Typically, the state of Minnesota considers driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to be a misdemeanor offense. However, in some cases, you could be charged with felony DWI. This may be true if you cause significant harm or death to another person or have been charged with misdemeanor DWI at least four times over the past 10 years.
What are the penalties for a felony DWI conviction?
If you are convicted of a felony DWI, you could spend up to seven years in prison. Furthermore, you will be subject to a fine of $14,000 and a loss of driving privileges for at least four years. You will not be allowed to regain your license until you have met all conditions imposed by a judge during sentencing.
You will need to obtain an ignition interlock device
An ignition interlock device, or IID, prevents your car from starting if it detects traces of alcohol on your breath. State law mandates that you install an IID on your vehicle for at least four years after receiving your license again. It’s also important to note that your license will be restricted for at least a year after your full suspension is lifted.
You could be sanctioned for harming an unborn victim
You could be subject to serious penalties if you cause bodily injury or death to an unborn child while driving under the influence. If a fetus is killed in a drunk driving crash that you caused, you will lose your license for at least 15 years. Furthermore, you could spend up to a decade in custody.
If you have been charged with felony DWI, it’s a good idea to consult with legal counsel. An attorney might be able to dispute police testimony, the results of a blood test or other evidence used to charge you with this crime. It may be possible to get the charge dropped, obtain a plea deal or convince a jury to return a verdict of not guilty.