Getting charged with a DWI can be overwhelming. Such a charge can have both criminal and administrative consequences. Luckily, the attorneys at Dudley and Smith, P.A., can help contest a DWI charge.
DUI v. DWI: Is there a Difference?
Many individuals might get confused on whether there is a distinction between the terms “DUI” and “DWI”. DUI technically stands for “driving under the influence” and requires a prosecutor to prove that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. A DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” and requires a prosecutor to prove that a driver was under the influence of either alcohol or a controlled substance. However, the two terms are often used interchangeably.
How Does One Get Charged with a DWI?
One can be charged with a DWI for driving, operating, or having physical control of a motor vehicle while:
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance that affects the body (such as the brain and nervous system) and substantially impairs driving abilities
- Having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater
- Under the influence of a Schedule I or II drug.
What Happens After I Get Charged?
A DWI charge is a criminal charge, therefore, one faces the risk of criminal penalties. Minnesota separates DWI offenses into four levels of degree. Your potential penalties will depend on the degree that one is charged with. Criminal penalties can include jail time, fines, court costs, and a permanent stamp on your criminal record.
When one is charged with a DUI, there are multiple administrative consequences including: license revocation; license plate enforcement; or even vehicle impoundment. The civil component should not be overlooked. For instance, if one has their license revoked, they have a limited number of days to fight it and should promptly contact an attorney.
Collateral Consequences of a DWI Charge
A DWI charge can also have multiple collateral consequences such as increased insurance costs, adverse child custody determinations, travel restrictions, and difficulties in acquiring financing. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney to analyze your unique situation and the potential consequences of your DWI charge.
Is There Any Defense to a DWI Charge?
DWI charges can be contested on numerous grounds including: improper search and seizure from law enforcement, improper reason for the initial traffic stop, lack of consent or warrant, and unreliable testing for a driver’s BAC. However, Minnesota’s DWI laws are quite complex, therefore, having a skilled and vigilant legal advocate on your site will greatly improve your chances of contesting a DUI.
If you have been charged with a DWI, contact Dudley and Smith, P.A., to discuss your options. Favorable outcomes cannot be guaranteed, but our lawyers’ skill and diligence will maximize your chances of success.
The law is continually evolving and Dudley and Smith, P.A.’s blog posts should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship. Postings are for informational purposes and are not solicitations, legal advice, or tax advice. A viewer of Dudley and Smith, P.A.’s blog should not rely upon any information in the blog without seeking legal counsel.