Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Minnesota DWI Cases
In Minnesota, there are mandatory minimum sentences for certain DUI or DWI offenses. Mandatory minimum means exactly what it implies: the minimum required sentence. If actually convicted of one of these offenses, courts rarely deviate from the mandatory minimum sentences associated with the offense. However, a skilled Minnesota DWI Attorney can argue effectively on your behalf to help you take advantage of alternative sentencing arrangements, such as the 10-10-10 split allowed in some counties (in which a 30 day sentence is served in 10 day increments, with one year in between each block,), electronic home monitoring (which can sometimes be substituted for all or some workhouse time), or community work service.
The mandatory minimum sentences become increasingly more severe the more prior DUIs or DWIs an individual has on his or her record before the current offense. Beginning with the least severe, for a second DWI in 10 years, the mandatory minimum sentence is 30 days incarceration, at least 48 hours of which must be served in jail/workhouse, with eight hours of community work service for each day less than 30 served. For a third DUI in a ten year period, the mandatory minimum sentence is 90 days incarceration, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local jail/workhouse. For a fourth DUI in a ten year period, the mandatory minimum sentence is 180 days of incarceration, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local jail/workhouse. Finally, for a fifth DUI offense in a ten year period, the mandatory minimum sentence is one year of incarceration, at least 60 days of which must be served consecutively in a local jail/workhouse. The remainder – or non-jail portion – of the mandatory minimum sentence may be served under REAM or EHM (electronic home monitoring), if a Minnesota DUI lawyer can successfully argue for that alternative sentence on someone’s behalf to the court.
For cases involving lengthy mandatory minimum jail sentences, an alternative sentence that a Minnesota DWI Attorney may be able to negotiate on a defendant’s behalf may include an intensive probation program that would require him or her to serve at least six days in jail, and then the remainder of the sentence on EHM while completing the program.
Regardless of the composition of the sentence, there is the potential for long-term monitoring, if the individual is a third time or more DWI offender within a described period of time. Long term monitoring includes extensive probation and may include that the individual submit to at least 30 consecutive days of alcohol monitoring during each year of probation.
Lastly, the best way to prevent mandatory minimum jail sentences in Minnesota DWI cases is to hire an experienced Minnesota DWI Lawyer that will protect your rights and represent your interests.