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DWI or DUI is commonly known as drunk driving, is a Class 1 Misdemeanor for the first and/or second offense, and is a Class 6 Felony for the third offense within 10 years. More than three DUIs within 10 can be Class 5 or Class 4 Felonies, accordingly. A Class 1 Misdemeanor subjects one to the possibility of up to 1 year in the county jail, a $2000 fine, or both, and a mandatory loss of driving privileges. A Class 6 Felony subjects one to up to 2 years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary, a $4000 fine, or both, and a mandatory loss of driving privileges. Class 5 and 4 Felonies carry 5 and 10 years maximums, plus substantial fines, respectively.

DUI occurs if a person drives with a blood alcohol content (BAC) .08% or more by weight of alcohol in blood, or if a person is under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drug. A DUI can also cost a person a commercial driver’s license. A second offense DUI will render a truck driver ineligible for a commercial driver’s license and can result in the loss of one ‘s livelihood. A second offense also has onerous burdens of expensive alcohol treatment, actual jail time, and participation in twice daily preliminary breath tests (known as the 24/7 program), disallowing the consumption of alcohol for one year from the date of sentence.

John Hinrichs specializes in helping clients navigate through DUI cases.  At the beginning of each case, he assists clients in gathering evidence and understanding advanced sentencing requirements, which allows for driving/work permits, suspended impositions of sentence, arrangement of jail time and treatment options. Attorney Hinrichs has extensive experience scouring the legal file to determine if there is any advantage to be made for the client on legal grounds. Hinrichs is willing to take tough cases to trial to achieve the best outcome for the client. If the client decides they do not want to go to trial, Hinrichs will work with the client and the state to negotiate the best possible outcome under the unique circumstances of that case.

Finally, in many misdemeanor cases, Attorney Hinrichs can make most appearances for the defendant without the defendant present in court.