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What to expect at DWI court

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Attending DWI court can be a daunting experience, but knowing what to expect can help ease some of the uncertainty. This knowledge can help you build the best possible defense and plan for your future.

Strong preparation starts with knowing exactly what you can anticipate if you find yourself facing a DWI charge.

Arraignment and plea

During your arraignment, you will formally hear the charges against you and enter a plea. This is your opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest.

Pre-trial hearings

Before your trial, there may be several pre-trial hearings where the prosecution and defense discuss legal matters and possibly negotiate a plea deal. These hearings will shape the direction of your case.


If your case proceeds to trial, both sides will present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury. This is why it is so important to have a strong defense strategy in place when you go to DWI court.


In many cases, the court may impose probation as part of your sentence. This entails certain conditions, such as attending alcohol education classes and submitting to regular drug tests.

Ignition interlock device

For some DWI offenders, especially those with multiple offenses, the court may require the installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This device prevents the car from starting if it detects alcohol on the driver’s breath.

Substance abuse treatment

In lieu of or in addition to other penalties, the court may mandate participation in substance abuse treatment programs. These programs aim to address underlying issues related to alcohol or drug abuse and help offenders make positive changes in their lives.

The Crow Wing County DWI Court prioritizes a reduction of recidivism rates over outright punishment. To that end, only 5.37% of participants in the program have reoffended in 15 years. With this in mind, you can approach DWI court as an opportunity to build a better future after facing DWI charges.


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