DUI/DWI A Law Firm with a Winning Tradition

St. Paul DWI Lawyers

Accused of Drinking and Driving? Our Firm Can Fight Your Charge.

In Minnesota, driving while impaired (DWI) is a serious offense that can result in administrative and criminal penalties. The punishments may include incarceration, fines, driver's license suspension, and community service, among others. If you were accused of drunk driving, you must act quickly and get an attorney on your side who knows how to fight these charges. A conviction could result not only in the sanctions previously listed but also in a mark on your criminal record. Having a criminal history could make it challenging for you to keep or find a job, keep insurance rates low, and/or pass a background check.

Pleading guilty is not your only option. You have the right to fight your charges, and you need legal representation to do so effectively. At Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC, we provide compassionate and zealous advocacy from the start of your case until the resolution. We understand that various factors could mistakenly lead to a DWI accusation, such as improper calibration of chemical testing equipment. Our St. Paul lawyers will examine every detail of your case, from the initial stop to the resulting charge, to spot holes in the State's allegations and build a strong defense strategy on your behalf.

Get over 80 years of combined legal experience on your side by calling us at (651) 413-9004 today.

What Constitutes a DWI?

In Minnesota, a person could be accused of DWI if they are driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. However, a person could be charged for having an alcohol concentration lower than that.

Such circumstances include when a:

  • Motorist is operating a commercial vehicle and their alcohol concentration is .04 or higher
  • Person under 21 years of age drives with any alcohol concentration level

A police officer may stop an individual if probable cause exists that they're driving while intoxicated.

A few driving behaviors officers may look for before pulling a driver over include:

  • Weaving in and out of lanes,
  • Driving too fast or slow,
  • Failing to obey road signs and traffic signals

If the driver is suspected of being under the influence, the officer could arrest the individual and require that they submit to a breath, blood, or urine test to determine whether or not alcohol is present in their system. Under Minnesota's implied consent law, any person who drives on a public road has given their permission to be subject to one of these chemical tests. Refusing to participate is a crime, and the person could face sanctions for doing so.

What Are the Criminal Penalties for DWI?

In Minnesota, DWI offenses are categorized into four degrees. The degree determines the penalties the driver could face and depends on the specifics of the circumstances.

The degrees of DWI charges and penalties in Minnesota include:

  • Fourth-degree: This is charged when a person is driving while impaired and no aggravating factors are present. The criminal penalties include up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Third-degree: This degree is levied when a person is driving while impaired and one aggravating factor was present during the commission of the offense, or the driver refused to submit to a chemical test. This is a gross misdemeanor, with conviction penalties including up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
  • Second-degree: A person faces this degree of charge if they refused to submit to a chemical test and one aggravating factor was present, or if two aggravating factors were present. The offense is also a gross misdemeanor and may result in up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
  • First-degree: This charge is levied when a person:
    • Has committed their fourth DWI offense within 10 years;
    • Was previously convicted of a felony DWI; or
    • Was previously convicted of a criminal vehicular operation offense

First-degree DWI is a felony. A conviction could result in imprisonment of up to 7 years and/or a fine of up to $14,000

For determining the degree of DWI charge, an aggravating factor is defined as:

  • A previous DWI offense within the past 10 years
  • An alcohol concentration of .16 or higher
  • A child under 16 years of age present in the vehicle at the time of the offense (if the driver was 3 or more years older than the child)

Minnesota law also provides that drivers convicted of second and subsequent DWI offenses may be subject to mandatory penalties. The exact punishments depend on the facts of the case. For instance, a second offense may result in a minimum incarceration term of 30 days and 8 hours of community service. A third offense could lead to a minimum of 90 days incarceration and an intensive supervision program.

If you are facing a second or subsequent DWI charge, our St. Paul lawyers can discuss the potential penalties that could be imposed, as well as your legal options for fighting the accusations.

What Are the Administrative Sanctions for a DWI?

As mentioned earlier, in addition to criminal penalties, a driver suspected of DWI is also subject to administrative sanctions. These are immediate punishments for driving while impaired and may be levied before the criminal case concludes.

Administrative sanctions may include:

  • Driver's license suspension or revocation
  • License plate impoundment
  • Vehicle forfeiture
  • Ignition interlock device installation

The penalties vary depending on the number of previous DWI offenses and whether or not aggravating factors were present at the time of the incident. For instance, a first-offense DWI with an alcohol concentration between .08 and .16 may lead to a driver's license suspension of 90 days. However, if the driver refused to submit to a chemical test, they could lose their driving privileges for at least 1 year. If the individual has 4 or more previous DWI offenses, their driver's license may be suspended for at least 6 years.

For commercial driver's license holders, if they refused a chemical test or had an alcohol concentration of .04 or higher, their CDL may be revoked.

How Is My Life Impacted by a DWI?

An arrest, charge, and conviction for driving while impaired could lead to more than just a night in jail.

Your life may be affected in various ways, including:

  • Impacting your finances: If you're convicted, you may be assessed a steep fine. Additionally, you will be charged legal fees on top of those you must pay your lawyer.
  • Impacting your employment: Some employers have policies against drunk driving and may make hiring and retention decisions based on an employee's (or potential employees) history. Depending on the severity of your offense, your job may be on the line.
  • Impacting your privilege to drive: Your driver's license may be suspended for a few months to several years. This could make it difficult for you to take care of daily tasks such as taking your children to school, going grocery shopping, or getting to work.
  • Impacting your freedom: Depending on the facts of your case, if you're convicted of DWI, you could be incarcerated.

Fight Your DWI Charge

The stakes are high in a DWI case. If you've been charged, you need the skilled and aggressive defense our St. Paul attorneys at Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC can provide. We explore every legal option and exhaust our resources to work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Schedule a confidential consultation by calling us at (651) 413-9004 or submitting an online contact form.

Recent Victories

Pursuing the Best Possible Result
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  • Serving St. Paul Since 1948
  • Over 50 Years of Collective Experience
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Helping People Is What We're Good At

Backed by over 50 years of combined legal experience and an intimate understanding of the court system, our team knows how to effectively guide clients through their cases. 

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