If you are convicted of DWI in the state of Minnesota, you will likely have to face stiff consequences. Jail sentences are very common when it comes to DWIs, and an individual convicted of DWI may spend anywhere from 30 days to an entire year in jail for offenses less serious than a felony. There are times that the judge will have no choice but to sentence an offender to jail time, particularly if it is the person is a repeat offender.
The good news is that with the help of a skilled Minnesota DWI attorney, it is very possible to negotiate with the judge for alternative sentencing in order to reduce the amount of time actually spent behind bars or substitute it for an alternative.
Electronic home monitoring is a popular alternative to jail, and can also sometimes be substituted for workhouse time. This involves you wearing a bracelet around your ankle that monitors your movement at all times of the day. You are essentially under house arrest, and may only be allowed to go to school or your place of work.
Community work service is another popular jail alternative that requires you to repay a debt to society for your offense by carrying out some unpaid work in the community, such as in government agencies or non-profit organizations.
Out of custody STS or “sentence to service” is a sentence that allows you to work at a jobsite assigned by the probation department. You will be monitored as you work at this site during the day, but will be allowed to return home to sleep for the night. Only low-level or non-violent offenders are usually allowed to participate in this program. Generally, eights hours of work equates to one day jail credit.
Work furlough is similar to work release. This alternative sentence allows you to keep your job and return to work like you normally would. However, you will be required to return to a facility at the end of the day. Again, only first-time offenders are typically allowed to participate in this program.
If your attorney recognizes that you have a long-term drug or alcohol problem, you may be required to stay in an outpatient or residential rehabilitation program. You may also be asked to spend time in a sober living facility and attend therapy sessions and a 12-step program.
If your DWI case involves a drawn-out mandatory minimum jail sentence, it’s recommended you consult with a good DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
Why call a Minnesota DUI Attorney when facing a jail sentence?
There are certain DWI offenses that carry a mandatory jail sentence, if convicted. However, as discussed above, there are several alternatives to jail even when a mandatory jail sentence is required by Minnesota law. A skilled attorney can potentially negotiate an alternative sentence with the prosecutor assigned to your case, or argue to the court or judge why your case deserves consideration for a departure from mandatory jail based on the specific facts of your situation.