I was given a urine test for alcohol at the hospital after an automobile accident December 9th. Today it April 15 and I got a letter from from the Department Of Public Safety saying I had a alcohol concentration .16 or more. Isn't there a limited amount of time for the DA to charge me. Is the results of the test still accurate after the sample sat for 4 and 1/2 months? How do I get the results? (.16 or more?)
3 Answers from Attorneys
Hello. The vast majority of crimes have 'statutes of limitations', which in criminal cases are time limitations within which the prosecutor must initiate legal action. Certain events or conditions may cause the statute of limitations in a particular matter to be 'tolled', which means paused, suspended or stopped. In the event that a criminal charge is brought, Discovery (meaning, evidence, information) is exchanged. Prior to a criminal charge being brought or in the event no criminal charge is made, there are ways to seek specific information, but I am unsure of the meaning of your question pertaining to 'get the results'. Certainly you ought to seek private attorney counsel now. In my experience the earlier you seek legal counsel the better the outcome is likely to be. If you conferred with me, likely I would suggest many proactive steps you ought to take now aimed at improving your situation. All the best.
The most important thing to do upon receiving an administrative Notice of Revocation from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, is to file a court challenge within the 30 day (plus three days if mailed) time limit for doing so. If you do, you'll get a court hearing on it which could result in its removal from your drivers license record. If you don't get it done within the 30 day deadline, it will be on your drivers license record forever. You will need to retain a DWI defense lawyer to do so. Your lawyer will be able to answer your other questions. There are many issues related to the reliability of urine testing in Minnesota, whether police need a search warrant, and many more.
Yes - you can be charged. The statute of limitations fro most offenses is three years. Your case is really two cases in one. There is a criminal case where you may face jail time and fines. There is also a civil case where you face license revocations and plate impoundments. You have only thirty days to challenge the revocaton and impoundment by filing a Petition for Judicial review within thirty days of the revocation notice and seeking a judicial determination of your case.
Of course, the process by which tests are taken and the method in which samples are analyzed is something that every attorney reviews for challenges. In addition, other evidence is acquired so that a full review of your case and its defenses may be made.
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