Legal Question in Traffic Law in Minnesota

2nd DUI

My son got his second DUI in MN. In order to have you represent him how much do you charge? You did represent a friend of his who did recomend you. His court date is 4-7-09 in Moorhead. How soon does he need to contact you? Thanks,--


Asked on 3/06/09, 8:16 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Maury Beaulier612.240.8005 Minnesota Lawyers

Re: 2nd DUI

Thank you for the e-mail.

If your son had a Blood Alcohol Content over .20, or if he recieved his second DWI within 10 years of a first, he was charged with a third degree offense. This is very serious and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of a 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 the 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 his driver's license. On a third degree offense, he may be revoked for up to six months or a year if he refused to provide a breath, blood or urine sample for testing. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge the license revocation, your son 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.

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 fro true Blood Alcohol Concentration. A sufficient variation may result in a reduce charge or no charge.

For a FREE Consultation and to discuss fees, please call us at 612.240.8005.

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Answered on 3/07/09, 6:02 pm


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