Roseville, MN DWI defense attorney Charles Ramsay talks about what makes a DWI a misdemeanor.
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So there are four levels of a DWI. The least severe is a misdemeanor. I don’t believe in the phrase “run of the mill DWI.” That drives me nuts when I hear that. But for a first time arrestee, someone who’s never had a run in with the law before, someone who gets arrested for the first time and their alcohol concentration is below a .16 and there are no aggravating factors such as a child in the car – there’s no injury, no accident – then that person is being charged with a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is defined by what the maximum penalties are. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and $1,000.00 fine. Now, most first time DWI arrestees are not gonna spend any time in jail. Some counties do require some electronic home monitoring, some community work service. We generally don’t go along with that and nor should you.