While driving under the influence (DUI) is always taken seriously by law enforcement, repeat offenses come with especially harsh penalties. These include both the criminal sanctions and the administrative sanctions that could occur as a result of a conviction.
To help avoid the potential pitfalls of a second-offense DUI in Minnesota, work with an experienced attorney who could help you construct a strong defense. Contact a legal professional at BK Law Group today to get started.
Defining DWI Offenses in Minnesota
Minnesota Statute § 169A.20 holds that a person is guilty of a driving while intoxicated offense if they operate their motor vehicle while:
- Under the intoxicating influence of drugs or alcohol
- Knowingly intoxicated by a hazardous substance that substantially affects their body and impairs their driving abilities
- Having a BAC of 0.08% or higher
- Having a Schedule I or II drug of any amount in their system (except marijuana)
Prosecutors take every DUI seriously but are especially intense about repeat offenses. Criminal and administrative penalties following a charge can be severe, so it is crucial for anyone facing a second DUI charge to retain legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure their rights are protected.
Administrative Penalties for Second-Offense DUI
Administrative penalties are imposed on a driver by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. These could be imposed right after a DWI arrest and might apply if the person is never convicted, depending on the circumstances.
If a person is facing a second DWI offense within a ten-year period, they could have their driver’s license revoked for one year. If the person refuses a chemical test or is arrested with a BAC of 0.16% or higher, the revocation period is two years instead.
A driver in Minnesota could also face impoundment of their plates after a second-offense DUI. This would apply to all vehicles the driver has registered in their name—not just the car they were arrested for driving. The alleged offender will have to apply for special plates, often identified as “whiskey plates,” to be able to drive again. In specific circumstances, a second-offense DWI could result forfeiture of the vehicle. A seasoned attorney could help an individual understand the potential administrative penalties they are facing in their particular case.
Criminal Penalties for Second-Offense DUI
A second DWI within a ten-year period is a gross misdemeanor under state law. The maximum criminal penalties for this charge are one year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000. At the very minimum, the judge is required to impose at least a thirty days sentence. However, the judge can specify whether this will be served in jail, through community service, or a combination of both.
Many factors will influence a judge’s sentencing determination. Given how much these cases can vary based on unique circumstances, an individual facing second-offense DUI charges is well-advised to work with a Minnesota attorney who has experience handling cases of this nature. A proper defense could even negate the possibility of a criminal conviction altogether and avoid a second-time DUI.
Contact a Minnesota Second-Offense DUI Defense Lawyer
No matter the circumstances of your case or your arrest, you have the constitutional right to defend yourself. Prosecutors often try to convince individuals facing DUI charges to plead guilty, but this is never in your best interests. Instead, consult with a skilled attorney about your second-offense DUI in Minnesota. While these allegations are serious, there are defenses available to you that could result in reduced penalties or even dropped charges. Set up a free consultation with us today to learn more.