Drunk driving is a serious crime that can follow you for the rest of your life. Driving after having a few drinks of alcohol may seem harmless enough at the time, but getting pulled over can lead to very harsh penalties. If you are facing a drunk driving charge in Minnesota, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side.
Understanding Drunk Driving Charges
The penalties for drunk driving are often strict, and can affect every aspect of your life. The most common drunk driving penalties are:
- License suspension or revocation;
- Jail time up to 10 years; and/or
- Fines up to $20,000.
In the state of Minnesota, there are four degrees of drunk driving offenses. The exact penalties you will face are based on which degree of drunk driving you are charged with and whether it is a first-time, or repeat offense.
Drunk driving charges in Minnesota can range from a misdemeanor, or a gross misdemeanor, all the way to a felony. The exact charges you face will depend on a variety of aggravating factors that include:
- Prior drunk driving convictions;
- Refusing a blood-alcohol test;
- Driving drunk with a child present in your car;
- Having a blood alcohol level over .20; and/or
- Involvement in an accident that injures or kills someone.
A fourth-degree drunk driving charge is the least serious, but you will still potentially face jail time up to 90 days, fines of $1,000, and two years of probation. If you are convicted of third-degree or second-degree drunk driving, you might be sentenced to a year in jail, a $3,000 fine, and up to six years of probation. Probation may include an extended period without a license, or having to use an ignition interlock in your car.
The most serious drunk driving charge is a first-degree felony, which can lead to fines up to $15,000, and up to seven years in prison. If someone is killed while you are drunk driving, you can be charged with vehicular homicide and the fines and penalties will be even harsher.
Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer
The moment you are aware of any drunk driving charges, you need a qualified lawyer on your side. No matter what the circumstances of the charges are, your lawyer will help you get the best possible outcome. This often means reducing your charges or getting them dropped altogether.
With the right lawyer on your side, you can get your license back sooner and avoid jail time or fines. If you don’t hire a defense attorney to help you fight against your drunk driving charges, you may face the maximum penalties and find yourself unable to drive for a long period of time.
Always A Free Consultation
When you are charged with drunk driving of any degree, our Minnesota attorneys are on your side. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we have helped many people get their drunk driving charges reduced, or even dropped. Don’t let a drunk driving charge affect your entire life. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our free online consultation form.