FIRST OFFENSE DWI'S IN MINNESOTA
In most situations, a first-time DWI arrest will result in criminal charges of Fourth Degree, Misdemeanor DWI. It's the "lowest" level of DWI offense in Minnesota . . . and is also the one that needs to be fought to preserve your record. That's because "lowest level" does not mean that you can or should just ignore the consequences. There are two types of drivers in Minnesota, those who have a DWI conviction on their record, and those who don't. You definitely want to be in the second category, and not the first.
CONSEQUENCES FOR A FOURTH DEGREE DWI
In Minnesota, fourth degree DWI comes with a "maximum penalty" of 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. It is practically unheard of for anyone to actually be sentenced at the maximum, however -- so there is little reason for you to worry that your DWI arrest will result in you spending 90 days in a jail cell, whether you were arrested in Minneapolis or in Brainerd for your DWI. Unlike every other degree of DWI, there is also no "mandatory minimum" penalty for a fourth degree DWI. In this situation, every county is very different, and often have a standard sentence that they will use for first time DWI offenders that rarely involves actual jail time.
Outside of jail and fines, a fourth degree DWI sentence will typically involve putting someone on probation for one to two years, the requirement that the person either be evaluated by a chemical dependency evaluator or attend a specialized DWI awareness class, and the requirement that they attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) "Victim Impact Panel." Other conditions may also be imposed by the court, including a restriction on your ability to consume alcohol, random testing, and of course, losing your driver's license. But perhaps most damaging is the fact that once convicted, you will have a DWI conviction on your criminal record for life, with all of the consequences that go along with such a conviction.
Keep in mind that the above information applies to someone who is convicted of fourth degree DWI; if you're hiring Ramsay Law Firm, the goal is to avoid any alcohol related conviction, and thereby also avoiding some or all of the consequences listed above -- especially keeping your record clean.
CHALLENGING THE DWI ACCUSATIONS
DWI Defense is what we do, and when you've got us on your side, you'll fall asleep at night knowing that we've got every angle covered. Minnesota's DWI court process can be confusing to someone who has never even been arrested before, but we know DWI Defense better than anyone, and are going to be there to walk you through it.
All of the evidence, the facts, witness statements, the officer’s dashboard video camera, and any other relevant pieces of information will be used to build a strong defense for you. Our number one goal will be to get the charges against you dismissed, or reduced to a lesser charge, either eliminating or at least dramatically reducing the consequences.
AVOIDING MISDEMEANOR DWI PENALTIES
That's our goal -- either reducing or outright avoiding the consequences that come from having a DWI conviction on your record. By both avoiding the criminal consequences of a DWI conviction and avoiding the effects a DWI will have on your driving record, we hope to put your life in the same place it was in the day before you were arrested (minus some rather unpleasant memories that can hopefully be chalked up to a "lesson learned.").
And keeping that DWI arrest from turning into a conviction will save you all of the headaches that come with such a conviction; travel to Canada will be easier without a DWI conviction, you won't have to fear background checks from employers or landlords, you won't run the risk of getting caught up in a probation violation case, your insurance premiums won't skyrocket . . . in the end, you'll be able to look back and say "because of Ramsay Law Firm, I'm not one of the unfortunate souls who are currently going through life with a DWI conviction on their record."
That's why we're here.