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Question

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

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Gerald A. Miller - Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Gerald A. Miller

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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.

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