have a contract that protects you from being terminated, you could lose your job following a driving while impaired arrest. Your record could also impact your ability to find employment in the future. Prospective employers rely on criminal background checks when evaluating potential hires. Many people miss out on job opportunities when they have a DWI on their record.

Your conviction could also have a negative impact on your housing options. Just like with an employer, a prospective landlord could reject a rental application based on your criminal record. This is most common with felony DWI convictions.

If your line of work requires professional licensing, a driving while impaired conviction could also cause further problems for you. Every licensing body is different, so a conviction for DWI could impact some professions more than others. While most professional licensing organizations will not typically revoke a license for a misdemeanor conviction, felony DWIs are often a different story.


Call Gerald Miller to Discuss Beating Your DWI Charge in Minneapolis

If you are concerned about the threat of incarceration following a DWI arrest, now is the time to seek out legal counsel. The attorneys of Gerald Miller are prepared to advise you on your defense options following a DWI arrest in Minneapolis. Call right away for your free consultation.

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

About the author

Brodie Hacken

Brodie is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota with 15 years of experience. He is passionate about protecting the rights of his clients and ensuring they receive the best possible representation. When he's not in the courtroom, Brodie enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf.

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