Legal Question in DUI Law in Minnesota

i got pulled over for having my brights on in mn the officer asked if i had been drink i said i had 4 beer between 11:30 and 2:00 he did field sobriety test and breathalizer then arrested me (took breathealyzer 15 minutes after last drink) i have 1 prior offense from 2003 when we were at the jail the officer was getting the intoxolyzer 5000 warmed up it took a long time and at one point said that it needed to be calibrated my question is can i fight this at all the cop also brighted me before he pulled me over he was going north i was going south if that makes any difference can i plea this down to a lesser charge or what thank you the breathalyzer at jail said i blew a .11

Asked on 5/04/12, 1:58 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Maury Beaulier612.240.8005 Minnesota Lawyers

Thank you for the inquiry.

There are always defenses to a DWI. they often do not become apparent until all the police reports, recordings and other evidence is reviewed - including possibly intoxilyzer log revords.

If you had 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 analysis 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 5/04/12, 2:21 pm
Thomas C. Gallagher Gallagher Criminal Defense

I have won many, many DWI cases over the years. When I did win, it was on an issue that almost never was apparent in the beginning. The only way to do it is to roll up our sleeves and dive right in - gathering every possibly relevant fact that can be had, and serching for the best defense issue(s) available. To win, retian a good DWI lawyer and get to work.

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Answered on 5/04/12, 3:30 pm

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