In State v. Johnson, an unpublished decision from April 14th, 2009, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a Dakota County District Court’s order allowing the use, for sentencing, of a prior felony DWI conviction that was on appeal when the defendant was charged with a new felony DWI offense. Based on the defendant’s prior felony DWI conviction, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison.
The defendant, in Johnson, committed a new felony DWI charge in 2007, after he was previously convicted of a felony DWI charge in 2006. However, his 2006 conviction was still on appeal when he was charged for the new felony DWI in 2007.
It is important to note that a subsequent felony DWI conviction carries a much greater mandatory sentence for the defendant, if he or she has already been previously convicted of a felony DWI.
The defendant’s attorney argued that the prior DWI conviction should not be considered by the Court when sentencing his client on the new felony DWI, because the prior DWI was still on appeal when he was charged with the new DWI.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected the defendant’s argument and found that the Dakota County District Court properly considered defendant’s 2006 felony DWI conviction at sentencing.
In its opinion, the Court ruled, since the defendant was already convicted of his 2006 felony DWI at the time he was found guilty of his 2007 felony DWI, the conviction could be used by the court at sentencing , even if it was on appeal.
It is important for the Minnesota Driver to understand the significance of prior DWI convictions. If you are charged with a Minnesota DWI, you should contact a skilled Minnesota/Minneapolis DWI Lawyer. Prior convictions for a DWI can be used against you at sentencing for potentially lengthy jail sentences. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a Minnesota DUI or DWI, call Kans Law Firm, LLC at (952) 835-6314 for a Free Consultation.