How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in Minnesota?

If you have been arrested and charged with DWI in Minnesota, you need to be ready to defend yourself. The best way for you to stand up for your rights in court is to secure a skilled attorney who can handle every aspect of your case for you. A DWI may seem like something that you can get past quickly, but the reality is that punishments for these convictions are often harsh and can have long-lasting consequences, even for first-time offenders. Here, we’ll discuss Minnesota’s DWI penalties, as well as how long a DWI will stay on your record.

Minnesota DWI Records

In Minnesota, a DWI will show up in two places: your criminal record and your driving record. A DWI on your criminal record can be seen by prospective employers as well as potential housing providers. This could have significant ramifications on your employment or living situation.

A DWI will also appear on your driving record. The good news is that unless you are applying for a job that requires you to operate a vehicle, most employers will not look at this record. Unfortunately, a DWI will remain on your driving record forever.

DWI Expungement Laws in Minnesota

A criminal record of a DWI can be expunged. As of 2015, Minnesota law allows those convicted of petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, or gross misdemeanors to have their charges expunged from their criminal record.

First time DWI offenders will typically be looking at misdemeanor charges. After a conviction, an expungement can be considered, but there are various steps that need to be taken first.

First, the entire sentence will need to be completed. This will include any jail time, probation time, requirements for an ignition interlock device, alcohol classes, etc. Any fines associated with the offense will need to be paid. So long as you have not committed any new crimes within a two-year timespan following the DWI conviction, you will be able to file for an expungement. However, this process will take some time to complete, and it will cost you a little bit of money to do so.

Unlike the expungement process for a criminal DWI charge, your DWI conviction will always show up on your driving record. This is unfortunate, but the good news is that most employers, schools, and housing authorities will not look at your driving record.

Time Limits for Enhancing Charges

DWI in Minnesota is also an enhancing charge. This means that the more DWI convictions a person has on their record, the worse the punishments will be for each subsequent offense and conviction. For example, if you were convicted of DWI in 2018 and then receive another DWI conviction in 2021, you will face much harsher penalties for the second DUI, even if the first was expunged from your criminal record.

When enhancing penalties for a DWI, the state will look at your driving record. If there is a DWI charge recorded, prosecutors will enhance the penalties accordingly. However, enhancing penalties do have a time limit. If a person is convicted of DWI and then does not get another DWI until ten years later, they will not face any enhancing penalties.

Contact a Minnesota Expungement Lawyer

If you or somebody you care about has questions about how to get a DWI expunged from a criminal record, you need to seek assistance from an attorney to help you through this. At Knutson+Casey, our Mankato expungement lawyers have a reputation for success when it comes to helping clients get convictions for DWI expunged from their records. Our team will handle every aspect of the expungement process for you so you can focus on moving forward with your life.