In Bloomington, any conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) can have serious consequences including jail time or the loss of your driving privileges. While first-time offenders often avoid additional jail time following a conviction, the stakes are much higher for a second offense.
It is worth noting that not every prior misdemeanor DWI in Bloomington conviction is treated the same. Minnesota has a 10-year “lookback” period, meaning that prior misdemeanor DWI convictions only apply if they occurred within 10 years of the most recent arrest. This is important, as an older conviction might not lead to the same penalties compared to a more recent case.
The penalties for a second DWI can be steep, but additional factors like the extent of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) could increase those penalties. Thankfully, your second arrest for DWI is never guaranteed to lead to your second conviction. You have the right to fight back, and the attorneys of Gerald Miller could help you build a winning defense strategy. Contact us right away to get started.
You Can Lose Your License
A second DWI could dramatically impact your right to drive in Bloomington. In fact, you can expect to face administrative consequences against your license before you ever have a chance to defend yourself during the criminal trial.
At the time of your arrest, the police will seize your driver’s license. Under state law, an automatic suspension will go into effect unless you request a hearing and appeal the suspension. This administrative process occurs outside of the scope of your criminal case, but our attorneys could assist you in protecting your rights. You have a limited window of time to request a hearing, so it is vital you talk to an attorney immediately after a second DWI arrest.
There are other penalties related to your driving privileges that could come into play. In addition to the one-year suspension of your license, the state could also impound your license plates. Under rare circumstances, they could even pursue legal action to force you to forfeit your vehicle.
You Could Go To Jail During DWI in Bloomington
One of the primary concerns facing anyone that has been arrested for a second DWI in Bloomington is the potential for jail time. In Bloomington, the specific type of DWI charge is not solely based on the number of prior convictions. Instead, there are also other aggravating factors that could increase the severity of a charge. That means while most second DWI convictions are treated as gross misdemeanors, there are some situations where they could result in more severe charges.
Generally, a second DWI conviction will carry a maximum jail term of one year. While it is uncommon for a judge to issue such a harsh sentence in these cases, there is a minimum sentence the judge must abide by. According to the law, the sentence for a second DWI must be at least 30 days in jail. However, the court does have the power to allow a defendant to serve some of that sentence through community service as opposed to in jail. This minimum sentence stands out compared to a first-time offense which does not require any jail time.
You Could Face Costly Fines or Restitution
There is also a monetary cost that comes with a second DWI conviction. If you are convicted of a second DWI, you can expect to pay heft fines along with the other penalties that come with a conviction. Because a second DWI is generally a gross misdemeanor, your fine could be as much as $3,000. What’s more, you could also be on the hook for court costs associated with your case.
You Could Experience Collateral Consequences
Not all of the consequences for a second DWI conviction are written into the statute. There are consequences that could impact your life that are not part of the formal penalties associated with your conviction. These are known as collateral consequences.
A second DWI could harm your prospects of maintaining employment. You could lose your job or miss out on future opportunities based on having two DWI convictions on your criminal record. A second conviction could also impact your ability to obtain adequate housing or keep a professional license.
Let Our Firm Help You Fight Your DWI in Bloomington
An arrest for a second DWI does not have to mean you pay the price for the rest of your life. Contact the attorneys of Gerald Miller to learn how our team could help you beat the charges against you.