Gerlach Law

Minnesota DWI/DUI Defense

Charles Gerlach is an experienced Minnesota DWI/DUI Attorney. He has over 25 years of criminal law, jury trial, and DWI experience, previously serving as a prosecutor. Contact us for a free assessment of your case.

Mr. Gerlach will review your case to see if the police made any errors during the stop and subsequent arrest. He will protect your rights and work to get you the best possible outcome. Reach out to DWI Attorney Charles Gerlach as soon as you can after an arrest to preserve your right to contest the civil penalties. He will protect your criminal rights and help you minimize any effects on your driving privileges.

Let us use our decades of experience to address your legal needs.

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    Roadside Sobriety Tests During a DWI Stop

    When you are initially pulled over by police, officers are trained to ask you to perform sobriety tests. No matter how they phrase their request, these are voluntary and may be declined. If the subject of the stop participates, the officer observes every movement during these tests and notes any possible signs of impairment.

    The officer typically requests a voluntary preliminary breath test, which is not admissible in court. The officer will use this to determine impairment. The officer will then ask to submit a chemical test under the implied consent statute.

    Minnesota Impaired Driving Laws

    Minnesota’s legal alcohol driving limit is 0.08 — but motorists can be arrested for DWI at lower levels. The consequences for driving impaired will vary for each DWI offender, but a typical penalty for a first-time offender is potential jail time and loss of license for a minimum of 30 days up to a year, depending on the level of impairment and facts of the case. Even a first offense can have serious consequences.

    Implied Consent in Minnesota DWIs

    By operating a motor vehicle in Minnesota, you have given permission for the state to collect a urine, blood, or breath sample to determine your level of impairment. If you refuse this test, you can face automatic loss of driving privileges for one year. Refusal to submit to a chemical test can be charged as a crime, but if you refuse, a test cannot be administered.

    DWI Criminal Court Penalties

    There are four classes of DWIs carrying different penalties and mandatory minimums for repeat offenders.

    4th-degree DWI: This is a misdemeanor with a maximum jail time of 90 days and a fine of $1,000. This is the standard, first-time DWI case with no aggravating factors.

    3rd-degree DWI: This is also a gross misdemeanor, it is a DWI plus one aggravating factor and carries up to one year of jail and a $3,000 fine.

    2nd-degree DWI: This is a gross misdemeanor and carries up to one year of jail time and $3,000 fines. It is a DWI plus two or more aggravating factors, such as a test refusal or prior.

    1st-degree DWI: A person’s fourth or subsequent DWI is a felony and carries up to seven years prison, a fine of up to $14,000, and mandatory penalties.

    We work to protect your rights throughout the entire process and obtain the best outcome for your case.

    Losing Your Minnesota Driving License

    When you are arrested, the police officer fills out paperwork that you refused or failed the implied consent chemical test, which results in an automatic license revocation. This happens before any hearing.

    The length of license revocation depends on several factors including your driving record, criminal history, facts of your case, level of alcohol or drug consumption, and whether you took the test.

    You must file paperwork within 30 days of the notice of revocation to preserve your right to an implied consent hearing. This hearing is part of the civil case. Attorney Charles Gerlach can contest your license revocation on grounds such as an illegal stop or arrest, improper testing procedures, officer errors, or violation of rights.

    Act quickly, you must file the hearing request petition within 30 days, or you waive the right to contest any issues, no matter how valid your case may be.

    Getting Your Minnesota Drivers License Reinstated

    Charles Gerlach helps his clients obtain temporary driving privileges through permits and reinstate their driving privileges as soon as possible. We help minimize the frustrations of this process, saving you time and headache dealing with the courts, and in some instances, saving your driving privileges.

    Length of Minnesota DWI License Revocation

    First offense:
    BAC .08-.15%= 90 day revocation, after 15 days limited license or use interlock for full driving privileges during the revocation period
    BAC .16+= 1 year revocation, full driving privileges with an interlock for the revocation period
    Refusal= 1 year revocation, full driving privileges with an interlock device for the revocation period
    One Prior:
    BAC .08-.15%= 1-year revocation, full driving privileges with an interlock device for the revocation period
    BAC .16+= 2 2-year revocation, full driving privileges with an interlock device for the revocation period
    Refusal= 2 year revocation, full driving privileges with an interlock device for the revocation period

    Plate Impoundment

    In a DWI case, you may be subject to plate impoundment if:

    – One or more prior DWI Revocations/Convictions
    – BAC was 0.20% or more
    – A child under 16 years of age was in your vehicle at the time of the DWI.

    Whiskey Plates

    If your plates are suspended, you may be eligible for temporary plates called whiskey plates. Whiskey plates alert law enforcement you are driving with restricted plates. We help our clients obtain these temporary plates.

    DWI is Complicated - We are here to help

    The DWI laws are over ten times the length of the murder statutes. It is a complex legal process that occurs in both criminal and civil courts. Our clients report feeling a weight lifted off their shoulders so they can focus on their life while we handle all the paperwork and secure the best legal outcome. In DWI cases, time is important. Contact St. Cloud DWI Attorney Charles Gerlach for a free case consultation.

    Free DWI/DUI Case Evalutation

    Meet Mr. Gerlach, have your questions answered and learn how he would protect your interests and defend you. All consultations are confidential and professional. Mr. Gerlach knows the nuances and complexities of sex crimes cases and will defend you.

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