Minneapolis DWI Offenses
Minneapolis has the most DWI arrests of any city in Hennepin County. Jay Carey has extensive experience representing clients involved in Minneapolis DWI incidents. In fact, Jay has defended more than 100 DWI cases occurring in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office prosecutes all misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWI offenses occurring in Minneapolis. These DWI offenses include misdemeanor Fourth Degree DWI and the gross misdemeanor offenses of Third Degree Test Refusal, Third Degree DWI, Second Degree DWI, and Second Degree Test Refusal.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office prosecutes all felony DWI offenses occurring in Minneapolis (and throughout the county). A felony DWI constitutes First Degree DWI or First Degree Test Refusal. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office also prosecutes all felony level Criminal Vehicular Operation cases (DWI incidents involving death, great bodily harm, and substantial bodily harm).
Law Enforcement Agencies
Law enforcement agencies who arrest drivers in Minneapolis for DWI include the Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police, Minneapolis Park Police, and the University of Minnesota Police. Occasionally, suburban police agencies arrest drivers in Minneapolis for DWI while traveling to and from the county jail in downtown Minneapolis, while conducting training sessions in Minneapolis, or while performing special increased DWI enforcement assignments across the county.
Public Safety Facility and Jail Release
People charged with misdemeanor Fourth Degree DWI in Minneapolis typically are booked into the Public Safety Facility for three to eight hours and released on their own recognizance, receiving a court date approximately two to four weeks into the future. Those arrested for gross misdemeanor DWI in Minneapolis also are booked into the Public Safety Facility, but face varying lengths of pretrial detention. Some will be released within three to eight hours on their own recognizance with or without a scheduled court date. Those released without a court date are “released pending complaint” and must wait to receive a summons and complaint in the mail. For Minneapolis DWI cases, the waiting period for receiving a summons and complaint can vary from one to six months.
Others arrested for gross misdemeanor DWI will be held for court with or without bail. If bail is set, a defendant can post bail or bond and be released within a few hours of such posting. Typically, when a person posts bail, he will be released without a court date and must wait to receive a summons and complaint in the mail, usually within six months of the incident. Maximum bail in a gross misdemeanor DWI case is $12,000.
For those people detained for DWI and who do not post bail, they may be released sooner without bail if a pretrial probation officer speaks with them and approves their release subject to daily alcohol monitoring via a SCRAM bracelet or an alco-sensor breath testing device. Other people detained for an alleged gross misdemeanor DWI will be released before a court appearance if no judicial determination of probable cause has been made within 48 hours of a warrantless arrest. Those released due to the 48-hour expiration are released without any conditions and must wait to receive a summons and complaint in the mail, usually within six months of the incident. Finally, those who do not post bail and who are held for court will appear before a judge within 36 hours of arrest, although the calculation does not include the day of arrest, Sundays, or legal holidays. Thus, someone arrested at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday morning would have to appear before a judge by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
First Court Appearance
All first court appearances (also known as arraignments) for Minneapolis DWIs are held in the Public Safety Facility (main jail building) in downtown Minneapolis. Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWIs are scheduled at 8:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, where one or more attorneys from the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office prosecute the cases. First appearances for felony DWIs occurring in Hennepin County are scheduled at 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, where one or more attorneys from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office prosecute the cases.
Subsequent Court Appearances
After the first court appearance in a Minneapolis DWI case, all subsequent court appearances are held in the main courthouse called Government Center, located at 300 S. 6th St., Minneapolis, MN 55487. Government Center contains several floors of courtrooms, and parties have to check the video monitors on the main level to see which courtroom their case is assigned.
For Minneapolis misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWI cases, the second court appearance known as the “pretrial conference” is scheduled at either 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., in Government Center, Monday through Friday. Defendants receive notice of a pretrial date if their case is not resolved or continued at the first appearance (arraignment). The prosecutor from the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office who handles the case at the pretrial conference generally is assigned the case for trial. Any subsequent trial dates typically are scheduled at 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. If a defendant demands a contested evidentiary hearing (knows as a Rasmussen hearing), the contested hearing is either scheduled on the morning of the trial date or an earlier date as determined by the court.
Sentencing and Chemical Dependency Assessment
If the defense and prosecution reach resolution of a Minneapolis misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor DWI case, the court will preside over the plea and sentencing at the same appearance. The court no longer requires a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) with probation prior to sentencing a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor Minneapolis DWI case. In rare cases, the court may order a pre-sentence investigation with probation and then schedule sentencing at a later date.
In misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWI cases where a defendant is convicted of DWI or a lesser offense, the court typically requires the defendant to complete the Hennepin County One-Day Program for a first-time offense with an alcohol concentration less than 0.16.
If the defendant has a prior DWI incident or an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more, the court typically will order the defendant to meet with probation and complete an evaluation. If the evaluation does not recommend a chemical dependency assessment from a counselor, probation may require the person to complete a “Driving with Care” educational program, which typically is a 24 hour class that meets for 12 weekly two-hour sessions at a cost of roughly $400. Even when a defendant is not required to complete treatment, probation may require the defendant to have no-use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs for the entire period of probation and be subject to random testing for alcohol and drugs.
If you have been arrested for DWI in Minneapolis, please contact Jay Carey for a free, in-depth consultation. Jay is a highly experienced Minneapolis DWI Lawyer and would be glad to discuss your case with you.