At Gerald Miller and Associates, we strive for the most positive outcome possible when representing our clients. Dismissal is the ideal solution to a DWI case, but sometimes the best end result is probation along with unavoidable criminal and administrative penalties that come with the charge.
Probation is a drag. But it is more appealing than jail for most people.
Probation in Minnesota for a first-time misdemeanor DWI typically is one to two years. It’s longer – anywhere from two to six years – if it is a client’s second or third offense, and/or if the DWI charge is increased to a gross misdemeanor, which happens if the defendant refused a breath test, had a BAC .16 percent or higher, or if a minor was in the car at the time of the arrest.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1.5 million people annually are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. That breaks down to one out of every 121 licensed drivers in the U.S.
Many states refer to drunk driving as a DUI, or driving under the influence. Minnesota refers to the charge as a DWI, or driving while impaired. State law doesn’t just include drunk driving; it’s also driving while impaired by drugs, including prescription medications as well as illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, etc.
In Minnesota, it is against the law to drive if you have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, as measured within 2 hours of you driving. For every 88 instances of driving, someone is arrested for operating a motor vehicle above the legal limit. Within two hours of drinking – at any given location in the country, including Minnesota – an average of 772 drivers will be arrested for drunk driving, the NHTSA reports.
The level of DWI punishment in Minnesota typically depends on the degree of your DWI charge – and whether you have others on your record – as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. The most crucial and perhaps most life-altering civil consequence of a DWI conviction is the loss of your driving privileges. Even a first-time DWI offense where your BAC is less than 0.16 percent results in some loss of driving privileges for up to a year. You are highly likely to lose your license if convicted of a DWI in Minnesota.. A work permit and use of an ignition interlock is possible, however.
If your blood alcohol concentration for a first-time DWI offense was lower than 0.16 percent, you can face up to ninety days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if during that offense, you also had a child in your car, you can face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
An experienced DWI attorney – especially one who specializes in DWI cases – is imperative if probation is the preferred alternative to jail. Probation can either be heavily supervised or lightly supervised by a probation officer, which is another reason to have a great attorney on your side. Your lawyer can push for light supervision, as we have some methods to try and accomplish that. Probation will require you to do any or all of the following, depending on what the judge decides. Here are some of the common conditions of probation that could be a part of your sentence:
- Abstain from alcohol and drugs
- Remain Law Abiding
- Complete a DWI educational program.
- Meet with a probation officer and pass random drug and alcohol tests
- Complete community service
- Complete electronic home monitoring using an ankle monitor
- Complete all requirements by a set time frame, not to exceed the end of the probationary period
- Abstain from driving, unless you are valid again through a work permit and/or the interlock device
If you fail to complete or abide by any of the terms of your probation, a judge could issue a warrant for your arrest. He or she could throw out your initial probation sentence and issue jail and additional fines. Your probation could be extended longer. So, if there was any stayed or potential jail time hanging over your head, the judge could impose some or all of that.
Bottom line: It’s best to comply at all times so you can complete probation and move on with your life as soon as possible.
Strong legal representation is imperative when facing all DWI penalties in Minnesota, including probation. Speak to an experienced DWI attorney immediately at Gerald Miller and Associates. Drop us an email or call as soon as possible after your arrest.
What to do?
A drunk driving citation in Minnesota is known as a DWI, which stands for driving while impaired. Many states refer to the charge as a DUI, short for diving under the influence.
Regardless of what authorities call it, a police officer can arrest someone on suspicion of DWI even if he or she hasn’t been drinking. In Minnesota, “impaired” can be applied to a person who is taking legal prescription drugs or even someone who is overly tired. It’s all up to the discretion of the arresting officer.
Sound like you or someone you know? Contact the experienced Minnesota DWI attorneys Gerald Miller, P.A. Our expert team will look at your case and determine the best course of action. We will guide you through the process, working toward a positive outcome no matter the circumstances of the arrest.
We are often asked, “Should I contest this case?” Yes. You should, absolutely, positively 100 percent of the time. Every arrest is different; few are open and shut cases. We look at every aspect of the case, from time of the arrest to the officer’s actions to the accuracy of your Breathalyzer test. There is always hope.
What makes Gerald Miller different from other Minnesota criminal defense lawyers?
The Minneapolis lawyers at Gerald Miller handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide – we can defend you on traffic citations, drug charges, theft, weapons charges, probation and parole violations and more – but we have specialized in DWIs for decades. A DWI affects your driving ability, your finances and your professional reputation. Don’t let one mistake hinder a promising future.
Call the attorneys at Gerald Miller today at 612-440-4610. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind.