State and federal DUI laws are in place to protect motorists and reduce the chances of drunk driving accidents. However, we continue to see individuals face charges for driving under the influence. If you are currently facing DUI charges, contacting a DUI lawyer serving North St. Paul, Minnesota, is crucial.

A criminal defense lawyer at Duffy Defense, PLLC, understands the severe impact that a DUI conviction can have on your life. For this reason, our drunk driving lawyer serving North St. Paul offers trusted and comprehensive DUI defense to help you fight the charges. Contact our law firm today for a consultation to discuss your rights.

DUI Penalties in North St. Paul

The blood alcohol content (BAC) limits in North St. Paul are 0.08 percent and higher. Any individual operating their vehicle with a BAC that is 0.08 or above faces the possibility of DUI charges. The penalties for DUI in North St. Paul are severe and will increase based on the blood alcohol content (BAC) level and whether it is your first DUI arrest or a subsequent offense. The potential DUI penalties and fines include:

First DUI Offense

A first-offense DUI arrest is a misdemeanor offense. This involves cases where your BAC was between 0.08 percent and 0.16 percent and without any aggravating factors. A conviction can result in up to 90 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Additionally, you may face a license suspension for up to 90 days. If you are under 21, your license suspension may last for up to 180 days.

If your BAC is over 0.16 percent, or one aggravating factor exists, you can face up to one year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines. You may also lose your driver’s license for up to one year.

Second DUI Offense

Being arrested a second time for DUI within a 10-year period constitutes a gross misdemeanor crime. If your BAC is between 0.08 percent and 0.16 percent, and you have one prior DUI/DWI conviction or other aggravating factors, you may face up to one year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines. You also risk a driver’s license suspension for one year and you may forfeit your vehicle. As an alternative penalty, you may have to install an ignition interlock device for a specific period.

If you have a BAC that is higher than 0.16 percent or two or more aggravating factors exist, you face a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail and up to $3,000 in fines. You may also have your license suspended for two years.

Third DUI Offense

A third DUI offense within a 10-year period is a gross misdemeanor. If you are facing a third DUI arrest and have a BAC level above the legal limit, you can face a sentence of one year in jail. You may also have to pay a fine of up to $3,000, and your license will be canceled in the interest of public safety. Additionally, you may have to forfeit your vehicle. Participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program may reduce these penalties.

Fourth and Subsequent DUI Offenses

Any fourth or subsequent DUI offense within a 10-year period is a felony in Minnesota. A criminal conviction can result in up to seven years in prison and up to $14,000 in fines. Additionally, your license will be canceled and you won’t have access to your vehicle. Participation in and completion of a treatment program may allow some penalties to be reduced.

It is important to note that some circumstances can increase the harshness of the penalties you face. For example, if a child is in your vehicle at the time of the arrest, you may face automatic gross misdemeanor drunk driving charges. The same changes will apply if you refuse to submit to sobriety testing.

In addition to criminal consequences for DUI convictions in North St. Paul, Minnesota, you may also have to pay higher car insurance rates. There is also a chance that your insurance company may cancel your coverage altogether.

DUI Checkpoint Laws in Minnesota

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional. The court based its decision on privacy and search and seizure considerations, finding that these checkpoints violate the right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

However, the state does allow law enforcement to stop drivers if they have probable cause. Some circumstances that may lead to a traffic stop and subsequent DUI arrest procedure include:

  • Swerving while driving
  • Driving at night without headlights
  • Illegal turns
  • Frequent braking
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Weaving between traffic lanes

Defense Strategies for DUI Charges in North St. Paul, Minnesota

If you are facing DUI charges, Duffy Defense, PLLC, can help. Your DUI lawyer will implement a strong North St. Paul DUI defense strategy to help you achieve a favorable outcome. Some of the strategies that our DWI attorney serving North St. Paul may employ include:

  • Questioning the Accuracy of the Breathalyzer Our breathalyzer defense in North St. Paul involves questioning the maintenance records of the testing device and the officer’s training. We will also review the circumstances surrounding your results to determine if the testing administration and the machine calibration are correct.
  • Analyzing Field Sobriety Testing Results –Our DWI attorney serving North St. Paul can challenge the officer’s conclusions regarding your tests. We may also challenge the conditions surrounding the field sobriety testing, such as weather and surface conditions, to show how they may have affected your results.
  • Using Expert Witnesses –Our DWI attorney will call on experts who can present evidence and critical insight surrounding various aspects of your case. Sometimes, we will call on experts to examine whether any inaccuracies in chemical testing can lead to malfunctions or operator errors. We may also call medical experts who can discuss how diet, medical conditions, and prescription medications can affect the BAC testing and the subsequent results. If your arrest involves a drunk driving accident, we may call reconstruction experts who can provide insights into the cause of the accident that may exonerate you from fault due to impairment.
  • Challenging the Legality of the Traffic Stop –One of the most effective defense strategies involves challenging the legality of the traffic stop that led to your arrest. Based on our state’s DUI checkpoint laws, an office must have probable cause to stop a driver. Without proving probable cause, any evidence against you is inadmissible.

Contact Our DUI Lawyer Serving North St. Paul, Minnesota, Today

Duffy Defense, PLLC, is a dedicated DUI attorney serving St. Paul, Minnesota, with distinctive qualifications that enhance our defense strategies. Our membership in the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) reflects a commitment to legal excellence in DUI/DWI defense. Coupled with our extensive training in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), our DUI attorney brings a depth of understanding and analytical precision to each case that is second to none.

By leveraging every piece of knowledge and experience to our advantage, we work to provide attentive and individualized representation to clients fighting a DUI in Minnesota. Contact a DUI lawyer serving North St. Paul today to discuss your situation and review your legal options in a free consultation.