I Got Another DWI – Will I Do Jail Time?
Upon an arrest for a subsequent DWI within ten years of the first DWI, the driver almost always is jailed and held for a bail hearing before a judge in court. If the case resolves with a conviction (meaning either the driver pleads guilty or is found guilty by a jury), then the mandatory minimum amount of jail time required by statute is determined by the number of prior DWIs the driver has. A prior DWI incident includes either a criminal conviction for a DWI or an impaired driving license revocation.
If convicted of a DWI (driving while impaired) within ten years of another impaired driving incident, Minn. Stat. § 169A.275 requires either a minimum of 30 days jail, at least 48 hours of which must be served in a local jail; OR eight hours of community service for each day less than 30 days ordered to serve in jail. The sentencing court must impose this mandatory minimum sentence, unless it finds good reasons to sentence otherwise. However, although courts in different districts treat such cases differently, most courts impose at least 30 days jail upon conviction of a second-time DWI.
If convicted of a third DWI within ten years the minimum penalties increase. In this situation, the court can choose to sentence an individual to either a minimum of 90 days jail, at least 30 of which must be served consecutively in a local jail; OR a program of intense supervision for repeat DWI offenders that requires at least six days served in a local jail. The court may order that an individual does not serve more than 60 days of the minimum penalty on house arrest or in an intensive probation program. In some circumstances, the court may impose a staggered jail sentence totaling at least the 90-day minimum required by statute.
If convicted of a fourth DWI within ten years that is a felony and the court may send the offender to prison. But if the court does not impose a prison sentence, then the court has the option to sentence an individual to: a minimum of 180 days of incarceration, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local jail; OR a program of intensive supervision where the offender must serve at least six consecutive days in a local jail; OR a staggered 180-day jail sentence that involves a minimum of 30 days served consecutively in a local jail.
Certainly every case and every person’s situation is unique. For a free consultation, please give us a call at 763.421.6366 to see how we can help.