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DWIs – They Don’t Just Mean Drinking & Driving

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2012 | Firm News |

Earlier this week a man from the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area was sentenced for more than 33 months in prison and a fine of $1,000 for DWI and drug possession. The man pled guilty to DWI and Second Degree Drug Possession. The man was pulled over for failing to turn off his high-beam headlights for an oncoming vehicle. Once the man was on the side of the road, he could not provide his proof of insurance to the officer, the man was acting nervous and gave contradicting information to the officer. The officer suspected the man of being under the influence of methamphetamine. The man agreed to a pat down search, during the course of which the officer discovered various prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia. A subsequent search of the man’s vehicle discovered over 10 grams of methamphetamine, additional prescription pills, hypodermic needles, and roughly $1,000 in cash. The man was arrested and charged with Second Degree Possession and DWI; all other charges were later dismissed.

A person can be charged with DWI in Minnesota when they are driving/operating or otherwise in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. The potential penalties for DWI while under the influence of a controlled substance include: jail, fine, forfeiture of the vehicle, loss of driving privileges, increased motor vehicle insurance costs, and other collateral costs. Minnesota does limit the amount of time within which you have to contest the loss of your driving privileges and / or the forfeiture of the vehicle, so it is important to understand your rights and take action in a timely manner.

Additionally, under Minnesota law a person can be charged with Second Degree Drug Possession when they possess 6 or more grams of methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin. The associated potential penalty is a felony conviction with imprisonment of up to 25 years and /or up to $500,000 fine. If it is a subsequent controlled substance conviction, the penalties increase to a mandatory minimum imprisonment of 3 years, up to a maximum of 40 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $500,000.

What does this mean for me?

The charges of DWI and drug possession carry serious consequences. If you have or will be charged with DWI or drug possession, it is important to contact an experienced Minneapolis Criminal Defense attorney for a free consultation.