The last thing you want to see after a night out with friends is flashing lights in your rearview mirror.
Facing DWI charges in Minnesota can be a complex issue that impacts many areas of your life. Unlike other offenses, drunk driving charges can have many layers that make a DWI more like two or three cases in one.
Here’s what you should know about the different layers of DWI penalties in Minnesota and how they can impact your situation.
The first layer: The criminal case
First of all, drunk driving is a criminal offense that can come with jail time and up to $14,000 in fines depending on the degree of the offense. Additionally, the consequences of having a DWI conviction on your record could come up on a background check and impact your eligibility for specific jobs and other privileges.
The second layer: The administrative case
The next part of a drunk driving case is the civil or administrative portion. This is the portion where the court determines what driving privileges you have and whether they will revoke your driver’s license.
One of the challenges with the administrative portion of the case is that the penalties begin shortly after your arrest. Then, the hurdle becomes bringing your own civil lawsuit against the State to seek rescission of your license revocation, removal of the revocation from your driving record, and reinstatement of your driver’s license and driving privileges. If you lose this case, or don’t file it in the first place, the civil revocation will remain on your driving record and can be used to increase the penalties you’ll face in future DWI cases.
The third layer: Civil vehicle forfeiture
You could also face vehicle forfeiture depending on the charges brought against you. In limited circumstances, you could lose your vehicle, such as if you are convicted of a third DWI within a ten-year period.
In addition to being expensive, drunk driving charges can impact your criminal record and driving ability. Creating a strong defense means understanding the many layers of DWI charges, so it is essential to talk to a skilled professional when you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving in Minnesota.