Legal Question in DUI Law in Minnesota

How to I plead after my second DUI -first DUI was in 2008. I have gone through treatment-living in a sober house-maritial counseling, family counseling and AA and sponser. My court date is June 6th and I will have three months of sobiety by than. Do not know if I should pay an attorney. I work full time

Asked on 4/15/11, 11:24 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

John Arechigo Arechigo & Stokka, LLP

There are a number of issues you should talk to an attorney about and try to have an attorney review before pleading guilty to a DWI. Collateral consequences associated with DWIs, especially subsequent offenses, such as loss of driver's license, insurance rate, and even losing your motor vehicle, can cause severe problems for people.

Please feel free to contact me at 651-222-6603 if you'd like to further discuss your case.

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Answered on 4/15/11, 11:28 am
Robert Kane Law Offices of Robert D. Kane, Jr.

Congratulations on your sobriety. How you plead in your case will be dependent upon the facts of the case. It appears you are looking at least a 3rd degree DUI. As Mr. Arechigo stated and you probably know, criminal penalties are only one thing that needs to be addressed. No attorney is going to advise you not to seek representation for this offense. Please feel free to call for a free initial consultation. Take care.

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Answered on 4/15/11, 1:22 pm
Maury Beaulier612.240.8005 Minnesota Lawyers

Thank you for the e-mail.

If you had a Blood Alcohol Content over .20, or if you have a second DWI within 10 years of a first, you were charged with a third degree offense. This is very serious and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of one year in jail and a $3000 fine. If convicted there are also mandatory minimum penalties of $1000 and 30 days in jail. Different Judges give different sentences. As a result, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process.

There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a third degree offense, you may be revoked for up to six months. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge you license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense.

There are also additional consequences to a conviction including skyrocketing insurance rates, plate impoundments and sometimes vehicle forfeitures.

There are many challenges to a DWI. Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.

Other points of a defense anaylsis include:

Reasonable Suspicion. The officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe a specific crime has been committed in order to stop a person. If that reasonable suspicion is lacking the stop and the ticket may be invalid;

Probable Cause to arrest and charge. The officer must make sufficient observations to form a basis for probable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Oftentimes, officers perform field sobriety tests incorrectly making the arrest invalid;

Procedures at the Station. The officer must follow very specific procedures at the station including reading and recording an Implied Consent Advisory that informs you that you have a right to a lawyer. If any of the steps are omitted, the charges may be dismissed;

Test Procedures. Testing methods to determine blood alcohol concentrations are imperfect at best. Like any scientific method, any test result has a margin of error. If the machinery is not properly maintained and even if it is properly maintained, the test results may vary from true Blood Alcohol Concentration. A sufficient variation may result in a reduce charge or no charge.

I have more than 20 years of experience in defending against DWI charges. We have affordable legal fees and provide aggressive representation.

Call for a FREE Consultation call us at 612.240.8005.

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Answered on 4/19/11, 7:39 am

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