Those who have had unfortunate brushes with the law in the past might understandably be even more nervous than others about what could happen in the event of a second, third or fourth arrest. In areas concerning drunk driving this is an especially common concern given the escalation in penalties faced by repeat offenders.
Legislators in Minnesota and elsewhere have written laws specifically to punish those who they see as the greatest danger to other motorists: repeat drunk drivers. Though penalties for first-time offenders can already be quite stiff, the trouble faced by those on a second or third arrest can increase dramatically. To find out more about what kinds of penalties await repeat drunk drivers in Minnesota, keep reading.
In Minnesota, the laws concerning repeat offenders looks at how many drunk driving convictions a person has accumulated over the previous 10 years. That means if you were convicted of DWI 15 years ago, that incident will not be factored into your punishment.
The laws clearly say that a second drunk driving offense rises from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor and will result in not only the loss of the person’s driver’s license, but fines and jail time. Third offenses involve increased fines and jail time but remain categorized as gross misdemeanors, while fourth convictions become felonies.
For a second offense, a defendant faces a fine of up to $3,000 and up to 30 days behind bars as well as license revocation. Third-time offenders face up to 90 days behind bars and $3,000 in fines as well as possible vehicle impoundment. Finally, a fourth conviction can lead to as much as 3 years in jail and up to $14,000 in fines as well as other penalties designed to prevent you from engaging in drunk driving again in the future.
Though these represent the maximum possible punishments, repeat offenders in Minnesota must also contend with mandatory minimum sentences that have been passed to guarantee those who break the law face some serious punishment. For a second DWI offense, defendants must serve 30 days of incarceration, two days of which must be served in a jail or workhouse. Any time less than the 30 days not served in jail must instead be converted into community service work. Three DWI offenses result in a minimum of 90 days incarceration, with 30 consecutive days being served in a local jail or workhouse. Fourth-time offenders must have 180 days of incarceration, at least 30 served in jail, while fifth-time offenders must have a year of incarceration and 60 days consecutively in jail.
It’s because of how severe these penalties can be that it is so important anyone facing a subsequent drunk driving charge immediately contact a Minnesota DWI attorney. The increased potential for jail time, the substantial amount of fines involved and the damage to your permanent record are all reasons why it is crucial for repeat offenders to hire an experienced attorney to defend against repeat drunk driving charges.