Legal Question in DUI Law in Minnesota

My 20 yr. old daughter received an underage drinking ticket in Hennepin Cty. If we meet with a hearing officer, do they offer an opportunity for probation or anything other than pleading guilty so that it does not go on her record?

Asked on 4/11/11, 5:52 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Landon Ascheman Ascheman Law

Yes, there may be the opportunity to meet with a hearing officer, or prosecutor (depending on the details of the case). At that time it may be possible to negotiate some resolution to have the ticked kept off her record, or dismissed. In most cases the ability to negotiate these offers depends on knowledge of the legal system, the facts of the case, and the law. Which is why an attorney is often recommended.

Due to the fact that the charged offense is a Misdemeanor under Minnesota Statute 340A.503 and 340A.703 it is very important that your daughter meet with a criminal defense attorney. While a charge of drinking underage may be fairly common in our society, it is a criminal offense. This offense may negatively impact the rest of her life, whether applying for further education, employment, or a place to live. Many places ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime, and she would be required to say yes for the rest of her life.

Many criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations. If you would like to have her meet with our law firm for a free consultation, we would be happy to sit down with her, review her rights and her case, and explain the system. 612-217-0077

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Answered on 4/11/11, 8:00 pm
Thomas C. Gallagher Gallagher Criminal Defense

If the goal is to keep the record clean, then it is important to avoid a guilty plea. If a case is resolved without a conviction and without a guilty plea, an expungement could be possible under Minnesota Stattues Chapter 609A. A "hearing officer" in Hennepin County is a court administrator temporarily acting within authority given by the prosecutor to settle cases prior to setting a court date. They have no discretion at all. So, if you know what your outcome goal is, and they don't offer that, turn down what they do offer and have them set a court date. Once at the first court appearance, you can talk to the prosecutor and try to get your desired outcome from them. If they refuse, set it for another court date or trial. You can bring a lawyer at any step.

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Answered on 4/11/11, 8:18 pm

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