Mankato First Offense DUI Attorney

The consequence of a first-time DUI offense can have an immense impact, and sometimes follow you for years. Getting a DUI can be costly, from your insurance rates increasing to possibly needing to get your license reinstated, which can cost up to 700 dollars. Knowing what to do and understanding the penalties when being charged with a DUI for the first time can be confusing. Working with a qualified and experienced Mankato DUI lawyer can help you find the best legal strategy to achieve the best possible results for your situation.

Mankato law enforcement is trained to spot the signs of drunk drivers, and if they suspect you might be a drunk driver, they will pull you over and arrest you if they believe you show signs of being under the influence. Whether your arrest was legitimate or not, you will have to deal with the consequences of a DUI. The best way to have your situation resolve as favorably as possible is to find a skilled attorney who understands Minnesota DUI laws and can work with you to try and reduce your charges or have them dropped.

What Is a DUI in Mankato, Minnesota?

A DUI offense in Minnesota falls under the term “driving while impaired” or “DWI.” Minnesota defines a DWI as operating, driving, or being in physical control of a motor vehicle while you are:

  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Knowingly under the influence of hazardous substances that affect your body and substantially impair your ability to drive.
  • Have a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher 
  • Having any amount of a schedule I or II drug in the body (with the exception of marijuana) 

It’s also important to note that during a lawful DWI/DUI arrest in Minnesota, it is a crime to refuse to take a breath alcohol test. Refusing to take a breath alcohol test is referred to as an “implied consent” or “test refusal” crime.

Administrative Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Mankato 

Administrative penalties are administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and are meant to be swift consequences. These penalties can be imposed upon an individual soon after they are arrested for a DUI and often apply even if the alleged offender is never criminally convicted of a DWI.

First-time DWI offenders can have their license revoked for up to 90 days, and if they refuse a chemical test or have a BAC of 0.16% or higher, their license can be revoked for a year. Additionally, plate impoundment penalties apply if the first-time DWI offender has a BAC of 0.16% or higher or had a passenger younger than 16 in the vehicle. A plate impoundment penalty refers to surrendering or removing a vehicle’s license plate. This penalty applies to all vehicles registered under the offender’s name, even if the vehicle is jointly registered with another person. In order to drive their vehicle(s) again, they must apply for special registration plates, commonly known as “whiskey plates.” Under specific circumstances, a first-offense DWI/DUI can also result in vehicle forfeiture.

Criminal Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Mankato

Following a DWI/DUI conviction, criminal penalties are imposed by the criminal court. The maximum penalty for a first-time DWI/DUI misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, a first-time misdemeanor can become a gross misdemeanor with more severe penalties if any of the following apply:

  • An individual refused to take a breath alcohol level test
  • The individual’s BAC was a 0.16% or higher 
  • They had a passenger younger than 16 in the vehicle

For a gross misdemeanor, the penalty is one year in jail and a fine of $3,000. Additionally, a first-time DUI offender must submit a chemical dependency assessment.

How a Mankato DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help 

The right DUI defense attorney has the experience necessary to build a strong case to help reduce your penalties or have your charges dropped entirely. It can be emotionally draining, frightening, and often confusing to be charged with a DUI for the first time, whether or not the charges are valid. However, working with a skilled lawyer can help not only clear up your confusion and fear, but also provide you with support to help you find your best legal options and strategy.  One of our Mankato DUI defense attorneys can help:

Negotiate a Plea Bargain 

Some DUI cases can be resolved through a plea agreement. An experienced lawyer knows and understands the standard sentences for DUI trials and can advise you on whether the prosecution’s offer is reasonable. 

Thoroughly Investigate Your Case 

A strong defense starts with a thorough investigation. A skilled Mankato DUI defense lawyer will look into every aspect of your case and ensure that the police pulling you over was legal and that all the test results followed protocol.


Sometimes a dismissal or a plea bargain is not in your best interests, so a qualified lawyer will not hesitate to take your case to trial. This aggressive approach can serve two purposes. In preparing every case as if it will inevitably end up in trial, you can be assured that the case and your attorney will be prepared to go before a jury if that time comes. Additionally, preparing for trial as an inevitability shows the prosecution that you will not be accepting an unreasonable plea deal. 

Move to Have Your Charges Dismissed

In some instances, the defense is strong enough to push the prosecution or the court to dismiss the charges. Skilled lawyers have the expertise and resources to gather supportive evidence during their investigation to help move a case for dismissal. Generally, motions to dismiss DUI charges are based on faulty BAC test results or an illegal traffic stop.

Contact Knutson + Casey’s Skilled Mankato DUI Attorney

There are various ways a lawyer can attempt to help reduce or dismiss your charges. By examining the circumstances of your arrest, a DUI attorney in Mankato may find evidence that an invalid arrest occurred. Furthermore, they can help collect evidence to lessen your charges or sentencing. A DUI case has many moving parts, but a dedicated and skilled lawyer knows how to move those parts for your best interest. 

At Knutson + Casey Law Firm, we have worked on a great number of DUI cases. We have the experience and resources to build strong defenses and provide unparalleled legal representation for first and multiple DUI offenders. Regardless of the charges against you or your situation, we believe that everyone has the right to a qualified, skilled, and compassionate DUI defense attorney. Schedule a consultation today at (507) 344-8888, or fill out our contact form.