Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is a hazard that causes many crashes nationwide. Law enforcement authorities pursue these charges aggressively, and the consequences of a DUI conviction can affect an individual’s life for years to come.
You may believe that pleading guilty is your only option after an arrest for a DWI. This is not the case—you have a Constitutional right to defend yourself from these charges. Having an experienced defense attorney in your corner can make all the difference during this process. A Golden Valley DUI lawyer at BK Law Group is ready to fight for you.
Operating a Motor Vehicle While Impaired
Under the Minnesota Statutes § 169A.20, it is unlawful to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content or BAC of 0.08 percent or more. State law holds employees operating commercial vehicles, such as tractor-trailers or buses, to an even higher standard of care. Anyone with a BAC of 0.04 percent or more within two hours of being in physical control of a commercial vehicle may face DWI charges.
State law enforces a zero-tolerance rule for driving under the influence of drugs, meaning law enforcement only needs reasonable suspicion of impairment to make an arrest. These include Schedule I and II drugs, such as opiates and hallucinogens, as well as any substance that could be considered “intoxicating.” Courts may include certain medications in this category.
Anyone charged with a DWI will face criminal prosecution. A Golden Valley DUI defense attorney could further explain state laws that may apply to a specific charge.
Degrees of DUI Charges
A DUI can be one of four degrees, with fourth-degree charges being the least severe. The classification of a DUI charge depends on the presence of aggravating factors. Aggravating circumstances include:
- Having a BAC of 0.16 percent or more
- Having prior convictions for driving while intoxicated within the last ten years
- Having a minor in the vehicle at the time of arrest for a DUI
- Driving with a suspended license
- Having illicit drugs or weapons in the car at the time of arrest
- Refusing a DUI test at the request of an officer
Per Minnesota Statute § 169A.27, a DWI in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor conviction with penalties including $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail. Second and third-degree DWI are both gross misdemeanors and are punishable by up to 365 days in jail and $3,000 in fines. A DWI in the first degree is a felony conviction with penalties including spending up to seven years in prison and $14,000 in fines. Regardless of the degree of a DUI charge, a seasoned lawyer in Golden Valley could investigate the cause of an arrest and help prepare a solid defense.
Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Golden Valley DUI Attorney
Misconceptions exist that may lead you to believe it is pointless to try and contest DUI charges. However, exercising your legal right to a defense could help you avoid the adverse consequences of a conviction. The best way to enforce your rights and protect your future is to understand the charges you face and thoroughly prepare your defense strategy.
A seasoned Golden Valley DUI lawyer could fight to help you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Call today to schedule a consultation and begin preparing your defense.