2nd Degree DWI MN

2nd Degree DWI in Minnesota is a gross misdemeanor offense. There were 2 or more aggravating factors at the time of the offense or there was a refusal with 1 or more aggravating factors present. Mandatory penalties and long-term monitoring apply. License plates will be revoked. And, the vehicle will be subject to forfeiture. Because only a 2nd Degree allows for forfeiture of the vehicle, negotiating a plea to a lesser degree is more complicated when facing 2nd degree charges.

You will be charged with a 2nd degree DWI if the following factors apply:

  1. You have two prior DWI's in the past ten years;
  2. Your alcohol concentration was at .16 or above or refused the test, and you have a prior DWI within the past 10 years; or
  3. Your alcohol concentration was at .16 or above and you had a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the incident.


If you're convicted of a 2nd degree DWI, you will likely face jail time. The amount of time you will need to serve will depend on the circumstances of the DWI and the number of past DWI convictions.

If there are two prior DWI convictions within the last 10 years, the statutory minimum requires 90 days to be served, with 30 days in custody and 60 on electronic home monitoring with alcohol supervision. If you have one prior DWI conviction with a current 2nd Degree DWI charge, the statutory minimum requires 48 hours in custody with 28 days on electronic home monitoring. Though, due to the elevated reading, most jurisdictions will initially ask for a stiffer penalty. And if the 2nd Degree DWI stems from a high reading and the presence of a child in the car, no statutory minimum is in play, but rest assured the State will seek stiff penalties that includes time in custody.

Despite the presence of statutory minimum sentences, these can be avoided with a proper legal strategy. These are always negotiable and there are many proactive steps a client can take to improve their situation to receive a better outcome. Further, some jurisdictions - like Hennepin County for instance - have DWI Court - an alternative court that is designed to help repeat offenders tackle the underlying issues with alcohol. DWI Court involves intensive oversight by the Court and probation, and time-consuming, but the client can avoid lengthy jail sentences and get the care necessary to really tackle potential alcohol problems. Clients that have entered this program have been successful and are pleased with the decision to do it.

We explore this option, as well as others, in developing and implementing a personalized legal strategy to best serve our clients needs. A 2nd Degree DWI attorney is critical to help counsel and guide you through this complicated maze and put you in the best position moving forward.

Case Results

We have successfully defended countless DWI's for our clients, including negotiating DWI charges down to speeding tickets. Check out our DWI Case Results page to see more.

For more detailed information, please click on the links below:

North Star Criminal Defense - Proven Success in Fighting DWI Charges

The Minnesota DWI attorneys at North Star Criminal Defense have nearly 30 combined years of successfully defending DWI charges of all degrees and throughout multiple jurisdictions. We know the law, the defenses, and the strategy necessary in order to obtain resolutions that avoid convictions and jail time. We have helped countless clients overcome these debilitating charges and get back on their feet. If you have been accused of any type a DWI, you need to contact us right away.

2nd Degree DWI MN Expungement

If you have a prior 2nd Degree DWI conviction from over four years ago and are looking to get that expunged off your record you can visit our DWI expungements page to see what options you may have to clear your record. We have experience expunging Minnesota DWI convictions all throughout the state, allowing our clients to move on with their lives. Even if you're not yet eligible, it will be beneficial to talk to us as we can start walking you through the process of getting your DWI expunged once you are eligible.