Breaking Bad: Defending a Felony DWI Charge

Posted On November 29, 2011 by Charles Ramsay

In Minnesota, a DWI conviction can not only cause you to lose your license, your job, your ability to get car insurance, and your respect, but you can also lose your liberty. When people think about the consequences of a DWI, they often don't realize that they could not only be looking at time in the local workhouse/jail, but that they could actually go to prison.

There are many ways to find yourself charged with an aggravated DWI, but only two ways to find yourself charged with a felony-level DWI. If you have three (or more) prior DWI offenses (either convictions or license revocations) in the previous ten years, a new DWI charge is a felony. Additionally, any prior felony conviction for DWI or criminal vehicular operation will cause a new DWI charge to be a felony. And felonies mean more than losing your right to vote, possess a firearm, and find a decent job - felonies mean time in prison.

Not every person convicted of felony DWI goes to prison, but without a very good attorney, your odds of doing time go up tremendously. However, just because you may be facing a felony DWI doesn't mean that you should have no hope. In fact, you shouldn't spend all your time focused on merely avoiding prison, because there are many, many ways to fight a felony DWI.

Don't forget, the State not only has the burden of proving that you committed this DWI - they have to prove that you committed each and every prior DWI that they are using to enhance this current charge. While the stakes are much higher in a felony DWI case, there are also even more defenses available - defenses that can not only keep you out of prison, but that can keep you from serving any time at all. At the same time, there are many more pitfalls than most people realize - underscoring how important it really is to "get it right| and hire an attorney that has experience handling felony DWI cases.