Facing criminal charges of any kind can be a daunting prospect, and a DWI is no exception. When your driving privileges are at stake and other consequences are possible, you know that it is important to act quickly and decisively to protect your rights and interests.
Minnesota laws take a strong stance against drunk driving, and even a first-time offense can bring a host of serious penalties to your life. If you are charged with a DWI, you would be wise to secure the help you need to effectively defend yourself, no matter your criminal history.
The penalties for a first DWI in Minnesota
The penalties for driving while intoxicated vary based on factors present in your case. For example, if you have a blood alcohol content over a certain amount, the penalties could be more serious. The same would apply if you had a child in the car at the time of your DUI arrest. For a first-time DWI with a BAC of less than .16 percent and no other factors present, the criminal penalties include the following:
- 90 days in jail
- Possible fines up to $1,000
The criminal penalties are not the only consequences you may face for a drunk driving arrest. The administrative penalties that can come with a DWI conviction can also affect your life in significant ways. The defendant will have a choice between one of the two administrative penalties:
- 15 days without driving privileges and then 90 days of driving with a limited license
- Full driving privileges for 90 days with an ignition interlock device
It is possible that a guilty plea could reduce the 90-day period to 30 days. However, a guilty plea or a conviction is never your only option. Even for a first-time DWI with a BAC of less than .16 percent, you have the right and the option to fight back.
Why should you fight back?
The penalties for a first-time DWI may not seem that serious, but in reality, they can have a significant impact on your life. In addition to a temporary loss of your license, the fines and social stigma that come with a DWI, a conviction can seriously hinder your opportunities in other areas.
Your future and your personal freedoms are at stake, and they are worth fighting for, even if you do not think it is a worthwhile effort. You may find it beneficial to seek the advice of an experienced defense attorney to better understand your options and how you may be able to fight back against the charges you currently face.