Have You Been Charged With Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor DWI?

If you are ever charged with fourth-degree DWI in Minnesota, it is important to have an understanding of the possible consequences and penalties.

In accordance with the Minnesota Statute Section 169A.20, an individual is charged with fourth-degree DWI when:

  • He/she has been found driving a vehicle (which includes any motor vehicle, regardless of size and function) under influence of alcohol and/or other illegal drugs.
  • He/she has been found with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
  • He/she resists being tested by a police officer for determining intoxication levels.

Additionally, fourth-degree DWI also means that:

  • No "aggravating factors" were present in the incident such as possession of illegal drugs, or having a minor in the car.
  • It is either the very first, or at least the first DWI offense committed by the individual in 10 years.

If an individual has indeed been charged with fourth-degree DWI, this sets two distinct legal processes in motion. The first process is that of the state of Minnesota charging the individual with the crime which entails a criminal proceeding with intention to prosecute criminal charges. The second process, on the other hand, is an administrative proceeding which may result in severe consequences such as seizing of the driver's vehicle, impounding of plates or even revocation of the driver's license.

If convicted, the maximum penalty for a fourth-degree DWI includes 90 days in jail and/or fine up to $1,000. Additionally, the individual may have to enter into a one- to two-year probationary period on his/her license, besides receiving mandatory counseling.

In should also be noted that in the event the individual is charged and convicted, fourth-degree DWI constitutes a misdemeanor criminal offense, which, in spite of being the lowest level of criminal offense in Minnesota, is a crime and therefore may be reported on applications requiring details of the individual ever having committed a crime.

However, since there is no minimum mandatory sentence for the same offense, long-term damaging consequences can be mitigated, provided there is efficient and proper legal aid (that can provide a proper response on the part of the individual), as well as a precise understanding of processes set into motion with the conviction.

Free Consultation With An Attorney

Call our Minneapolis office to request your free consultation with our lawyer William J. Mauzy. You can also email us to get started. We offer free initial meetings. Don't wait to begin your defense of these subsequent DWI charges. Call us now.