Will I go to jail if I get a DUI/DWI in Minnesota?

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Possibly. Every DUI or DWI carries the possibility of a jail sentence. There are general guidelines that judges and prosecutors must follow, but those same guidelines give quite a bit of room for negotiating any jail time. Whether jail is more likely or not depends largely on the Degree of the DWI (First-Degree, Second-Degree, Third-Degree, or Fourth-Degree DWI and DUI). 

There are maximum jail sentences that a judge cannot go beyond. For a Fourth (4th) Degree DWI or DUI the maximum sentence is 90 days in a county jail. For a Third (3rd) Degree and Second (2nd) Degree DWI or DUI the maximum sentence is 365 days in a county jail. For a First (1st) Degree DWI the sentence starts at 366 days in prison and goes up depending on the circumstances of the current case and the Defendant’s prior criminal and DWI/DUI history.

Even if you are facing jail, there are alternatives to actually spending time in a county jail or prison. These alternatives include electronic home monitoring (EHM), sentence to serve (STS), or standard community work service (CWS). A jail sentence can also be “stayed” by a court if you agree to complete other sanctions.

Find more helpful information at our DWI Info Center.


The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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