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Getting charged with a DWI is stressful. Dealing with the aftermath of it can be extremely cumbersome. If it is the first time that you have been charged with a DWI offense, you may not know the minute details of what needs to be done after. You may be left floundering not knowing which way to turn and what to do. Let us go step by step.
The first thing you need to understand is what exactly are these charges and what could be the possible consequences if it happens that you get convicted. If you do get convicted, even if it is for the first time, it can be quite expensive for you. If you seek guidance from an experienced DWI attorney in Minnesota, you will be able to get the required information and also possibly help to fight your case.
This will in Turn Help you get the Best Possible Result in your Case
4th Degree DWI Cost – DWI in Minnesota – What It Is
If we have to go by the definition given in a book then according to the law of the State, if you are driving when you are drunk or intoxicated, you can be charged with a 4th degree DWI in Minnesota. This means your BAC is .08 or more than that and you are under the influence of alcohol or any other such substance.
In the State of Minnesota, a first time DWI offense is considered a 4th-degree offense. However, there are multiple factors that could possibly aggravate the 4th degree DWI offense to third-degree ones. In some unfortunate cases, it is even bumped up to second degree DWI which is considered really bad. Again, if you go by the book, a fourth-degree DWI offense is essentially your first DWI charge without any DWI related conviction in the past ten years and also without any factors that could aggravate the same up the ladder into third or second degree.
As discussed above multiple factors could bump up the case from fourth to third and third to second degree DWI offense. Let us have a look at some of these factors.
1) If you have a Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) of .16 or more than that.
2) If you have been convicted for a prior DWI offense within the time frame of ten years from the date of the current charge.
3) If you are accompanied by a minor, viz – a child under 16, who is present in the concerned vehicle with you at the time of the DWI offense.
4) If you refuse to consent to a breath test.
In case of the above or more such aggravating factors, your 4th degree DWI cost may increase if the offense is upgraded to a third degree or you may even be charged with second degree DWI offense. If that happens, your potential case costs will get hiked dramatically. Let us take an example – if you are charged with a third-degree DWI, it would involve one of the above factors and also criminal sanctions that can land you in prison for up to one year and/or a hefty fine of up to $3,000 fine.
If you are charged with second degree DWI, it usually involves two of the above-mentioned aggravation factors. This is also punishable by the same set of penalties as the third degree DWI – essentially a fine of up to $3,000 and/or a year’s jail term.
4th Degree DWI Cost and Criminal Penalties
If you are convicted for a 4th degree DWI offense, you could be jailed for a period of up to 90 days and/or a fine amount of $1,000. Of course, your legal expenses will be in addition to these.
If it is a typical 4th degree DWI offense, wherein you are a first-timer and there are no aggravating factors involved, then you could get an option to trade the stay in jail ( for any time period) with some form of service to the community or even probation.
There could be multiple other criminal sanctions like abstinence of abusive drugs and/or alcohol, compulsory attendance, random alcohol/drug/substance testing, mandatory completion of an assessment for dependency on chemicals, etc. They may also ask for your vehicle to be installed with an ignition interlock device (IID).
What More could a 4th Degree DWI Cost
There will be legal costs and there will be criminal fines. In addition to these, there will also be other administrative cost implications. These could involve seizure or confiscation of your driving license, possible confiscation of your vehicle as well as forfeiture. Usually, a 4th degree DWI cost can be exorbitant and the offense can also result in your driving license being revoked for a period of at least 90 days.
4th Degree DWI Cost and Other Possible Consequences
Let us look at a few other areas where you could have expenses if you are charged with a 4th degree DWI offense.
1) If the matter gets out of hand and if you get incarcerated, then you will have to forgo your wages which means a loss of income for you.
2) The same holds true for a loss of increment and/or promotion. You may or may not get it.
3) A blemish on your record as the DWI stays permanently as a part of your criminal records.
4) The moment you get convicted in a 4th degree DWI offense, insurance companies will automatically charge you higher premiums for insuring your vehicle.
5) You will also have to pay for the installation of the IID into your vehicle.
As you can see from the above discussion that the cost of a 4th degree DWI offense is no joke. It is high – both from the criminal as well as the administrative standpoint.
First things first- you must get adequate and correct legal representation. Do your research and homework well here. Do not jump to hire the first lawyer you meet or do not hire the cheapest of the bunch.
A simple logic – what you pay for is what you get. Do your homework. Find a knowledgeable, skilled and reputed lawyer (check testimonials)
This can help tilt the case in your favour and make a huge difference. Remember what is at stake!