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DWI while License Canceled, Revoked, or Suspended in MN

In Minnesota, a driver's license may be canceled, revoked, or suspended for a variety of reasons and for various lengths of time. A person's driving privilege may be withdrawn legally by a court order, administratively by the state Department of Public Safety (DPS), or by both.

If a person whose driver's license is canceled, revoked, or suspended is charged with DWI (driving while impaired) or drunk driving, the consequences of a conviction are often more severe than those for a DWI conviction alone because the state previously ordered the person not to drive at all.

The punishments in Minnesota for anyone convicted of DWI while his or her license is canceled, revoked, or suspended include jail time, fines, extended restrictions against driving, and a parade of other penalties.

Attorney for DWI with License Canceled, Revoked, or Suspended in MN

If you have been arrested for DWI with a canceled, revoked, or suspended license in Apple Valley, Minnesota or anywhere in the Twin Cities area, including Dakota County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and Anoka County, you need a skilled and experienced attorney to explain the legal ramifications of your case. You deserve to learn about your options in order to make the right decision.

James Blumberg Law is equipped with the experience and dedication to aggressively defend you against a DWI with a canceled, revoked, or suspended license charge. It may be possible to avoid a trial or obtain a dismissal of charges, but James Blumberg Law will take a case to trial if necessary to fight against a conviction. Clearing your name, preserving your freedom, and restoring your driving privilege are our priorities.

Call James Blumberg Law today at (952) 431-7758 to schedule your free initial consultation to begin the process of protecting your rights and your liberty.


Information about DWI while License Canceled, Revoked, or Suspended in Twin Cities Area


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What is DWI in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, a person with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more who drives, operates, or is in physical control of a motor vehicle may be arrested for driving while impaired, or DWI (Minnesota Statute 169A.20).

If a prosecutor can prove to the court that a person was under the influence of alcohol to the extent that he or she could not safely drive—even if the driver consumed less than the maximum legal limit—a DWI conviction may also result. (This part of the law allows the opinion of the police to be a factor in an arrest.)

Driving with a level of alcohol sufficient to cause impairment is considered a “per se” violation of the law. ("Per se" is a Latin term meaning "by or in itself.") Under the "per se" provision, a prosecutor may introduce a driver's BAC at trial in an effort to prove impairment.

A Minnesota driver may also be arrested for DWI if he or she is impaired by a controlled substance other than alcohol, including illegal "street" drugs or certain prescription medications.


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Canceled, Revoked, Suspended Driver's License in Minnesota

If a person drives a vehicle in Minnesota while his or her driver's license is restricted, he or she is committing a crime.

When a person's driving privileges are restricted in Minnesota, they may be canceled, revoked, or suspended. Any of these actions may span a period of months or years. Sometimes a cancellation may be indefinite. Chapter 171 of the Minnesota Statutes explains these designations, which are also detailed in Chapter 7 of the Minnesota Driver's Manual:

Canceled

A Minnesota driver's license may be canceled if a person no longer has a right to a license issued to him or her. Cancellation of a driver's license may be a more severe circumstance than revocation or suspension. A driver's license may be canceled if a person:

  • Acquires a mental or physical disability that makes him or her incapable of driving a motor vehicle safely
  • Commits a crime for which driver's license cancellation is a legal punishment
  • Fails to pass a test that is legally requested by DPS to determine his or her ability to drive safely
  • Gives false or misleading information on a license application (resulting in a cancellation of 60 days, or until the correct information is provided, whichever is longer)
  • Never qualified for a driver’s license under Minnesota law

Revoked

A person's Minnesota driver’s license may be revoked for many reasons, including convictions for:

  • A felony in which a motor vehicle was used
  • A gross misdemeanor for failing to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended and its red lights flashing
  • A misdemeanor for driving a motor vehicle with prior knowledge that the owner of the vehicle did not have no-fault vehicle insurance
  • An offense in another state that would be grounds for revoking a driver's license if convicted of that offense in Minnesota
  • Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving in excess of 100 mph
  • Failing to stop, identify himself or herself, and render aid when involved in a motor vehicle crash—especially one that involves death or personal injury to others
  • Fleeing a police officer
  • Lying under oath, signing any legal document that contains false information about legal ownership or operation of a motor vehicle, or making a false statement to DPS or its agents about such information
  • Manslaughter or any other criminal action while driving a motor vehicle
  • Selling or possessing a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle

A Minnesota driver's license may also be revoked if a person:

  • Pleaded guilty or forfeited bail for three violations in a single year of any state traffic law or ordinance that requires a jail sentence upon conviction
  • Owned a vehicle without no-fault insurance and was found to have driven the vehicle, or allowed others to drive it, with full knowledge that the vehicle was not insured
  • Refused to take a test to determine whether he or she is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or fails such a test

Depending on the violation of law, a revocation may last for a few months or several years. After the period of revocation has ended, driving privileges may be reinstated if all the requirements for reinstatement are met. Requirements include payment of a $680 reinstatement fee and passing the appropriate examinations. A person must apply for a new license after all testing requirements are met.

Suspended

A Minnesota driver’s license may be suspended if a person:

  • Committed a traffic offense in another state that would be grounds for suspension in Minnesota
  • Failed to appear in court or pay a fine on a motor vehicle-related violation when required to do so
  • Failed to pay court-ordered child support
  • Failed to report a medical condition that would result in cancellation of driving privileges
  • Failed to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended and its red lights flashing, within five years of a conviction for the same offense
  • Falsely identified himself or herself to a police officer
  • Is convicted by a criminal court of a driving offense and the court recommends a suspension
  • Is convicted for theft of gasoline
  • Is convicted in court for a violation that contributed to a traffic crash resulting in death, personal injury, or serious property damage
  • Is convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of Minnesota traffic law
  • Is found to possess a counterfeit or altered license
  • Is judged in court to be legally unfit to drive a motor vehicle
  • Is under 21 years of age, and the court determined that he or she drove a motor vehicle while consuming, or after consuming, alcohol
  • Made a fraudulent application for a license or identification card
  • Paid a fee to the state or driver’s license agent with a dishonored check (suspension will be removed when the dishonored check and any related fees have been paid in full)
  • Took any part of the driver’s license examination for someone else, or allowed someone else to take the examination for him or her
  • Used, or allowed someone else to use, a license, permit, or identification card to buy tobacco products for someone who is under 18 years of age, or alcohol for someone who is under 21 years of age
  • Used, or allowed someone else to use, his or her license for an illegal action; (it is illegal to allow anyone else to use a license or permit)
  • Violated traffic laws repeatedly

Suspensions may be for a few months or could stretch into several years. After the period of suspension has ended, a person's driving privilege may be reinstated if all requirements for reinstatement are met. One requirement is payment of the $680 reinstatement fee. If the license expired during the suspension period, or a person's name or address changed, he or she must apply for a new license and pay the appropriate fee.


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Driving while License Canceled, Revoked, Suspended in MN

Chapter 171.04, Subd. 1(1)(iii) of the Minnesota Statutes describes who is ineligible for a state driver's license, including anyone whose license is suspended, revoked, or canceled.

Chapter 171.24 of the statutes classifies violations of driving without a valid license as a misdemeanor if the driver's license was suspended, revoked, or canceled, the person was "given notice of, or reasonably should know" of the suspension, revocation, or cancellation, and "disobeys the order by operating … any motor vehicle."

A driver may be charged with a more serious "gross" misdemeanor if his or her license was canceled because DPS determined his or her operation of a vehicle "would be inimical to public safety or welfare," the person was "given notice of or reasonably should know of the cancellation" … and "disobeys the order by operating … any motor vehicle."

A DWI with no valid license may result in felony charges if there are additional aggravating factors, such as a high BAC, transportation of a minor child, bodily injury, or death.


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Minnesota's Implied Consent Law and DWI

Under the state's implied consent law (Minnesota Statute 169A.51), a person who is granted the privilege to drive agrees to chemical testing of the breath, blood or urine if the police suspect him or her to be under the influence of alcohol or some other substance that caused an impairment.

If a driver consents to a DWI test, his or her breath, urine, or blood may be tested for the presence of alcohol or drugs.

Blood tests are rarer than urine tests, but tend to be more accurate. However, no drug or alcohol test is inherently valid. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to find flaws in the testing equipment, mistakes made in the administration of the test, or the traffic stop itself may have been illegal.

In Minnesota, an arresting officer must read the state's implied consent advisory statement to a suspect, explaining that testing is mandatory and refusal is a crime. The statement also explains that the person has the right to consult an attorney before taking the test; this right is limited to the extent that it cannot unreasonably delay administration of the test.

If a driver refuses a DWI test, his or her driver's license may be revoked for as long as one year.


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Criminal Penalties for DWI while Driver's License Canceled, Revoked, Suspended in Minnesota

Anyone facing a DWI while his or her driver's license is canceled, revoked, or suspended essentially faces two separate charges: one for the DWI and one for driving with some degree of an invalid license, which may also be considered an aggravating factor of a DWI.

Other examples of aggravating factors are prior DWI conviction(s), the presence of a minor in the vehicle at the time of the newest DWI charge, or a BAC of .20 or higher.

Without any aggravating factors, a first DWI would likely result in a fourth-degree DWI charge, which is a misdemeanor offense. A conviction may impose a sentence of up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both (Minnesota Statute 169A.27).

If there are aggravating factors (such as an invalid license), a first-time charge could be elevated to a third-degree DWI, which is a gross misdemeanor. A conviction would impose a sentence of up to one year in jail, a fine of $3,000, or both (Minnesota Statute 169A.26).

Any subsequent DWI within 10 years also would be considered a gross misdemeanor, but it would be a second-degree DWI, a first-degree DWI, or even a more serious felony charge, with longer mandatory jail times and elevated fines as the charges increase.


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Administrative Repercussions for DWI while License Canceled, Revoked, or Suspended in Minnesota

In addition to criminal penalties imposed by a court, a person convicted of DWI while his or her license is canceled, revoked, or suspended will be subject to administrative penalties imposed by DPS.

Since the offender's license was already invalid at the time of the new DWI charge, he or she will likely face the penalties for a second offense of driving with an invalid license, which could mean losing driving privileges for up to one year. If a person is charged with a third offense, his or her license could be suspended for three years. A fourth offense could result in a four-year suspension.

Other administrative penalties that could be enforced depending on the circumstances of the case include impoundment of license plates, forfeiture of vehicle, mandatory drug and alcohol treatment, and fees.

Reinstatement of driving privileges in Minnesota requires a $680 fee, DWI knowledge test, driver’s license application with fees, and chemical health assessment.

If you are facing DWI with a canceled, revoked, or suspended license charge in Apple Valley, Minnesota or the Twin Cities metropolitan area, you should consult with an experienced attorney right away to learn about how the law affects you, your freedom and your ability to drive.


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Additional Resources

Minnesota Statute 169 — Driving While Impaired — Read the state laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a prescription drug and about the penalties that may be imposed.

Minnesota Statute 171 — Driver's Licenses and Training Schools — Read the state laws related to driver's licenses, including persons not eligible for driver's licenses, cancellation, revocation, and suspension of driver's licenses.

Minnesota Driver's Manual — Intended for new drivers, this handbook contains useful information about topics related to driving in Minnesota. Chapter 7, entitled "Your Driving Privileges," discusses cancellation, revocation, and suspension of driver's licenses. Chapter 8, entitled "Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs," includes information about DWI, the state's implied consent law, and general information about the effects of alcohol on the body.

DWI Consequences — Impaired Driving Penalties and Sanctions — This four-page pamphlet from the state DPS contains charts that detail the various degrees of DWI and the punishments.


Find an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for DWI with a Canceled, Revoked, or Suspended License in Twin Cities Area

DWI with a canceled, revoked, or suspended driver's license is a serious charge that can affect a person both now and far into the future. If you are charged with DWI while your license was canceled, revoked, or suspended, it is vital to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your case.

At James Blumberg Law, we have a dedicated team who will strive for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today if you are in Apple Valley, Minnesota or the nearby region, including Dakota County, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, and Anoka County, or throughout the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and metropolitan Twin Cities area.

James Blumberg and his legal team can help you challenge your charges while fighting for a favorable outcome. We may be able to find flaws in the prosecution's case or in the legality of the traffic stop, arrest, or testing, which may result in a dismissal or reduction of charges.

You deserve representation by a qualified criminal defense attorney in your case. Your future is important, and James Blumberg Law can help you protect it. Contact James Blumberg Law at (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free initial consultation today.

 

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James L. Blumberg

Attorney James L. Blumberg

As a former prosecutor in the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, James Blumberg has experience on both sides of the criminal courtroom. He knows how to fight to get charges reduced or dismissed for clients in the Twin Cities area.

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