The last thing you’d want is for the police to pull you over, arrest you and charge you for drunk driving. It’s always best to avoid consuming alcohol if you’re going to get behind the wheel. Sometimes, people err in judgment, perhaps assuming they’re not intoxicated if they only had a few drinks. Any presence of alcohol on your breath can lead to a DWI arrest if you submit to a breath test during a Minnesota traffic stop.
The penalties for drunk driving are severe in Minnesota. Conviction for a first offense may result in criminal and administrative penalties. Such punishment can include jail time, up to $1,000 in fines, as well as revocation of your driver’s license. If you’re a commercial vehicle operator, you may lose your operating privileges.
Certain issues trigger stiffer penalties for DWI in Minnesota
If you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision that results in a fatality or injuries to another person and are subsequently arrested for drunk driving, you could face felony criminal vehicular operation / homicide charges in court. A conviction under these circumstances may lead to penalties that include tens of thousands of dollars in fines, as well as several years in prison.
Consequences of DWI extend beyond the courtroom
A DWI conviction can have a negative effect on your career and private life, as well. The stigma of a conviction could taint your reputation, especially if you are a licensed professional, in which case your professional license might be revoked or suspended, as well. If you struggle with alcohol addiction, a DWI conviction could cause problems in your marriage and family life.
Your employer might not wish to keep you on the payroll following a DWI conviction. Finding new employment might be difficult, especially because most employers conduct criminal background checks before hiring someone.
A strong criminal defense can help achieve a positive outcome
Facing DWI charges in Minnesota does not necessarily mean you’ll undergo a conviction. In fact, it doesn’t even mean that your case will go to trial. A lot can happen to change the course of events. For example, if there was no basis for the traffic stop, the judge might dismiss your case.
There may be several criminal defense options available that can help mitigate your circumstances. This is true whether you consumed alcohol before driving or were completely sober. Understanding your rights and learning which strategies might be most effective in your case are the keys to achieving a positive outcome.