DWI in Minnesota: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
In Minnesota, both DUI and DWI are used generally when referring to impaired driving. Under the law, however, each term has a slightly different definition. DUI, for example, refers to Driving Under the Influence and can apply to drivers who are impaired by either alcohol or drugs, or both. DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, applies in cases where a driver’s BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, is above the legal limit of .08.
If I am being accused of DWI/DUI, will I get jail time?
Although all cases are different, jail time is possible for many drivers charged with DWI. This is especially true in cases with aggravating factors such as high BAC levels, multiple offenses, accidents, and injuries, among others. While imprisonment is a serious penalty, experienced defense attorneys can work toward resolutions that keep defendants out from behind bars.
I’m facing DWI charges, what are the penalties?
The penalties you face will always depend on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. Courts will pay particular attention to the nature of your charge, your BAC level, and whether you have been convicted of similar charges in the past. Generally, defendants can face penalties that include large fines and fees, possible jail time, probation, license suspension, court ordered classes, community service, and other consequences. In the most serious cases, offenders can face lengthy prison sentences.
There are many short and long-term consequences that come with DWI convictions, and they have the potential to seriously impact one’s personal, emotional, and financial well-being. Your best course of action to defend yourself against these consequences and future limitations is to enlist the help of seasoned DWI lawyers.
What happens when an underage driver is charged for DWI?
Minnesota enforces a zero-tolerance police for drivers who are under the age of 21. This means that if a driver under 21 is found to have any amount of alcohol in their system, as well as any amount of drugs, they can be criminally charged, be subject to license suspension, and face serious criminal penalties.
Is a conviction guaranteed if I failed a chemical test?
A positive chemical test does not mean an automatic conviction. Why? First, it does not indicate that you were legally intoxicated under the law or that you were intoxicated at the time you were behind the wheel. Additionally, chemical test methods used by law enforcement are not perfect – they can and often do give false readings, especially if they were used or maintained improperly.
Experienced lawyers know there are many elements to challenge in a DWI case and many ways to secure a positive resolution, including a dismissal, on behalf of clients. Analyzing the circumstances surrounding a stop, arrest, and chemical test is part of this process.
Can I fight my DWI charges on my own?
Entrusting your case to a professional can ensure that someone familiar with the law, the tactics used by prosecutors, and the methods for effectively defending clients’ rights and futures is working to help you secure the most favorable outcome possible. At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys have decades of combined experience representing client charged with all types of DWI offenses. We have the experience and resources that could make a difference in your case. With so much on the line, why would you risk handling these complex legal matters on your own?
Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. offers free consultations, so you have nothing to lose in speaking with a member of our team. Find out more about how a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer may be able to help by calling our office at (612) 444-5020.