DWI Degrees

Fourth Degree DWI (169A.27)

Fourth Degree DWI is the least severe DWI charge in Minnesota. It is a misdemeanor, which means that the maximum sentence is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. As an alternative to a full 90 days in jail, a court can impose up to two years of supervised probation.

Second Degree DWI (169A.25)

Second Degree DWI is also a gross misdemeanor. However, unlike third-degree DWI, second-degree DWI carries the potential for forfeiture of the vehicle.

Test refusal is a second-degree offense if there is one aggravating factor. An under-the-influence or over-the-limit charge is a second-degree offense if there are two aggravating factors.

Third Degree DWI (169A.26)

Third Degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor, which means that the maximum sentence is one year in jail and a fine of $3,000. As an alternative to a full year in jail, a court can impose up to six years of supervised probation.

Test refusal is at least a third-degree offense. An under-the-influence or over-the-limit charge is a third-degree offense if there is one aggravating factor. Aggravating factors are:

  • a qualified prior impaired driving incident in the previous 10 years (It is important to note that this means either a DWI conviction or an alcohol-related loss of license. This means that a case in which the criminal charge was “pled down” to careless driving counts if the person’s license was revoked);
  • an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more (prior to July 1, 2015, the threshold for an aggravating factor had been 0.20); or
  • a child under the age of 16 in the car (unless the driver is 36 months or fewer older than the child).

First Degree DWI (169A.24)

First Degree DWI is a felony, and can carry a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $14,000. In addition, a prison sentence for felony DWI must include an additional conditional release period of five years.

A DWI is a felony if the person:

  • has three or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents in the past ten years;
  • has a previous felony DWI conviction; or
  • has a prior felony conviction for certain criminal vehicular operation or homicide crimes.

If you have been charged with a DWI, contact us at 612-333-7309 to discuss your case.

If you are facing a criminal charge, you need professional, personal representation. Our team of attorneys will offer you Straight Talk and Honest Answers about your case.

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This website is designed for general information only. Nothing on this website should be construed as formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer-client relationship.

Law Offices of F. Clayton Tyler | TriTech Office Center | 331 Second Avenue South, Suite 230 | Minneapolis, MN 55401

612.333.7309  |  1.888.333.7309