How I Can Help You Through The DWI Process in Minnesota
I treat each and every case and individual as unique. I get to know each of my client’s lives so that I can present you in court as an individual with a job, a family and a member of the community. Your individual situation can help play a part in how your case turns out.
Every DWI is different based on the nature of the charges being brought against you. The charges will depend largely on what your blood alcohol level (BAC) was at the time the police measured it at the police station. The BAC largely determines how your case will be filed and the severity level of the charges going through the court system.
If you are in custody after a stop, I will work tirelessly to get you out of jail as soon as possible. It is important for you to be able to get back to your normal, daily life as quickly as you can.
Your First Court Appearance
Soon, you’ll be assigned a date for your first court appearance. Generally, you will have to appear at least twice—and possibly as many as five or more times—in court. The number of appearances will depend on a few different factors in your case including the presence of “aggravating factors.”
Aggravating factors are above-and-beyond the basic act of driving under the influence of alcohol. Essentially, a DWI can be a higher-level violation if any of the following facts are present in your situation:
- Twice the Limit BAC: A .16 test result and above will trigger enhanced charges, even on a first time DWI arrest.
- Presence of a child: It there is a child in the car or the child is not properly or safely restrained the charges may be enhanced.
- Refusal to take the test or tampering with the machine: Refusing to consent to BAC testing, failing to properly take the test by breathing improperly for example, or trying to break the testing machine will all be reason for the prosecutor to seek additional charges against you.
Keeping Your Driver’s License
I am focused on meeting your needs and listening carefully to you. I want to determine what the best strategy is for you, not only from a criminal-case standpoint, but also from a license standpoint. Losing your driver’s license is what is the most problematic for a first-time offender. You won’t be able to drive to work, take care of personal errands or shuttle your children to and from school and activities.
While the criminal case proceeds and the court schedules your appearances, the State can revoke your driver’s license. The State has the automatic right to do this under the law.
You also have the right under the law to challenge the State and try to keep some or all of your driving privileges. However, the timing of when this happens is very important. You must challenge the State’s attempt to revoke your license within a specified, short period of time after your arrest. If you challenge the license revocation, you are entitled to a hearing. The hearing can be scheduled anywhere from 60 days out until after the criminal case is resolved.
Certain counties, like Hennepin and Ramsey may allow you to reinstate your license while the criminal case is still pending. They and others will also consider limited licenses that allow you to drive to and from work or installing an ignition interlock device on your car that allows it to be monitored remotely.
If you do not follow the proper procedure or file your challenge on time, you will lose the right to challenge it. You will lose your driver’s license for as long as the law requires. In order to challenge the revocation, it is important to consult with me as soon as possible.
Gathering Evidence and Information Going Forward
Finally, I will gather and review all of the evidence that the State has collected, including the actions of the police at the time they stopped you. An important part of every single case in my office is to review the police officer’s records.
I never assume that the police do everything correctly. Generally, most officers are professional, do their jobs well and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. But sometimes the police make mistakes or fail to follow proper procedure.
I need to dissect all the evidence very carefully. One simple fact or piece of evidence, or a complex legal issue could lead to the judge dismissing the charges. There may be evidence that would support taking your case to trial. If we take your case to trial, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the charges. My successful philosophy is to put forward your best defense and prepare you case with all potential possibilities in mind.
You Are Entitled to a Strong Defense
You are not a criminal. You have unintentionally ended up in a challenging situation based on one mistake.
I want to get to know you so I can present you in a positive light. We will humanize the charges and present them in the context of your very-real life—and how a conviction will affect you and your family. This allows us to zealously advocate for you and obtain positive results in most situations. I have many years of experience fighting DWI charges against people just like you. I practice solely in criminal defense so I don’t divide my time and knowledge between more than one practice area. My passion is helping people navigate through this difficult time and to give them the hope they need in what feels like a hopeless situation.