Can a Lawyer Help With My DWI Charge?
According to the U.S. Constitution, if you’re charged with a DWI in the state of Minnesota, you have the right to obtain legal representation to assist you with your case. However — there is no law that forces you to have such representation, leaving some drivers to defend their own case.
If you’ve been charged with a DWI, keep reading to learn why seeking expert legal representation may be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Helping You Understand Your Charge
Though the nature of a DUI and a DWI charge are similar, each state across the United States has its own definition of how each is charged and prosecuted. A DWI charge in Minnesota indicates that a person is being charged with endangering themselves and/or others by driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A DWI is sometimes called a DUI, but this term is only used to describe the condition of a driver, not a legal charge.
Not only will your lawyer help you understand your charge, but they will present your options to you in terms that you can understand to help make your decision easier.
Helping With Updated Legislation
Additionally, Minnesota appellate courts have decided that the landmark DWI refusal law (Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S. Ct. 2160 (2016)) applies retroactively to convictions for the offense. Simply put, this means that a defendant convicted before 2016 for refusing warrantless blood or urine test may be eligible for post-conviction relief.
Employing the help of an expert DWI attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that your case is handled appropriately.
Helping With Your First Offense
If you’ve never been charged or convicted of a crime, especially a DWI, employing the help of an experienced attorney can help ensure your case is handled properly. The penalties for a first-time offense can be severe, and drivers should always rely on the help of an experienced DWI lawyer for guidance in their case.
Here’s how a Minnesota court could possibly charge you following your first DWI offense:
Alcohol-Concentration Between 0.08 and 0.16
First-time offenders with a BAC under 0.16 are charged with a misdemeanor and may face up to 90 days in jail and/ or a $1,000 fine. Additionally, drivers may face a 90 day period without driving privileges.
Drivers can consult with their legal counsel to decide if they would prefer to take 1 of 2 routes with regard to their driver’s license. Option 1: 15 days of no driving privileges followed by a limited license for the remaining 90-day period, Option 2: full driving privileges for a 90-day period with the use of an ignition interlock. The 90-day driving prohibition can be reduced to 30 days if a driver pleads guilty to their DWI charge.
If your BAC is under 0.16, but you have a child in the car, you may be charged with a gross misdemeanor and may face 1 full year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine with the same risk of a 90-day suspension in your driving privileges.
Alcohol-Concentration 0.16 or Over
First-time offenders with an alcohol concentration level of 0.16 or over are charged with a gross misdemeanor and may face up to 1 full year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine — whether you have a child in the car or not.
Additional sanctions include:
- A 1-year loss of driving privileges OR year of an ignition interlock
- Impounded plates
- Vehicle forfeited (only in the instance of a child in the car with a BAC over 0.16)
- After your first charge, the penalties for a DWI only increase — making it even more vital for you to seek out sound legal help.
Characteristics of a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer
An experienced criminal lawyer will aggressively fight for your rights and make sure you get the desired outcome – regardless of your DWI/DUI charge. In addition to being seasoned, your criminal defense lawyer should have the following characteristics:
- Perseverance — they’ll do what it takes to win.
- Confidentiality — they’ll protect your privacy.
- Results — they’ll have proof of their victories that are reflected in how many cases they have.
At Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC, our attorneys have all of these characteristics and more — which make us the ideal representation for your DWI case.
Expert DWI Attorneys in Saint Paul
The punishments for a DWI charge may include incarceration, fines, driver's license suspension, and community service, among others. If you've been charged, you need the skilled and aggressive defense our St. Paul attorneys atRogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC can provide.
With our winning tradition, we understand the importance of having excellent representation, which is why our team will explore every legal option and exhaust our resources to work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more.