Prior Convictions / Aggravating Factors

Being charged with a DWI is “serious business.” You cannot underestimate the negative impact that a DWI conviction can have on all aspects of your life. You can end up facing significant jail (or even prison) time, huge fines and an extended revocation/cancellation/suspension of your driver’s license.

Long gone are the days in which a person tended to receive a proverbial “get out of jail free” card for a first time DWI. Indeed, the penalties for even a first time conviction for DWI or DUI are stiff. With that noted, what you absolutely must understand is that the penalties for subsequent DWI convictions literally can best be described as enormous.

The Importance of a Qualified Minneapolis DWI Lawyer

If you have at least one DWI incident on your record, and you are charged again with DWI or DUI, you absolutely must appreciate the gravity of the situation. You are facing a case that you absolutely cannot handle and resolve on your own. Moreover, not any lawyer will do when it comes to mounting the best possible defense to a fresh DWI charge when you have been down this road before (so to speak).

At the firm of Meaney & Patrin, we will provide you with the experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated Minneapolis DWI lawyer that you must have at your side to protect your rights and interests and to ensure the best possible resolution of your case. In the end, when you have found yourself in a position in which you are facing a second or subsequent charge of DWI, you simply cannot leave anything to chance. Only through the powerful professional representation that our firm will provide to you can you best be assured of the most favorable outcome and resolution of your case.

Understanding the Penalties for a Subsequent DWI

It has been said on more than one occasion that in Minnesota there is a zero tolerance for driving while intoxicated. Over the course of the past decade, the penalties associated with a conviction for DWI have increased significantly. The amount of jail time and fines (as well as the length of a driver’s license revocation/cancellation) that are handed down to people who have more than one DWI case on their records has risen dramatically.

While all of this might sound well and good on paper, and while no one can argue that reducing the number of people who are on the roadways after drinking is admirable, you nonetheless have the right to a full, complete, meaningful and effective defense from a Minneapolis DWI lawyer in these circumstances.

In order to properly understand the seriousness of your own particular case, it is essential that you have a basic understanding of how penalties for a DWI are enhanced if you do have another driving while intoxicated incident in your background.

If you have one other driving while impaired or intoxicated violation in the past ten years you face a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. Mandatory minimum jail penalties also apply, which are handed down differently depending on the county of your office and the particular judge you are dealing with at each court appearance.

If you have two other driving while impaired or intoxicated violations in the past ten years you also face a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. Mandatory minimum jail sentences are even longer in this situation, and your driver’s license may be canceled for at least one year. Plus, your vehicle may be forfeited. Many counties have “repeat offender” programs that will be available or required when a person commits a third offense within ten years. These programs work well for some drivers, but not all.

If you have four or more prior driving while impaired violations in the past ten years, you face the prospect of spending up to seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. Moreover, your driver’s license can end up being canceled until such time as you have successfully completed an appropriate alcohol treatment program and a very lengthy period of sobriety.

The severity and extent of the different types of punishments you potentially can face in the circumstances that have been described in this section of our website should underscore why it is essential to obtain a qualified and effective Minneapolis DWI lawyer from our firm. Take a moment today to visit the rest of our site and see precisely how we can assist you during these challenging and difficult times. We are available to meet with you at your convenience to discuss your case and the charges you are facing. Please call our offices at 612-223-6595. We will provide you with an initial consultation at no charge to you.