Minneapolis & St. Paul DWI Lawyers
Under Minnesota law, individuals arrested for DWI face both criminal and civil consequences. Criminal consequences may include jail time, probation conditions, serious fines, and enhanced sentences. Civil penalties may involve loss of driving license privileges and forfeiture of your vehicle. It is important to have an attorney who is experienced with both the criminal and civil consequences involved in a DWI arrest. Ask to speak to a criminal defense/DWI immediately upon your arrest.
At Kassius Benson Law, P.A., we provide experienced representation of individuals charged with DWI throughout the state of Minnesota. We have established a DWI and Criminal Vehicular Crimes Group within the Criminal Division of the Firm in order to provide the most effective, current and relevant criminal defense to these matters. The DWI and Criminal Vehicular Crimes Group is supervised by Tayler J. Rahm, Associate Attorney at Kassius Benson Law, P.A.
A driving while impaired offense, “DWI” (often incorrectly referred to as driving while intoxicated) starts with a police officer or state trooper stopping your car on a public highway. The officer must have an articulable reason stop the car, but it can be as simple as a minor traffic violation or even a defective part on the car (e.g., a broken taillight). The officer will ask the driver questions seeking to get admissions that the driver has been drinking and to assess whether the driver’s speech is slurred and whether there is an odor of alcohol coming from the car. If the officer has suspicions that the driver has been drinking, he will ask the driver to get out of the car and ask him to perform sobriety tests (e.g., one-leg stand, heel to toe walk and verbal tests (counting, spelling)). The officer may ask the driver to take a preliminary breath test (“PBT”). If the driver takes the test and fails it, this is a factor justifying an arrest for driving while under the influence (the evidence of this PBT is not admissible in trial). Failing the test or a refusal to take it, along with probable cause for a DWI, triggers the implied consent law triggering driver’s license revocation consequences. The driver is generally placed under arrest at this point if the officer believes he has probable cause for a D.W.I. and the driver is taken to a police station where an implied consent advisory is read to the driver who either takes another breath test (this one can be used in court) or refuses to take the test. A refusal is a gross misdemeanor crime.
A driver arrested for DWI also faces a revocation of his driver’s license and in some circumstances impoundment of his license plates and even a forfeiture of his car. An experienced lawyer should be retained as soon as possible to provide defense in responding to these consequences.
Minneapolis DWI Defense Attorneys
Being charged with driving while impaired not only has the potential to impact your ability to drive, it can have a substantial impact on your liberty and reputation. If you are facing DWI charges, it is in your best interest to seek the legal advice of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Call 612-333-2755 for a free initial consultation with a Minneapolis DWI defense lawyer.
Consequences of Criminal Drunk Driving Are Complicated
Laws governing DWI and other criminal vehicular crimes are becoming more complex every year. These accusations are combined with harsher sentencing guidelines and additional restrictions on offenders. In addition to criminal penalties, you will be facing administrative penalties including the loss of your driver’s license and collateral consequences such as increases in your insurance premiums and loss of employment.
The attorneys at Kassius Benson Law, P.A. provide skilled representation to people facing charges such as:
First-degree felony DWI
Second degree gross misdemeanor DWI
Third degree gross misdemeanor DWI
Fourth degree misdemeanor DWI
Criminal vehicular homicide (vehicular manslaughter)
Hit-and-run (leaving the scene of an accident)
It is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible about your case. To schedule an initial consultation, contact Kassius Benson Law, P.A. at 612-333-2755.
DWI Punishments and Penalties
A conviction in a DWI charge may result in significant punishments and penalties. Working with an experienced defense lawyer gives you the best chance to minimize or avoid these potential penalties. If convicted in Minnesota, you face serious penalties:
The seriousness of the offense depends on whether the driver’s conduct involves an “aggravated factor.” There are three aggravating factors:
“Prior impaired driving within 10 years” (usually a prior DWI but it can be a DWI related loss of license)
An alcohol concentration of .16 or more
Having a child under the age of 16 in the car
These aggravating factors determine the seriousness of the offense:
4th Degree DWI – misdemeanor (90 days, $1,000 fine) no aggravating factors
3rd Degree DWI – gross misdemeanor (one year, $3,000 fine) if one aggravating factor or refusal to submit to test
2nd Degree DWI – gross misdemeanor if two or more aggravating factors or refusal plus one aggravating factor
1st Degree DWI – felony
Protecting Your Rights
Depending on the circumstances, DWI charges can be reduced, or even dismissed. This is especially true when the stop, search, or arrest violated a right to which an individual is guaranteed. Attorney Kassius Benson has the training and experience necessary to identify when the circumstances suggest that the initial stop was not for a valid reason, the field sobriety tests were administered inappropriately, or the breathalyzer or other test was administered incorrectly. When circumstances like these or other important factors arise, Kassius Benson can help you protect your rights. If you have a DWI or alcohol-related driving charge, an experienced attorney can effectively guide you through the court process.