- Victim / Survivor
- Careless / Distracted
- Drunk & Drugged
- Teens / Parents
- Just the facts
- Traffic Safety
FELONY DWI in MINNESOTA
Felony DWI passed the Minnesota legislature in August 1, 2002. This law affects multiply repeat offenders and these people will receive a felony charge and be facing prison time. This law was a long time coming and one that should be a wakeup call to chronic drunk drivers that their life will change if they keep driving drunk. The laws in the past gave judges the option of placing these offenders in jail for usually up to 1 year and on probation for 2 years. The incarceration time was in county jail and usually on work release and the conviction was a gross misdemeanor. A felony conviction is much more serious and will put a damper on most people’s lives. It affects the ability to get many jobs, rent apartments, hunt, and vote to name a few. Also the sentence given will become a prison sentence not county jail and the probation time is 5 years. Prison was not possible under the old laws. The following is a description of how the law works.
Minnesota criminal law defines the term felony to mean any crime for which incarceration of more than one year may be imposed. Under Minnesota’s felony DWI law, a person who commits first-degree DWI is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to:
A person is guilty of first-degree DWI if the person violates the DWI law:
prior convictions or license revocations for separate impaired driving incidents); or
or injury (CVO) involving alcohol or controlled substances. Unlike non-felony DWI crimes, being arrested with a high alcohol concentration (.20 or more) or under circumstances of child endangerment are not defined as aggravating factors for felony DWI; instead, only qualified prior impaired driving incidents and prior convictions for felony CVO are considered. When sentencing a person for a felony DWI offense, the court:
sentence or sentence the person to less than three years imprisonment.
More information at http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/dwiover.pdf on page 14
The report above is from the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission. To understand the legal terminology better, go to this website that describes what the terms mean.