Police Mistakes in Minnesota DWI Cases
The following are common mistakes cops make and can result in successful DUI/DWI defenses that can reduce the charges or dismiss the State's case against you:
- Did the police have a reasonable articulable suspicion (a
good, legal reason) for the stop? A policeman may not stop you on
because you looked "suspicious". There has to be some reasonable
cause, such as a violation of traffic laws, erratic driving, an accident,
or some other good reason.
- Did the officer assume that the odor of an alcoholic beverage
meant you were intoxicated? Odor of alcohol may be sufficient evidence
However, in most cases, consumption alone is
not equivalent to intoxication. For most drivers 21 years of
age or older without alcohol restrictions on their licenses,
it is not illegal to drink and drive. It is illegal to be impaired
or intoxicated while driving.
- Did the officer fail to ask pertinent questions about your potential
medical problems? Many medical issues mirror those of intoxication.
- Did the officer fail to disqualify you if you were physically unable
to pass field exercises? Many persons with physical problems cannot
pass these exercises - even while totally sober
- Did the officer conduct the field exercises in an unfair manner?
These include being aware of, but failing to eliminate,
distractions during the field exercises (e.g. loose gravel, surfaces
that are not level, environmental issues such as snow, ice, misting,
wind blowing, darkness).
- Did the officer fail to give proper instructions during the instructional
phase of the field exercises? If you were not properly instructed,
the validity of the entire exercise will be compromised.
- Did the officer fail to give proper instructions during the administration
phase of the exercise? Again, if any of the elements of the exercises
are changed, the validity is compromised!
- Did the police read your rights from the implied consent advisory
form just before offering you the test to determine your alcohol
- Did the police give you an adequate opportunity to call a lawyer
BEFORE asking you to submit to chemical testing of blood, breath
- Did police make a phone and phone book available to you, allowing
you sufficient, reasonable time to contact an attorney?
- Did police allow you to arrange additional blood or urine testing
at your own cost if you requested it?
- After you took or refused the test, did police read you the
"Miranda Warning" after your arrest? That is "You
have a right to remain silent: anything you say may be used as evidence
for or against you. You are entitled to talk to a lawyer now and
have a lawyer present now or at any time during questioning. If you
cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you without cost."
- If the police decided that you refused the test WHICH REVOKES YOUR
LICENSE FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR, and results in your being charged with a gross
misdemeanor refusal to test, did police base their decision on fair
facts? Or did you really not refuse?
Did you try to blow, but couldn't because of some physical problem?
Do you have the facts on your side such that what police did during
the arrest gives you a defense of "reasonable refusal"?
If such a defense is successful, you can have your license reinstated
and refusal criminal charges dismissed or beaten at trial.
If you're like most people, you probably didn't know that the police
make the mistakes I just mentioned. And you probably didn't know that
these mistakes could significantly help your case. They can.
Protecting your rights in court to defend the Minnesota DWI charges
against you is something I routinely do for my clients.
Further, the police mistakes I've just mentioned can also be the basis
of a court action to reinstate your driver's license. I can also help
you to work through the requirement that you have an "alcohol
problem assessment" for the court and before you can get a driver's
I will review with you what you will be facing and ensure that you
are treated fairly, including your right to have a private assessment
done which could satisfy the requirement.
I am an experienced DUI/DWI attorney. I will defend you and will file
an "implied consent" court action (called "judicial
reinstate your driver's license and, more importantly, get the alcohol
notation removed from your driving record.
If you have a prior DUI/DWI record, I can advise you about vehicle
forfeiture, license plate impoundment, and the stiff mandatory jail
Only a good defense will result in a restored driver's license, reduced
or dismissed DUI/DWI and criminal charges, community service or home
monitoring instead of jail, or a "not guilty" verdict if
the case is tried to a jury. I charge reasonable flat fees, which include
all court work as well as the implied consent (license revocation) hearing, and a DUI/DWI jury trial if no settlement is possible.
If you've been arrested for Drunk Driving / DWI / DUI in Minnesota,
you need experienced legal representation right away. Call me for a
free consultation, and I'll explain exactly what I can do to help you.
An arrest is not the same as a conviction! Call me at 612-334-3342
for a free Minnesota DWI legal consultation.
Douglas V. Hazelton, Attorney at Law
Northland Plaza Bldg.,
3800 American Boulevard
Bloomington, MN 55431
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