Short answer: unlikely for most people.

Longer answer: it depends on how serious your first DWI is and where in Minnesota your DWI occurred.

Most first time MN DWI offenses are 4th Degree DWIs. This is the least severe DWI for first-time offenders who have an alcohol concentration level below .16. It also is the level of DWI for first-time drug related DWIs. Most of these DWIs in the twin cities, will not result in jail time based on plea negotiations. Often, a person receives stayed jail time (a.k.a. time hanging over your head) for a period of their probation. 4th Degree DWIs are misdemeanor offenses, which have a maximum punishment of ninety days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Therefore, the maximum amount of stayed jail time is ninety days. Often, you will see thirty days of stayed time on a first-time misdemeanor DWI.

Sometimes, in Minnesota, for a 4th Degree DWI, you may have to do a couple of days of community service work. In some jurisdictions, they may ask for more severe punishment such as jail time, house arrest, or being placed on an alcohol monitor, but this is not the norm.

There are other levels of DWI that a person can be charged with on a first-time offense. 3rd Degree DWI, and even 2nd Degree DWI, can occur for a first timer. Both of those levels are gross misdemeanor DWIs that carry a maximum punishment of three hundred and sixty-five days in jail and a $3,000 fine. The most common way a person is charged with a 3rd Degree DWI on a first-time offense is when their alcohol concentration level was .16 or more as measured within two hours of them driving. The other most common way a person is charged with 3rd Degree DWI on a first-time offense is if they refuse to take the breath, blood, or urine test after they have been arrested, which is called the evidentiary test. The least common way a first-time DWI offense will result in a 3rd Degree charge is if they have a child under the age of 16 in their vehicle. 2nd Degree DWIs can occur, for first-time offenses, if someone either tests .16 or more on their evidentiary test or refuses to take that test and they have a child under the age of 16 in their vehicle.

In these first-time 2nd or 3rd Degree DWI scenarios, it is more likely that a person may have to serve jail time. But in the twin cities, and surrounding metro counties, there are still a lot of these cases that result in stayed jail time or jail alternatives. In other jurisdictions, there can be a higher likelihood of jail in these aggravated DWI cases.

In any level of DWI case, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney who has experience in these cases, such as Ambrose Law Firm. We offer consultations at no charge. Feel free to contact us by calling or texting: 612-547-3199 or by filling out the form below.


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