Mandatory Penalties and Sentences

Some offenses have mandatory minimum sentences – find out which do and what they are.

A first time (or fourth degree) DUI carries the same statutory potential penalty as any other misdemeanor: a maximum $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail. This is the maximum – this does not mean that if you are charged with a fourth degree DUI, you will have to spend three months in jail! For a fourth degree DUI, one certain mandatory penalty is usually successfully completing a chemical assessment, however.

Second and third degree DUIs are gross misdemeanors, and carry maximum sentences of a $3,000 fine and/or one year in jail. A first degree, or felony, DUI carries a maximum sentence of a $14,000 fine and/or up to 7 years in prison. Again, a Minnesota DUI lawyer can argue on your behalf for options to jail such as staggered sentencing, sentence-to-service work/community service work, and electronic home monitoring.

The actual sentence an individual charged with a DUI will face depends on the number of aggravating factors, the level of DUI charged and how well the individual’s attorney knew the issues in the case and was able to negotiate on the individual’s behalf.

There are mandatory minimum sentences that apply to individuals who have been convicted of a DUI at least once before. If an individual is charged with a second DUI within 10 years of the first, a 30 day jail sentence is mandatory. For a third DUI within 10 years of the first, the mandatory minimum is 90 days of incarceration. Finally, fir a fifth DUI within 10 years of the first, one year of incarceration is the mandatory minimum. Once more, a Minnesota DUI lawyer can argue on your behalf for available options, though.

Long term monitoring is also part of the mandatory sentence for third time DUI offenses and for individuals charged with a DUI who are under the age of 19.

All penalties as well as sentencing guidelines are found in Minnesota statutes. A good resource for more information is the Minnesota statutes website: