If you have been convicted of a DWI in Minnesota, you may find yourself faced with several criminal punishments depending on the nature of your DWI and your past driving record. However, even in cases where the criminal DWI punishments are minor, your will also still have to deal with the administrative punishments as well. The most common administrative punishment is the revocation of your driver’s license so that you can no longer legally travel Minnesota’s roadways. This is done in order to prevent you from incurring any other DWIs for a set period.
In some cases, you may qualify for a limited license or enrollment in the Ignition Interlock Device Program so you can return to your normal daily life. However, even in these cases, you will still have a waiting period before you can apply in which you will be barred from legally driving. If you do not qualify for these limited driving programs or decide to get behind the wheel during the waiting period where your license is no longer valid, you will face consequences if pulled over by police or involved in an accident.
Punishment for Driving after Revocation or Cancellation of Your License
If you are caught driving after revocation, or DAR as it is often called, it is a misdemeanor crime. This means the punishments you face are a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Furthermore, upon conviction, your license will be revoked of an additional 30 days. This will also likely bar you from enrollment in limited license programs so you will have to find other means of travel.
Similarly, if your license has been cancelled, which means you lose it completely until you can apply to have it reinstated after meeting certain criteria, you also face misdemeanor punishments. However, if your license was canceled because your DWI arrest labeled you as inimical to public safety, that DAC charge will be raised to a gross misdemeanor if caught. These gross misdemeanor charges will merit up to a year in jail and a maximum of a $3,000 fine. This will also come with an additional 30 days cancellation period and may impose more strict requirements that need to be met in order to ever receive a valid driver’s license again.
Both DAR and DAC are extremely similar in circumstance and punishment, and because both carry such relatively minor punishments, many feel it is okay to take the risk of driving without a license. Unfortunately, taking the risk and getting caught might have punishments above and beyond those of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor. These charges will be put on your record and will reflect poorly if you are ever caught in a DWI or other traffic violation situation ever again. This means you may not qualify for a limited license when you need one or facing harsher punishments because of your past driving record.
Fighting Driving After Revocation Charges
While the punishments of these charges seem small, they will have lasting effects. This is why when you face driving after revocation charges, you need to take steps to defend yourself. Unfortunately, defense strategies for this sort of crime are difficult. You might claim you didn’t know that your DWI required your license to be revoked or you were unaware of the waiting period of a limited license. However, even then it does not completely excuse your crime.
Every instance of driving after revocation is different, and thus will require a different defense strategy. If you were caught driving after revocation in Minnesota, contact us today. Let Villaume & Schiek go over your case and see what the best defense for you will be.