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Fourth or Subsequent DWI

When a person has been arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) multiple times in Minnesota, each of the first three charges is classified as misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors. While such crimes can certainly carry some very tough penalties, the nature of this crime becomes even more serious if an alleged offender is charged with a fourth DWI.

All fourth or subsequent drunk driving arrests in Minnesota are classified as first-degree DWIs, which means that these are felony offenses. In addition to significantly increased sentences of incarceration and/or fines, this type of conviction can have a multitude of additional consequences that affect a person’s life long after he or she has completed his or her sentence.

Apple Valley Fourth or Subsequent DWI Lawyer

Are you facing DWI charges in Minnesota for the fourth or subsequent time? Former Dakota County Attorney’s Office prosecutor James Blumberg of James Blumberg Law has more than a decade of experience handling drunk driving cases, and he will thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether and police errors or misconduct can help get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Our Dakota County felony DWI attorney aggressively defends clients in and around the Twin Cities, including such areas as St. Cloud, Blaine, Maple Grove, Bloomington, Lakeville, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, and more. You can receive a complete review of your case during a free, confidential consultation by calling (952) 431-7758 right now.


Minnesota Fourth or Subsequent DWI Information Center


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Fourth or Subsequent DWI Charges in Dakota County

A person is charged with first-degree DWI under Minnesota Statute § 169A.24 if he or she drives while impaired within 10 years of the first of three or more prior DWI incidents or if he or she has been previously convicted of a felony DWI or another felony offense involving impaired driving-related criminal vehicular homicide or injury.

After an alleged offender has been arrested for first-degree DWI, he or she will be taken into custody and detained his or her first court appearance. If the court does not impose maximum bail, the alleged offender will have to agree to abstain from alcohol and to submit to remote electronic alcohol monitoring (REAM) as a condition of pretrial release.

Additionally, the alleged offender will have his or her vehicle forfeited and his or her license plates will be impounded.


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Minnesota Fourth or Subsequent DWI Criminal Penalties

As a felony offense, first-degree DWI is punishable by up to seven years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $14,000. There also very strict mandatory minimum penalties in these types of cases.

Under Subdivision 3 of Minnesota Statute § 169A.275, an alleged offender charged with his or her fourth DWI may be sentenced to either:

  • A minimum of 180 days of incarceration, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility (the court can order the alleged offender to serve not more than 150 days of the minimum penalty on home detention or in an intensive probation program);
  • A program of intensive supervision that requires the person to consecutively serve at least six days in a local correctional facility; or
  • A program of staggered sentencing involving a minimum of 180 days of incarceration, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility.

If an alleged offender is charged with his or her fifth or subsequent DWI, then Subdivision 3 of Minnesota Statute § 169A.275 states that he or she may be sentenced to either:

  • A minimum of one year of incarceration, at least 60 days of which must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility (the court can order the alleged offender to serve the remainder of the minimum penalty on intensive probation using an electronic monitoring system or, if such a system is unavailable, on home detention);
  • A program of intensive supervision that requires the person to consecutively serve at least six days in a local correctional facility; or
  • A program of staggered sentencing involving a minimum of one year of incarceration, at least 60 days of which must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility.

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Fourth or Subsequent DWI Administrative Penalties in Apple Valley

Alleged offenders charged with their fourth DWIs or any subsequent offenses have their driver’s licenses canceled and denied indefinitely as “inimical to public safety.” The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) will require these alleged offenders to undergo chemical dependency rehabilitation for a period of at least one year.

Successful completion of rehabilitation is necessary if the alleged offender hopes to regain any sort of driving privileges. The period of rehabilitation is determined by whether the alleged offender has previously completed rehabilitation successfully:

  • First Rehabilitation — One year
  • Second Rehabilitation — Three years
  • Third or Subsequent Rehabilitation — Six years

In rehabilitation, DPS requires alleged offenders to successfully complete chemical dependency treatment in a program that requires complete abstinence from alcohol and controlled substances, participate in a recognized chemical dependency support group, and obtain sworn affidavits vouching to the alleged offender’s abstinence from at least five other familiar witnesses who are not relatives, employers, or employees of the alleged offender.

If alleged offenders are successful, they may be eligible for one year of a limited license with an ignition interlock restriction upon enrollment in treatment and three to five years of an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license upon completion of treatment. In order to remove the ignition interlock device, the alleged offender will need to prove four to six years of no detected use of alcohol and/or drugs.


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Additional Consequences of Felony Conviction in Minnesota

Understandably, most people facing felony DWI charges tend to focus on how long they will have to go to jail or prison and what amount of fines they will be ordered to pay. However, it is important to remember that a felony conviction can have much longer-lasting consequences.

Convicted felons in Minnesota can lose their right to vote until they have satisfied the terms of their parole or probation. A felony conviction may also complicate a person’s right to own or possess a firearm.

Additionally, there are several different professions for which a convicted felony may be unable to keep or obtain a license for. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Doctors
  • Drivers
  • Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics
  • Insurance broker
  • Mortgage servicer or agent
  • Nurses
  • Therapists
  • Veterinarians

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James Blumberg Law- A Fourth or Subsequent DWI Lawyer in Dakota County

If you have been arrested for DWI in Minnesota for the fourth or subsequent time, it is critical for you to make sure that you have the best possible legal defense. Former Dakota County Attorney’s Office prosecutor James Blumberg has helped clients in Anoka County, Hennepin County, Dakota County, and Ramsey County for more than 10 years.

James Blumberg Law serves such communities in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area as Coon Rapids, Woodbury, Minnetonka, Brooklyn Park, Eagan, Plymouth, and many more. Our Apple Valley felony DWI attorney will review your case as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 to take advantage of a free consultation.

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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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