Local law firm serving the West Metro and St. Cloud

Charged With A DWI?

At Olson Law LLC, we handle all types of DWI offenses. If you or a member of your family is charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, it is important that you speak with a DWI lawyer to determine the severity of your case. Depending on the level of DWI you are charged with, you could be facing severe criminal penalties and collateral consequences such as license revocation, vehicle forfeiture, license plate impoundment and possibly jail time. Our attorneys are available around the clock to answer your DWI-related questions and to ensure that your rights are adequately defended.

The Basics

  • Blood alcohol content (BAC) means the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream as measured by a chemical test.
  • BAC can be measured by breath, blood or urine.
  • The legal limit for BAC in the state of Minnesota is .08. Any BAC in excess of .08 is grounds for a charge of DWI.
  • DWI charges are not always related to alcohol. You can be charged with DWI if you are under the influence of any mood-altering substance that could affect your ability to properly operate a motor vehicle. Examples include marijuana, amphetamines or prescriptions drugs.
  • The implied consent law in the state of Minnesota states that you must submit to testing of your breath, blood or urine to detect mood-altering substances, including alcohol. Failure to submit to testing is a crime.

Depending On Your Level Of Intoxication And/Or Various Other Factors You May Be Charged With:

Fourth-Degree DWI

Fourth-degree DWI is almost always a first-time DWI offense, with a blood alcohol content of less than .20. Fourth-degree DWI is usually a misdemeanor offense. Collateral consequences may include license revocation, fines and license plate impoundment.

Third-Degree DWI

You can be charged with third-degree DWI in several ways, including:

  • Second offense within 10 years
  • First offense with one aggravating circumstance present such as:
    • Having a child in the vehicle
    • Blood alcohol content of over .16
    • Operating a school bus
  • Refusal to submit to testing of alcohol by blood, breath or urine analysis, which will be charged under the third-degree DWI statute

Third-degree DWI charges are gross misdemeanors and carry with them mandatory jail time. You may also be subject to maximum bail and/or conditions of release. Collateral consequences can include license revocation, license plate impoundment and imposition of “whiskey plates.” If you are charged with a third-degree DWI, you may be required to enroll in the interlock ignition program as well as go through extensive programming to get your license reinstated.

Second-Degree DWI

You can be charged with second-degree DWI in several ways, including:

  • Third offense within 10 years
  • Two aggravating circumstances present
  • One aggravating circumstance and one prior offense
  • Refusal to submit to testing and existence of one or more aggravating factor

Second-degree DWI charges are gross misdemeanors but carry higher mandatory minimums as to jail time than third-degree DWI charges. You may be subject to maximum bail and/or conditions of release.

Collateral consequences include license revocation and/or cancellation inimical to public safety, license plate impoundment, imposition of “whiskey plates,” vehicle forfeiture and extensive programming, including mandatory rehabilitation and enrollment in the interlock ignition program.

First-Degree DWI

First-degree DWI charges are the most serious. You may be charged with first-degree DWI for the following reasons:

  • Fourth offense within 10 years
  • Prior conviction for first-degree DWI
  • Prior felony charge of criminal vehicular operation or criminal vehicular homicide

First-degree DWI charges are felonies and carry the possibility of prison. A first-degree DWI offense carries all of the collateral consequences listed above for second-degree DWI, as well as additional consequences that are associated with a felony conviction.

Contact A DWI Lawyer

Call for a free, confidential consultation today: 763-515-8013. Expect a response within 24 hours or less. If you cannot travel to our office, we can come to you. We also offer flexible payment plans.