If you are facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Edina and any of the surrounding areas, having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side can be a crucial step in protecting your rights and your future. Driving under the influence charges can result in the loss of your license, jail time, fines, and more, so having an Edina DUI lawyer that will fight for you is of the utmost importance.
Degrees of DWI
Chapter 169A of the Minnesota Statutes sets forth the law regarding the offense of driving while impaired (DWI). The offense is also known as driving under the influence (DUI), but DWI is the official term for the offense under state law. There are different degrees of intoxicated driving charges under state law, which include:
Fourth-Degree DWI Charges
A fourth-degree DWI charge is a misdemeanor that carries the potential for up to 90 days in jail and a potential $1,000 fine.
Third-Degree DWI Charges
A third-degree DWI is classified as a gross misdemeanor. It can carry up to 365 days in jail and a maximum fine of up to $3,000.
Second-Degree DWI Charges
A second-degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a fine of $3,000. Mandatory fines and incarceration may be applicable in these cases.
First-Degree DWI Charges
A first-degree DWI charge is a felony and can carry up to seven years in prison and a maximum possible fine of $14,000.
Blood Alcohol Concentration & Aggravating Factors
The state “legal limit” is set at 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If an individual has a BAC of 0.08% or higher, they are considered per se intoxicated. Per se intoxication refers to when a measurement of alcohol in the blood at a certain level means a person is intoxicated as a matter of law. Any quantity of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in the blood or urine could be the basis for a finding of intoxication.
Aggravating factors can increase the potential classification and penalties associated with a DUI charge. These include:
- If a child or children were present in the car
- If there are prior convictions for DUI/DWI in the past ten years
- If the BAC is 0.16% or higher
- Refusal of an offered breath test
These factors, when present, may substantially increase the potential penalties a defendant faces. A skilled DUI defense attorney understands how these factors may impact a defendant’s case and can utilize the appropriate defenses.
Defenses in DUI/DWI Cases
With the help of an experienced attorney, penalties for DUI charges may be able to be reduced or even eliminated. A strong defense can also help protect a defendant from overzealous prosecutors. Defenses may include:
- Challenging accuracy of blood or urine tests
- Demonstrating lack of accuracy in field sobriety tests
- Challenging officer testimony
- Presenting reasonable doubt
- Challenging use of aggravating factors
These potential defenses and the many others that could be available can be used by an Edina lawyer to protect the rights of a defendant facing DUI charges.
Discuss Your Case with a DUI/DWI Attorney in Edina
Your rights deserve protection, regardless of the circumstances of your arrest and charge. It is not unheard of for prosecutors to overcharge in a DUI case, so having an attorney on your side that is well-versed in criminal defense can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
To learn more about how a dedicated Edina DUI lawyer can fight for you, reach out to our office today.