DWI MN Lawyer

Complete guide after getting a DWI in Minnesota.

MN DWI Lawyer

A 1st degree DWI conviction is considered a felony and is the most serious classification, but even a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree DWI in MN can come with weighty consequences. With that in mind, it’s important to hire a knowledgeable MN DWI lawyer who has the skills to possibly lower your charges and save you thousands of dollars and potential jail time.

A Minnesota DWI can ruin your life. If you’ve been charged with a DWI in MN call (651) 829-3572 today for a free consultation.

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DWI vs DUI in Minnesota

Driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are both terms to describe the act of drunk driving. In some states, a DWI charge is more serious, as it’s only issued when a person’s BAC level is well above the legal limit. In Minnesota, however, there is no difference between the two terms. From a legal standpoint, DWI is used more often by the state and by Minnesota DWI lawyers.

Generally speaking, a DWI means:

  • operating, driving, or in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a hazardous or controlled substance
  • having a blood alcohol level over .08

There is a “Zero Tolerance” drunk driving policy in Minnesota, which means anyone with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit can get a DWI.  This is why it is really important to hire the right MN DWI Lawyer.

MN DWI Lawyer

Minnesota DWI laws are strict, and breaking them can include a combination of criminal penalties and loss of privileges.  Call (651) 829-3572 today for a free consultation.

Minnesota DWI Penalties

With the first DWI and no other aggravating factors (described below), you can expect to lose your license for 30 to 90 days, and you will be fined a maximum of $1000 and/or spend 90 days in jail. Once the suspension period has passed, you will have to pay a fine to have your license reinstated as well as complete a DWI knowledge test for MN.

For every DWI that follows or additional aggravating factor, the penalties become harsher and may involve having your license plate impounded, increased fines, and a greater possibility of jail time or community service. If the offenses continue, you can eventually lose your license for four years, serve up to 7 years in prison, pay a $14,000 fine, or have your vehicle seized.  Call our MN DWI lawyer for a free legal consultation and let us fight for you.

Your MN DWI Lawyer

You really should have an MN DWI lawyer to represent you, it’s your life. Don’t let things get out of control. We have the experience to assist you, the right way. Get in contact with us today for a free consultation.

Degrees of DWI in MN

In Minnesota there are four degrees of DWI with different levels of severity. These classifications are largely determined by the number of “aggravating factors” that were present at the time of the incident. Aggravating factors are:

  • having a previous impaired driving conviction within the past 10 years
  • having a BAC of .16 or higher (measured at the time or within two hours of driving)
  • a child under 16 years of age was in the vehicle at the time of the incident

With each aggravating factor or repeated conviction, the degree of the DWI increases in severity, as outlined below:

No Aggravating Factors

  • Classification = 4th Degree DWI, misdemeanor
  • Max Penalty = $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail

One Aggravating Factor

  • Classification = 3rd Degree DWI, gross misdemeanor
  • Max Penalty = $3,000 fine and/or 1 year in jail

Two Aggravating Factors

  • Classification = 2nd Degree DWI, gross misdemeanor
  • Max Penalty = $3,000 fine and/or 1 year in jail

Three Aggravating Factors

  • Classification = 1st Degree DWI, Felony (for 4th offense)
  • Max Penalty = $14,000 fine and/or 7 years in jail
A 1st degree DWI conviction is considered a felony and is the most serious classification, but even a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree DWI in MN can come with weighty consequences. With that in mind, it’s important to hire a knowledgeable MN DWI lawyer who has the skills to possibly lower your charges and save you thousands of dollars and potential jail time.

We’re available to give you consultation. Call for a Free Consultation (651) 829-3572

When facing one of these offenses, a skilled Mn DWI lawyer may be able to get certain charges dropped or not shown on your record. This can make a huge difference in both immediate consequences and how the incident affects your life in the long term.

Minnesota Levels of Offenses

In Minnesota, every crime is designated one of four levels of offense, which are petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony. A petty misdemeanor is the lowest level of offense, and is technically not a crime, since it can’t come with jail time.

The courts label all DWI’s as a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony, the differences of which are described below:

Misdemeanor

  • Is an official crime
  • Can result in a $1000 fine and/or 90 days of jail time
  • Jail time is less likely

Gross Misdemeanor

  • More serious than a misdemeanor
  • Can result in a $3,000 fine and/or one year of jail time
  • Possibility for serving jail time or community service increases

Felony

  • The highest level of offense
  • Can include higher fines and over a year in prison
  • May lose rights, such as voting, serving on a jury, owning firearms, joining certain professions, etc.

3rd Degree DWI in Minnesota

All DWIs are serious, but being charged with a 3rd Degree DWI means there was some other aggravating factor in your case that made the incident more severe than a standard, first-time DWI. This factor may have been having a prior DWI in the past 10 years, having a BAC level of .16 or higher, or having a child under 16 years old in the vehicle.  If you’ve been caught driving while intoxicated, call a knowledgeable MN DWI lawyer to represent you immediately.

The punishments for a 3rd degree DWI in MN can include:

  • Up to one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine
  • For those with prior DWIs in the past 10 years, a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days
  • Driver’s license may be revoked for 1 year.
  • “Whiskey Plates”
  • Probation
  • Having a gross misdemeanor on record

Getting charged with a DWI is serious, this is why you need the expert council Leverson Budke offers. Call for a Free Consultation (651) 829-3572

Having a whiskey plate does not give officers the right to stop your vehicle without cause, but you should keep in mind that, with these plates on your car, you are more likely to get stopped for even minor traffic errors.

Minnesota Whiskey Plates

In Minnesota, the courts can revoke both your driver’s license and your license plate for a DWI conviction. If your plates are seized, you may later have to use special registration plates commonly referred to as “whiskey plates” that generally have to stay on your car for one year. Whiskey plates are easy to identify, as they start with the letter “W” and are followed by another letter and then 4 numbers.

You may lose your plate and be subjected to purchasing a whiskey plate if any of these situations occur:

  • You’ve had multiple DWIs within 10 years.
  • You’ve had your licensed revoked within the past 10 years due to alcohol-related incidents.
  • Your blood alcohol level was .16 or higher.
  • A child under the age of 16 was in the car at the time of the DWI.
  • You were driving on a license that was revoked for previous DWI offenses.

Trusted Minneapolis DWI Attorney

You don’t want to let things get out of control. We have the experience to assist you, the right way. Get in contact with us today for a free consultation.

Minnesota Limited Driver’s License

If you’ve had your Minnesota driver’s license revoked due to a DWI, you may be eligible for a limited driver’s license, also known as a work permit, which allows you to drive for specific purposes.

With a limited driver’s license, there are restrictions on when you are allowed to drive and for what reasons. In general, you are only allowed to drive while travelling to work, college, chemical dependency treatments, or when providing educational, medical, or nutritional needs for your family.

In some instances you can challenge your driver’s license revocation, which may keep you from needing a limited driver’s license and will reinstate your full driving privileges. The charge can be filed separately from your criminal DWI charge, but doing so is complicated and is best handled by a MN DWI lawyer with real expertise in this area.

In some instances you can challenge your driver’s license revocation, which may keep you from needing a limited driver’s license and will reinstate your full driving privileges. Call for a Free Consultation (651) 829-3572

Minnesota DWI laws are strict, and breaking them can include a combination of criminal penalties and loss of privileges.

How to Apply For a Minnesota DWI Work Permit

To qualify for a work permit, also known as a limited driver’s license, you must first meet specific criteria, including:

  • You must be employed or a full-time homemaker.
  • Your license was revoked for a first-time offense – either an implied consent violation or a DWI with a BAC level less than .16.

If you meet the above criteria, you will then have to take a written test related to drinking and driving issues (chapters 7 and 8 of the driver’s manual). After passing the test, you’ll have to pay a $680 license reinstatement fee as well as a $26.75 new license fee. Once your statutory waiting period is complete (at least 15 days after your license was revoked), you can then submit your application for approval to the Department of Public Safety. Keep in mind, the application must show that you cannot reasonably take public transportation or rideshare as opposed to driving, and a skilled MN DWI lawyer might be able to help you navigate the process.

I Got a DUI. Is My Life Over?

If you’re caught driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, you’ll likely face some serious consequences that can include fines, license revocation, a misdemeanor charge, jail time, or even a felony conviction. These penalties are usually more severe if your blood alcohol level was significantly over the legal limit or if you’ve had a DUI or DWI before. On top of the legal issues, your car insurance rates will most likely go up and you may have to deal with consequences at work, depending on your type of employment.

That being said, these are things from which you can recover, and your life is certainly not over. The most important thing to do after getting a DWI is to take action quickly by hiring an experienced Minneapolis DWI attorney who will be able to guide you through this legal process and help ensure you aren’t convicted of anything that you didn’t do. A DUI will undoubtedly disrupt your life in the short term, but if handled properly and with the help of a professional, you’ll have the best chance of quickly getting back to driving and back to your normal life.

How Consumption of Alcohol Affects Your Driving

Any level of alcohol in your system can potentially reduce your ability to drive safely, which is why, as many Minneapolis DWI lawyers can attest, drinking and driving is never a good idea. Since driving is an everyday activity for many adults, it’s easy to take for granted the relatively high level of coordination it takes to safely operate a vehicle. However, driving requires a wide range of skills, including concentration, making judgment calls, and multitasking with the hands, eyes, and feet.  Alcohol can seriously affect your ability to perform these skills properly, as it impairs reaction time and coordination, can cause blurred or reduced vision, and hinders your ability to judge situations. In addition, after drinking you may have a difficult time gauging your position on the road, braking appropriately, or even staying awake.

Blood alcohol content (BAC) levels as low as .02 can reduce your ability to multitask or think clearly. This may come as a surprise to some, since .08 is the legal BAC limit for non-commercial drivers, but alcohol can affect your senses after only a single drink.

Local Minnesota DUI Lawyers

Don’t let things get out of control. We have the experience to assist you, the right way. Get in contact with us today for a free consultation.

Minneapolis DWI Lawyer

If you’re currently facing a DWI charge, chances are you’re feeling a bit anxious about the whole situation. In Minneapolis, DWI charges can come with serious, potentially life-changing consequences that won’t just impact yourself, they could touch your family too. However, there’s no need to go through the legal process alone. Hiring an experienced DWI lawyer will help you to understand your situation, rights and best options for defense so that you can face the situation head on. Here, you’ll find all that you need to know about facing a DWI charge in the State of Minnesota and how to choose the best Minneapolis DWI lawyer to help you to navigate the complex legal system.

What Can a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer Do for Me?

Hiring a qualified Minneapolis DWI lawyer can make a huge difference in reducing the severity of your eventual DWI charges or maybe even getting the case dropped altogether. DWI cases involve a unique mixture of law and science. As such, a lawyer who’s familiar with the ins and outs of this area of law can use their expert opinion to assess your case, formulate a strong plan for defense and represent you in court and/or at trial. By taking the time to explain the process and run through your options, engaging a qualified lawyer can also drastically reduce the stress put on you and your family throughout the process.

DWI Charges in Minneapolis

In the State of Minnesota, driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) charges are essentially the same thing. So, if you’re charged with a DWI offense in Minneapolis, this generally means that you were in control of a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol level of over .08 and/or were under the influence of another controlled substance. Call  (651) 829-3572 for a Free Consultation with a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer.

Do I Need a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer?

If you’ve been charged with any type of DWI and want to secure the best possible outcome for your case, hiring a DWI lawyer who’s familiar with Minneapolis law is in your greatest interest. While you are within your rights to elect to use a public defender or represent yourself, do you want to risk having to face what are potentially very serious consequences without having solid legal representation on your side? Even if they’re adequately qualified, public defenders are usually so pushed for time and resources that they aren’t able to give you full and effective representation as a private DWI lawyer would do.

The Potential Impact of Facing a Minneapolis DWI Charge

Most of the time, facing a DWI charge will have an immediate effect on your daily life. Depending on the severity of your case, you may already be facing restrictions to your driving privileges and/or jail time. These impacts will more than likely overflow to also affect your employment, family and other aspects of your life before your case has even been seen to.

However, the more long-term penalties you’ll be faced with will depend on the degree of your DWI charge as well as if it’s your first offense or not. As such, you could be looking at anywhere from a 30-day license suspension with a relatively small fine to the loss of your license for years with a significant fine, vehicle seizure and up to 7 years in prison.

Regardless of your situation, just because you’ve been charged with a DWI doesn’t mean that you can’t act to minimize your penalty and lessen the consequences that you’re facing. Hiring the right Minneapolis DWI lawyer can help you to do just this.

What Can a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer Do for Me?

Hiring a qualified Minneapolis DWI lawyer can make a huge difference in reducing the severity of your eventual DWI charges or maybe even getting the case dropped altogether. DWI cases involve a unique mixture of law and science. As such, a lawyer who’s familiar with the ins and outs of this area of law can use their expert opinion to assess your case, formulate a strong plan for defense and represent you in court and/or at trial. By taking the time to explain the process and run through your options, engaging a qualified lawyer can also drastically reduce the stress put on you and your family throughout the process.

How to Choose a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer

If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Minneapolis, it’s best to start searching for an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible. However, when you’re facing potentially significant consequences and possibly don’t have any experience in hiring legal representation, it can seem daunting to know where to start.

To help you to choose the best DWI lawyer in Minneapolis, we always recommend meeting with the attorney before committing to use them as your counsel. Doing so will allow you to gauge if you’re comfortable and confident to have them represent you throughout your case. Having an initial meeting with any potential lawyer isn’t legally binding so don’t feel that you’re obligated to choose someone just because you’ve done so.

When you first meet with any legal representative, always be upfront and honest about the facts of your case. This includes bringing all of your DWI documents. Unlike the police, the role of an attorney is to protect and defend your rights and the only way that they can do that to the best of their ability is if you provide them with all the facts. Try not to leave anything out. As a qualified professional, it’s best left to you legal representative to decide what’s important and relevant to your case. It’s never a good situation when facts are revealed at the last minute that your lawyer was unaware of that could harm your case.

Be aware that the attorney you meet with might not be the one who sees your case through to the end. If so, it’s not a problem but, feel free to ask to meet with their associate who will be looking after your legal needs as well. You can also ask for reviews from past clients to help you decide which Minneapolis DWI attorney is the best fit for you and your unique needs.

At the end of the day, you should choose the attorney that you feel the most comfortable with. You should be able to trust them to give you fair and focused representation and communicate with you openly and honestly about your case. Using these factors to help you to choose the right Minneapolis DWI lawyer for your case will help you to have confidence in their ability to secure you the best possible outcome.

What Questions Should I Ask my Minneapolis DWI Lawyer?

Before you meet with your prospective counsel, prepare a list questions you’d like to ask and bring a pen and paper to jot down their answers. It’s important to find out if they have the relevant legal experience so, ask about how many other DWI cases they’ve dealt with and what their outcomes and success rate has been like. You might also like to ask about where they attended law school, how long they’ve been practicing and which areas of the law they’ve focused on during that time. There’s many different areas of criminal law and choosing someone with the specific knowledge and experience of DWI cases will greatly benefit your case.

Be wary of any DWI lawyer who promises you a particular outcome, even if it’s what you want to hear. It’s impossible to predict what will happen in your case so, if they do this, it’s probably an empty guarantee to secure your business.

However, once you have filled the lawyer in on the facts of your case, ask them questions that let you gauge what they think your best course of action is. This could include things such as what difficulties do they see in your particular case? Would they recommend pleading guilty? Is a plea agreement a possibility? Should I go to trial? And, what should I expect throughout different stages of my DWI proceedings? This will help you determine if you’re comfortable and confident with the approach recommended by your Minneapolis DWI lawyer.

And lastly, feel free to ask any general questions you may have about how they’re planning on handling your case. Will other members of their legal team be involved? Who will be responsible for keeping up to date on any developments with your case? And, who do you contact if you have any other questions along the way? Choosing a Minneapolis DWI lawyer who you trust to keep you informed about your case will go a long way to easing any stress you may experience.

Your Trusted Minneapolis DWI Lawyer

Unlike a lot of other Minneapolis DWI Lawyers, we fight for our clients.  Many other Minnesota DUI attorneys will collect your money, then take a plea deal because its the path of least resistance for them.  We always do what is in the best interest of our clients.  Call us today for a free consultation.

 

How Much Does a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer Cost?

Exactly how much a quality Minneapolis DWI lawyer will cost depends on a number of factors including their experience, qualifications, reputation and, of course, the complexity of your case. As such, there’s no standard as to what you can expect to pay for solid legal representation for a DWI.

However, before you agree to hire any attorney, you can expect to have their fee schedule clearly presented to you. This is usually based on a flat fee or an hourly rate. It should also highlight if there are any additional costs such as expert witness fees that would be passed on to you if these services are used. In general, hourly fee structures are usually more affordable, but, a flat fee does give you more certainty regarding the final bill. Either way, your lawyer should be able to give you a fairly good idea of what the total cost of representing you in your DWI case should be before you commit to engaging them.

Although you shouldn’t be required to pay DWI legal fees in full up front, some lawyers do request a retainer before they start working on your case. The remaining fees are usually paid in increments throughout your case process or upon conclusion. Regardless, the schedule for payments should be set out before you agree to any contract too.

If being able to afford quality legal representation is of concern to you, our Minneapolis DWI lawyers do offer payment plans. These usually involve regular payments over a set period of time. Taking advantage of this service is a great way to ensure that you’re getting the best legal representation for your case and often means that you don’t need to make a decision that’s so highly based on cost. Ask your lawyer for details if you’re considering this option.

When looking at the cost of a DWI lawyer, remember that a higher cost doesn’t always mean better results. Some experienced lawyers can charge higher rates but then get junior associates to manage them while low-cost lawyers may skimp on the time spent on your case so that they can handle a bigger load.

For more information on the likely costs of representing you in your DWI case, please call us on (888) 467-5265 for a free consultation.

Why Choose Leverson Budke to be Your Minneapolis DWI Lawyer?

Being charged with a DWI is understandably one of the most stressful times in your life. However, choosing the right Minneapolis DWI lawyer can make a big difference in reducing your anxiety and securing you the best possible outcome. At Leverson Budke, we’ve helped numerous Minnesotans through the legal process of facing DWI charges with great success. Unlike most attorneys, we’re dedicated to fighting for your rights and will do whatever is in your best interest to secure you a favorable outcome. This means that we won’t just take your money and settle in court or negotiate a plea deal to reduce our workload or avoid having to go to trial. We aren’t in business simply to cash in on your misfortune.

Instead, by choosing us to represent you in your DWI case, you’ll work with either Steve or Nick who both have extensive experience in dealing with DWI charges in the State of Minnesota. You can expect us to give you an honest, expert assessment of your individual situation before we go about using out extensive knowledge and experience to help you deal with the implications of a DWI charge the best way they know how. We pride ourselves on being able to present the best defense to each and every one of our clients based on the unique set of factors that’s contributed to their conviction because we know that when it comes to legal representation, there’s never a one-size that fits all.To back up our claims, Leverson Budke has received a number of independently recognized awards. These include being rated as one of the 10 Best DWI Lawyers for 2017 as is decided by the American Institute of Legal Counsel and the Three Best Rated St. Paul DWI Lawyers. We attribute being awarded with these distinguished titles to our undying will to provide our clients with the highest possible level of legal representation as an expert Minneapolis DWI lawyer.

Some of our other certifications include being named one of the 10 Best Criminal Law Attorney’s, Top 40 Under 40, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, the Mitchell Hamline Adjunct Professor of the Year and the Lead Counsel Rated Attorney. If you’ve been charged with a DWI and are looking for a Minneapolis DWI lawyer with the knowledge, experience and accreditations you can trust, get in touch with Steve or Nick at Leverson Budke today.

Local Minnesota DUI Lawyers

Don’t let things get out of control. We have the experience to assist you, the right way. Get in contact with us today for a free consultation.

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