This guide is designed to help answer some common questions regarding the procedures involved in a DUI (North Dakota) or DWI (Minnesota) case.
Is a DUI (in ND) or DWI (in MN) charge a crime?
Whether you or a friend or loved one has been arrested for DUI charge in ND or a DWI charge in MN, you should know that this type of offense is a CRIME (either a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or potentially a felony). These types of charges are not merely traffic citations or tickets, but actual criminal offenses that carry some obvious and not-so-obvious penalties and ramifications.
What should I do if I have been arrested for DUI (in ND) or DWI (in MN)?
It is never a bad idea to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to get some advice and information regarding this type of offense. You need to know the penalties involved, the driver's license ramifications, and the hidden penalties (insurance, commercial driving issues, etc...) involved with this type of offense. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation for this type of offense (I certainly do) and you should take some time to get as much information as you can before deciding on your next step.
What is the typical penalty for a DUI (in ND) or DWI (in MN)?
There is no such thing a typical criminal case, but there are some standard penalties for this type of conviction based on the defendant's criminal history. If you are charged with a DUI or DWI for the first time, it is likely that the offense is a misdemeanor (or possibly a gross misdemeanor in MN). Your should take the time to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the specific penalties in your case. If you have any prior offenses for DUI or DWI, the penalties go up. Talk to a lawyer to get help!
Is there any defense to a charge of DUI (in ND) or DWI (in MN)?
There is a defense to every criminal charge, including a DUI or a DWI charge. Issues may include: illegal stops of the vehicle; illegal search and seizure of the driver of the vehicle or of the vehicle itself; probable cause to believe the defendant was even driving the vehicle; accuracy or validity of field sobriety tests or of chemical tests of the blood or breath sample; and probable cause that the alleged driver was impaired/intoxicated in the first place. These defenses must be explored in every case.
What are the hidden/secondary penalties for a DUI (in ND) or a DWI (in MN)?
Someone who is charged with a DUI or DWI could face a suspension or revocation of his or her driving privileges, including any commercial driving privileges (even if the driver was not operating a commercial vehicle). You could face a steep increase in your car insurance premiums for a conviction for DUI or DWI. In certain instances, a driver could see his or her vehicle seized or the license plates seized and forfeited. There could also be sanctions from your school or university as well as any licensing board (depending on your field of work).
Additional resources provided by the author
You can find out information regarding your driving privilege questions in North Dakota through the ND Department of Transportation website (www.dot.nd.gov) and in Minnesota through the MN Department of Public Safety (dps.mn.gov).
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