Penalties For First-Degree Felony DWI Are Considerable

If you are charged with first-degree DWI, you're likely feeling regretful, scared and uncertain about what your next steps should be. It's important to understand your charge so that you can take the most successful path to mitigate the consequences. The first aspect of your charge you'll need to ascertain is the degree of DWI you'll be facing.

If you are facing a first-degree DWI, it is for one of the following reasons:

  • It is your fourth infraction within a 10-year period.
  • You have previously been convicted of a felony related to substance use or homicide.

A first-degree DWI is the most egregious class of DWI charges, and the penalties you could incur are considerable. This is why it's crucial to secure robust legal aid at the beginning of the process. Minnesota aggressively punishes first-degree DWIs with mandatory penalties. These include:

  • A minimum sentence of three years in prison for repeat first-degree DWI offenders, with a maximum sentence of seven years
  • A parole period of no less than five years for repeat offenders, with the possibility of reimprisonment if you commit another DWI-related infraction
  • A fine of up to $14,000
  • The loss of your driver's license

Aside from the legal repercussions, a first-degree DWI will result in a plethora of nonlegal complications. A first-degree DWI will cause the price of your vehicle insurance to skyrocket and this is a best-case scenario. More likely, it won't be possible for you to secure insurance at all. It will also damage your case in parole hearings or child custody disputes. A first-degree DWI will also be entered on your publicly searchable criminal record, impacting your ability to secure housing, loans and employment.

With a strong legal strategy, this charge doesn't have to wreak havoc in your life. A good criminal defense lawyer can often get a charge reduced to a second- or third-degree infraction.

Discuss Your Felony Charges With Our Attorney

We offer free initial consultation with attorney Bill Mauzy. Mr. Mauzy has a winning case record of results. To discuss your DWI case with Mr. Mauzy, call our Minneapolis office at 612-444-9466. You can also email our office to get started.