Drunk driving cases can be very serious. However, any type of accident will increase the severity of the driver’s consequences. Accidents refer to incidents that involve the drunk driver’s vehicle or another person or property. Our drunk driving lawyers will examine drunk driving cases from a defense perspective. We will discuss what to do right away after a drunk driving incident, as well as the legal consequences.
We are drunk driving defense lawyers and can help you. Although drunk driving accidents can be frightening, it is important to remember that these types of incidents happen every day. This article will not change one thing: It is crucial to have an ally to help you navigate this difficult time. It is important to hire a top drunk driving defense lawyer as we know that even the most competent people can make mistakes.
What to do following a drunk driving incident
After a drunken driving accident, there are important steps you should take.
Stay at the scene of an accident
Remaining at the accident scene is the right thing to do.Remain calm. There are some things you can do that will help to mitigate any future harm.
- First, call the emergency services. It is crucial to mitigate any injuries that may have occurred to the pedestrian, other driver, or you. When we look at the differences between great bodily injury, death, and harm to the pedestrian, hit and run penalties can be very different.
- Second, take photos of the scene. You might find that an investigation uses your words against the person you have hit. Photographs are objective, real-time documentation of the accident scene.
- The third question is: Should you help the other driver? This is a tricky question. It is essential to alleviate any harm, but there are some risks. First, the victim is you. You will be called as a witness against him or her. Any actions you take in relation to this person will be used against your case. You must at the minimum “provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in an accident.”
- Be prepared to have conversations with the police. You will be asked questions by police officers. Field sobriety tests may be performed by a police officer.
What happens if I’m not at the accident scene?
It is a serious offense to leave the scene of an accident.Certain defenses are available in cases that involve charges such as homicide by impaired use of a motor vehicle. These defenses don’t apply for hit and run causing the death charges. Minnesota Statutes indicate that:
The defendant can defend himself or herself if the preponderance is in favor of the defense that the death occurred regardless of whether he/she had exercised due care or been under the influence.
This applies only if the case is homicide by intoxicated vehicle use. If you flee, you could be charged with hit-and-run causing death and face up to 25 years imprisonment.
Minnesota Statutes also addresses the driver’s responsibilities when striking an occupied vehicle or a person.The law requires:
Operators of vehicles involved in accidents must investigate the incident and, if they know or have reason to believe that an accident caused injury or death to any person or property that was driven or attended to by someone else, stop operating the vehicle and remain on the accident scene until the operator has provided reasonable assistance and information to the victim.
You can expect law enforcement officers to arrest and detain you
Unfortunately, you have limited control over this situation. If you operate while under the influence and cause a car accident, you will be arrested by the police.
Consult with a drunk driving defense lawyer
It is important to get representation as soon as possible when fighting drunk driving charges. The law enforcement officers don’t care about determining the facts of an accident scene. They want to arrest the person and refer them to the district attorney. To protect your rights, it is crucial to hire a top criminal defense lawyer. It is not a good idea to defend any type of criminal charge yourself.
A drunk driving accident can have serious legal consequences
What legal consequences can you expect after an accident involving drunk driving? We’ll be explaining the drunk driving penalties below. You’ll also likely be issued multiple traffic citations on the spot.Inattentive driving is one of the most common citations officers issue. A second could be for driving in an area other than your own. An officer can issue a reckless driving ticket to the driver if the situation is more serious. Underage drivers could face additional charges such as possession of alcohol.
Is it possible to be charged with drunk driving in an accident?
Until they stop your car, the police won’t know that you are operating while intoxicated. To stop your car, the police must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you are violating the law. This does not apply to cases where you are involved in a car crash. The police will arrive on the scene to investigate and, if they find any signs of intoxication, change the focus of the investigation to DWI/DUI. There are many factors that can influence how a lawyer handles a DUI/drunk driving case.
You face the following penalties if you are charged with drunk driving (not including an incident).
- DWI/DUI First offense – $150 to $300 in fines, 6–9 months driver’s license revocation, and no time in jail
- Second offense DWI/DUI: $350 – $11,150 in fines; 12-18 month driver’s license revocation; 5 days – 6months jail
- Third Offense DWI/DUI Fines: $600 to $2,000, 2-5 year license suspension, 45 days to 1 year in prison
- Fourth offense DWI/DUI This is a felon. Fines up to $10,000, 2-4 year driver’s license revocation, 60-days imprisonment;
- Fifth offense DWI/DUI– $600 to $10,000 fines; 2-3 year driver’s license revocation; 6 months to 10 years imprisonment
Two things are required by the government to support a conviction for operating while under the influence.
- First, you drove a motor vehicle on public roads.Importantly, “public roadway” means any road that is open to drivers.
- Second, the vehicle was operated while you were under the influence.
Subsequent DWI/DUI Charges
Recognize that the penalties for drunk driving offenses increase as you get more. The first offense does not carry a jail sentence. A mandatory minimum of five days is required for a second offense. The fourth and subsequent offenses constitute felonies. A felony conviction can lead to time in prison. Minnesota treats subsequent DUI offenses with more seriousness as the number increases.
DUI accidents with injuries vs. those without injuries
It is important to note that there are no differences in the penalties for an individual facing a DWI/DUI offense and an individual facing a DWI/DUI accusation after an incident that did not cause injuries. The penalties rise when there is an injury or death.
DUI accidents resulting in injuries
DWI/DUI inflicting injury is a misdemeanor offense if the defendant has not been convicted of DWI/DUI. Maximum penalty is one year in county jail, and maximum fines are up to $2,000.00. This charge comes with a minimum mandatory penalty of 30 days in jail.
causing injury if the defendant has been convicted of a DWI/DUI in the past. DWI/DUI with prior DWI/DUI offenses or chemical refusal is a Class H felony. A Class H felony can result in a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment, $10,000.00 fines or both. This offense does not carry a mandatory minimum penalty.
Final note: causing great harm by DWI/DUI is a Class F felony, which can lead to up to 12.5 year imprisonment, $25,000.00 fines, or both. This offense is distinct from the previous offenses due to the use of the “great bodily harm” language. The following is how great bodily harm can be defined:
Great bodily harm is any injury that causes death or permanent disfigurement or causes permanent or prolonged impairment or loss of function in any organ, body member, or other serious injury.
What happens if someone is killed in a DUI crash?
This is, without doubt, the most dire situation a drunk driver could face. The court will often advise a drunk driver that they are lucky that someone did not die as a result of their actions at sentencing. Homicide is DWI/DUI is a Class D felony, which can lead to up to 25 years imprisonment, fines up to $100,00.00, or both. The conviction comes with severe penalties for the driver and a significant social stigma.
What should I do next?
Are you involved in an accident involving drunk driving? These are the most important steps. We have already explained what you should do. We’ll assume that you are out of jail. Next, contact the best drunk driving defense lawyer in your area. This individual will help you navigate the difficult process.
Contact Ambrose Law to speak with one our drunk driving defense attorneys
We speak to dozens who ask these questions every day:
- Am I really required to hire a lawyer in my DWI case.
- What can I do to help my DUI case?
- If I represent myself, won’t I get the same deal with the prosecutor?
These are legitimate questions. These are legitimate questions that some attorneys won’t answer. They will tell drivers it is always a good idea to have a lawyer for every crime. Drivers might be told by another attorney that if they don’t hire a lawyer, there is a high chance that they will end up in jail.
A Minneapolis DWI lawyer can make a huge difference in many cases
Do you really need a lawyer to handle your DUI/DWI/refusal case?
Let’s first divide drivers into two groups: repeat offenders, and first-time offender.
First-time offenders are unlikely to receive executed jail time. There are some exceptions to this rule. You could represent yourself and avoid jail time if none of these circumstances apply.As a first-time offenders, this should not be your primary concern. Do everything you can to prevent the DUI/DWI/refusal being added to your criminal or driving record. Without an experienced attorney, this is not possible.
You don’t have to worry about keeping your record clean of alcohol. An attorney is not necessary for most DUI/DWI offenses. You are not the only one who thinks you cannot win your DWI case. Both the cop who arrested and prosecutor would agree with you. DWI defense lawyers win DWI cases every single day, even when there seems to be nothing to contest. It is worthwhile to have an attorney review your case in order to determine if there are any issues worth fighting. Our clients have been found guilty in almost all DUI/DWI/refusal cases. You shouldn’t give up because you believe you are guilty.
Repeat offenders must ALWAYS have an attorney representing them in a DUI/DWI refusal matter.Each subsequent DUI/DWI/refusal is subject to greater penalties than the previous one. Every county has a different approach to repeat offenders. The penalties in a single county may vary depending on the judge or prosecutor who handles your case. Hennepin and Ramsey counties treat repeat offenders differently, as do Washington, Washington, and Scott counties. Even within Hennepin and Dakota counties, the prosecutors will demand different results for offenses committed in Minneapolis, Edina Eden Prairie, Burnsville Burnsville, Eagan or Bloomington.
We have dealt with DWI/DUI/refusal cases across all these jurisdictions, and many more. A skilled DWI lawyer can help you reduce and manage penalties in a manner that suits your needs and preferences. To be able to present the case in the best light, repeat offenders will need an advocate. An attorney can speak on your behalf, even if it sounds disingenuous. If you are still on probation from your previous DUI/DWI/refusal offense, or if there is more than one alcohol offense in your past, the judge or prosecutor will not likely believe that you have learned your lessons this time. This argument is more convincing when it comes from an attorney the judge and prosecutor already know and trust.
It is not only what is being said but also how it is said that is important. An experienced DUI/DWI attorney knows which judges and prosecutors to handle. Refusal or DUI/DWI convictions can be won even if you are a repeat offenders. No matter how many previous convictions you may have, each offense can be treated on its merits. There are no two cases alike. There are many ways that the jury can keep from knowing anything about your past to make your trial more fair. Many repeat offenders may have their cars forfeited or plates impounded. While the law permits police to make this decision, an experienced DUI/DWI attorney will be able to help you preserve your rights to challenge the validity and file a petition to review the court to obtain the vehicle and plates back. You have only 30 days to contest the forfeiture/plate impoundedment. Otherwise, you lose your right to do so.For a free consultation, contact a Minneapolis DWI attorney
What can I do to reduce my DUI/DWI/refusal charge to reckless or careless driving?
This question is a sign that you want to protect your driving record from showing an alcoholic-related offense. While reducing your DUI/DWI/refusal charges to something like reckless or careless driving is a good step, it will not save you record. Even if you are granted a reduction in your charges, the alcohol license revocation will be recorded separately on your driving record. It will have the same effect and consequences as a DUI/DWI/refusal conviction to auto insurance, employment purposes, and any future enhancements of a DUI/DWI. Even if the prosecutor agrees to dismiss all your charges, they cannot change that fact. You can petition the court for judicial review to remove the alcohol license revocation from your record. This is the best way to do so. This petition must be filed within 30 days of the date you received your notice of license revocation. This petition cannot be filed without an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer.
What about public defenders, though?
You may be eligible for public defense if your case is financially sound. Public defenders are usually well-versed in DWI laws and can often speak with judges and prosecutors. Public defenders are often very busy and cannot dedicate as much time as private attorneys to your case. They cannot also handle your corresponding matters regarding vehicle forfeiture, alcohol license revocation, or plate impoundment without additional fees, as they are not criminal proceedings, for which a public defense is not appointed.
Contact us today to find out if we can assist you. We’ll give you honest advice so you can decide what’s best for you.
Are you being falsely accused of a crime or charged with it? You are not the only one. You may think that cooperating with police is a good idea. You may think that if you don’t commit the crime you won’t need a criminal defense attorney.
This could be used by your family or loved ones to justify not paying for a lawyer.
You need a lawyer even if your innocence is not proven. You cannot have the court use your silence or your request to an attorney against yourself.
When your future is in jeopardy, it is a smart move to hire an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer. To learn more, contact Ambrose Law for a free consultation.
How a Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer can Help
Criminal justice is a complex system with a lot of unfamiliar terminology, policies, procedures, and rules. Many people who are facing criminal charges make the fatal mistake of thinking that they will not be sentenced if they don’t have the crime.
They don’t realize the innocent people who are kept in American prisons.
You can rely on a dedicated lawyer to help you defend your case. A criminal defense lawyer can offer many benefits:
- Your attorney will have extensive experience in courtrooms
- Your attorney will be familiarized with pre-trial motions, jury selection and other matters.
- Your attorney will have developed working relationships with local judges.
An lawyer on your team will be familiar with the criminal justice system from both sides and will have spent hours working on each side of “the fight.” Our team of lawyers can quickly assess your case and determine your defenses. Effective strategic planning is possible by understanding how similar cases are resolved.
Do not speak to detectives, investigators or police if you are facing criminal charges. For more information about your rights and options, contact our Minneapolis criminal defense attorneys.
A crime is serious if you are charged with it
A criminal conviction could result in fines or jail time. Even if these are over, your criminal record could still have collateral consequences that can impact your life.
- Background checks: Although a misdemeanor does not necessarily mean that you cannot work again, it will require you to explain the situation to potential employers.
- Minnesota licensing boards and agencies may notify professional license holders who are convicted of a criminal offense. An experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney will help you to keep your occupational licenses and minimize the negative impact of a conviction.
- Future legal proceedings: Your criminal record could be used against you in future legal proceedings, such as divorce, child custody, or business disputes.
- Relationships: Both romantic and platonic criminal records can cause problems in relationships. If you don’t disclose your criminal record early, it can cause embarrassment and even lead to questions. Your criminal record could be considered if you are interested in adopting children from someone who has children. Criminal records can lead to gossip, suspicion, hurt feelings, and a host of other negative emotions in friendships and acquaintances.
Ambrose Law has many years of experience in criminal cases. We have dealt with everything from misdemeanors and felonies. We know what’s at stake and what you are up against. If you believe you are innocent, contact us to learn how we can assist you.
MYTH: Refusing to interview or requesting an attorney implies guilt
You cannot deny being a suspect if you are considered a suspect by the police. It will be impossible to remove yourself from the police’s list of suspects or clear up any confusion. Remember the police’s role as a witness in your case.
Officers cannot reach plea agreements.They don’t believe you are innocent unless you are proven guilty.
Less information means less ammunition for the police.
Your conversation with law enforcement is the best time to assert your right to a legal representative. You have more power the less you speak.
TRUTH: Your attorney is the best way to reveal the truth
You are immediately up against an agency that is funded by many people. Even if your innocence is proven, the police will not decide whether you are charged. The prosecutor will decide.
Police officers are trained in gathering evidence, while prosecutors are taught how to bring about convictions Your innocence and cooperation are not enough to defeat the coercive strategies of law enforcement and the prosecutor. An experienced lawyer can represent your defense in court if you are innocent.
A reputable Minneapolis criminal defense attorney is your best bet for winning your case.
Police Interrogations are not for the truth
The real-life interrogations of police officers are different from what you see in movies and TV. Although police may claim that they want you to be cleared as a suspect in an interrogation, this is not true.
Police are searching for evidence.In their pursuit of evidence, they are allowed to lie to suspects about many facts. They may claim that someone has confessed to a crime together with you or say that they have video surveillance which implicates you. These deceptive tactics, while controversial, are legal.
Police officers are taught how to establish rapport with suspects and make them feel at ease.
In an interview you might be asked questions about:
- Your actions in the days preceding the crime
- Your education, your background, and your finances
- Your version of events, or what you believe occurred
- The victim/victim
- Your beliefs and opinions
- Other relevant circumstances that may have occurred.
Miranda warnings allow you to stop questioning at any time. However, many people don’t want to stop questioning. Instead of talking to police for hours and giving them pages of transcripts that could be used against them, they continue questioning. Remember that you have the right to consult a lawyer and are not required to answer police questions. Only a judge can make you answer a question.
You can’t avoid being interrogated and giving police evidence against you. Contact a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney to prevent you from falling into these traps.
Get a free case evaluation from our Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyers
Ambrose Law can help you protect your legal rights by scheduling a free consultation. You can also call or go online for a consultation.
You will feel more scared and uncertain if you face the law on your own. It is best to get a criminal defense attorney who will help you navigate the process and protect your rights.
In times of trouble, a criminal defense attorney is your best friend. It takes concentration and extensive research to handle criminal law cases. It is important to have someone capable of handling the case, but also someone who is willing and able to put in the effort.
These are just a few of the many benefits that you’ll get from a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer.
Knowledge of Criminal Justice System
The difference between the best and the worst attorneys is their knowledge of criminal justice. It is not possible for every attorney to have the same knowledge as others about each state and judge. Therefore, it is important to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable.
Protect your rights with proper protection
A professional criminal defense attorney is necessary to protect your rights and ensure that you are not being railroaded or pressured by the prosecution. An experienced attorney can help you prepare for the courtroom and let you know what to expect. A good attorney can help you decide whether to accept a plea deal or ask for a jury trial.
Handling of case paperwork
For those with no experience, paperwork can be a headache. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you complete the forms correctly and assist with filling them out. Attending many court hearings will require you to keep track and organize all your paperwork.
A professional criminal defense lawyer will give you the care and attention you deserve. They will do extensive research and answer all your questions. A criminal defense lawyer will get to know you and your case, which will make it easier for them.
Your Future Protection
It is not everyone’s goal to serve a sentence in prison. A criminal defense lawyer can assist you in the legal proceedings and protect your rights. If you have someone to negotiate for you, the prosecutor is more likely to offer you a favorable sentence.
A professional criminal defense attorney will take care of the appearance of your case. A criminal lawyer can help you put your best foot forward, and ensure that your case is handled in court.
Assurance of Confidentiality
It can be extremely stressful to feel that everyone knows everything about your life. A criminal defense lawyer that isn’t able to protect your privacy is the last thing you want. A reputable attorney will protect your privacy and help you feel more comfortable in the situation.
A criminal defense lawyer will give you the attention and dedication you deserve. The best person will be handling your case, preparing everything for trial or negotiating with authorities on your behalf.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand what to expect in court and how you can prepare. You will also receive legal advice about your case so you are as prepared as you can for the future.
Peace of mind
An experienced criminal defense attorney will ensure there is no bias in your case. With the knowledge that your rights have not been violated, you can rest assured.
A criminal defense lawyer is the best way for you to be well represented in court. They will do everything possible to prepare your case and give you the best defense possible. Do not be afraid of the legal process. Contact Ambrose Law to learn more.
Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer
Minneapolis’s top criminal defense lawyers are highly recommended. No matter if you’re facing federal or state criminal charges, our top lawyers in the area specialize in criminal defense. All criminal cases, from DWI to minor felonies to misdemeanors, are handled by us. For a free consultation and to learn more about our rates, call us
A solid, experienced criminal law team
Ambrose Law has a remarkable record in criminal defense cases. The diverse legal firm offers a well-rounded, seasoned criminal defense team. This includes a team of three attorneys as well as support staff and paralegals. We don’t take criminal cases lightly, and we don’t think you should either.
It can be overwhelming to face criminal charges. A criminal defense lawyer is an invaluable resource when your freedom, your life, and your future are at stake.
Supporting the Tenent of “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”
In order to convict someone in a criminal case, they must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. In America, the presumption is of innocence. This country holds that you are innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution bears the burden of proof. Our system is founded on this principle of justice. We will defend you from any potential pitfalls, false claims or bad lawsuits.
We will do the necessary research to defend you as your criminal defense attorney. To understand the larger picture, we will examine every aspect and angle of your case.
Every stage of the process is governed by effective strategies. Our attorneys operate with the highest standards in precision, excellence and ethics, from pre-trial motions to discovery, jury selection, trial presentation, cross-examination and closing arguments.
Our Plan of Attack
Each case is unique and each approach will be different. However, the attention to detail, preliminary processes, and overall approach are consistent. We review all evidence and any relevant documents. We discuss the events and detail and handle any forensic evidence and testimony that may be required. We also interview witnesses to determine weaknesses in the case of the opposing side.
Common Criminal Cases
Many people mistakenly believe that criminal charges only apply to violent offenses. But criminal law covers many other crimes and offenses. All of them are dealt with.Serious criminal charges can also be brought against other crimes, such as federal white-collar and state white-collar crime. We are experienced criminal defense lawyers and have handled many cases over the years.Among the cases we have worked with are:
- White-collar crime: Federal and state
- Felonies, Misdemeanors
- Drunk Driving
- Traffic offenses
There are many types of criminal charges you could be facing. It all depends on whether the charges are federal or state.
These charges are classified as a criminal category and generally are less severe than felony charges, but are more serious than most citations or infractions. These charges can involve minor injuries or damage to property. A felony charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor in certain cases with the right defense. Some examples of misdemeanors include:
- Crimes against a Person
- Assault and battery, false imprisonment or harassment.
- Property crime
- Shoplifting, theft and larceny.
- Public order violations
- Minor possession, disorderly conduct, prostitution, noise violations, trespassing or disorderly behavior.
Felons are more serious and can result in longer prison sentences, usually exceeding one year. There are four types of felony: first, second, third, and fourth. A felony charge can be serious, but the more severe the crime, the more serious it is. Common felony charges include:
- Drug Possession
- Charge of possession, handling, and selling illicit drugs.
- Property crime
- Car theft, burglary and other major thefts.
- Violent Crimes
- Murder, robbery and assault.
- Domestic violence
- Domestic violence accusation, including child abuse.
- Fake news and counterfeiting
- Online fraud, printing fake money, or writing checks in someone else’s names.
The Ambrose Law Difference – Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers
We are an experienced law firm with a diverse and powerful team of criminal defense lawyers. Our goal is to provide you with the strongest and most effective defense possible. Our law firm can handle any case, no matter how difficult, whether you’re facing traffic offenses or misdemeanors. Call us for a free consultation if you’re facing criminal charges. We’ll review your case and discuss your options.
Choose a strong defense from a team of experienced lawyers
We will be there for you every day to help with your defense. We are here to help you navigate the complex legal system, whether you’re facing a misdemeanor public disturbance charge or a serious possession charge.
A criminal defense lawyer should not be hired only by those who have been charged or convicted of a crime. An experienced, dedicated defense lawyer can help protect your rights if a crime has been committed. However, there are many other situations where you might want to hire a lawyer.
Here are some examples of how defense attorneys in Minneapolis can help you navigate difficult situations.
A crime has been committed
This is the most obvious reason people think of when they consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer. It’s a good thing. You can have your defense lawyer help you with minor offenses like cyberstalking and retail theft, as well as more serious charges like sexual assault or manslaughter. The legal system can be complicated, and it doesn’t matter what charges you are facing. Without the guidance and support of an experienced criminal defense attorney, things could get worse.
Your child is having trouble with the law
The juvenile legal system works differently from the adult system. Minnesota’s juvenile courts have many rules and quirks that can make it difficult to navigate without an experienced defense attorney.
You are being questioned by federal or police investigators
The police might try to convince you to give a statement, similar to what you saw on TV or in movies. They may attempt to convince you to talk if they suspect that you are guilty of a crime, but they don’t have sufficient evidence to arrest. While being questioned, you have the right to have a criminal defense attorney present.
You have received a search warrant for your home
A warrant means that a judge has probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime at your house. You should speak with an experienced defense attorney to discuss what happened.
Your property is seized
Minnesota law allows law enforcement to seize property at traffic stops or other instances, often without any hard evidence or legitimate reasons. It can be difficult to get your stuff back if you have your property seized during a traffic stop. A defense lawyer can help you to get your property back.
You are wrongly accused of a crime
When law enforcement, a judge, or a prosecutor believes you have committed a crime that you didn’t, it can be extremely difficult to prove your innocence–especially if you have been in trouble in the past. Your rights shouldn’t be overlooked just because you have made mistakes in the past. A defense lawyer will help you to defend your innocence and give you the best chance of being exonerated.
To expunge your criminal record
There are many ways to get rid of criminal records from your past. Even if you are not convicted in court, criminal charges or accusations can still tarnish your record and your reputation. If you are eligible for expungement, a skilled criminal defense lawyer will help you navigate the complex process. While it won’t always go smoothly, a criminal defense attorney can help you have a better chance of success.
To appeal a sentence
No matter if your sentence is for a minor offense or a serious crime, it’s possible to appeal the sentence. A criminal defense lawyer can help to determine if there are legal avenues to appeal and reduce your sentence.
Ambrose Law is available to help you if you have a case and would like to discuss your options.
A PBT stands for Preliminary Breath Test in DWI cases. Some people call it a portable breath test. Minnesota statutes refer to it as a preliminary screening test. However you slice it, it means the same thing. It is a handheld device that cops use as part of their field sobriety testing in DWIs. In Minnesota, the officer must have sufficient cause to use a PBT during field sobriety testing. Meaning, they cannot just jump to it right away without any just cause.
In State v. Juncewski, the Minnesota Supreme Court reasoned that reasonable articulable suspicion of a DWI is needed to request a PBT. PBTs are the only field sobriety tests where the legislature states a specific standard for invoking the test. The legislature seemed to recognize that requesting a PBT is more intrusive than other field sobriety tests, such as the one-leg-stand test, the walk-and-turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Often, officers will ask someone to take a PBT after they put the driver through the other field sobriety tests. Thus, building reasonable articulable suspicion to get to the PBT.
Importantly, the PBT is not a test that prosecutors can use to charge someone with a DWI in court. That is the evidentiary test taken at the police station or local jail in breath test cases. Evidentiary urine tests are rarely requested in DWI cases anymore, but when they are, they can take those at the police department. For evidentiary blood test cases, those are sometimes administered at a hospital. In urine and blood test cases, officers will seek a warrant first.
In breath test cases, after an officer asks someone to take a PBT, depending on the results of the test, the cop will arrest the driver on suspicion of DWI. The officer will then ask the driver to take a second breath test at the police department or local jail. Drivers can often be confused about the second request for a breath test and not understand why they are being asked to take another one. The crucial point is that the test at the station is the evidentiary test. That is the one that prosecutors can use to charge someone with testing .08 or more.
Results from a PBT are only admissible in court in limited circumstances. One circumstance is in DWI Refusal cases. In those matters, the prosecutor can submit evidence of the PBT result to build probable cause for the arrest of DWI and the request to take an evidentiary test. In pre-trial litigation, the prosecution may also use the results of the PBT if your attorney challenges probable cause for arrest. But, if you end up in a criminal trial by judge or jury, then your defense lawyer should be making sure that the results of the PBT are not admitted as evidence in a DWI trial for testing .08 or more. A main issue is that PBTs are not scientifically reliable tests. While officers may have them calibrated and up to speed on servicing, the science behind them are not good enough to support charges in court for testing at or above the legal limit.
PBTs are also often used in minor consumption cases, underage drink and drive matters, and juvenile court proceedings. The tests can also be used in some civil actions and license reinstatement matters. In underage drink and drive cases, the prosecution will argue that any positive result on a PBT violates the law. The penalties can include a license suspension for thirty days on a first-time offense and one hundred and eighty days for a second offense.
The One-Leg Stand Test is a field sobriety test used by officers during an investigation for suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). If you are pulled over, and an officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, they may put you through field sobriety testing. These commonly include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test, Walk-and-Turn Test, and One-Leg Stand Test. Depending on the results of those, which the officer almost always says you failed, they will likely ask you to submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT) as the final field sobriety test before determining whether to arrest you on suspicion of DWI. In cases where the officer suspects a person of driving under the influence of drugs, they will often do the HGN, possibly the other coordination tests, but they will also often conduct other testing for drug recognition, such as taking a person’s pulse.
In the One-Leg Stand Test, before the test begins, the police officer should ask the driver before if they have any problems affecting their balance. This would be the time to tell the officer about your old knee injury from high school football that makes it hard to balance. If the officer decides to move forward with testing, they will then tell the driver to raise one leg off the ground about six inches, hold their arms at their side, and count one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, and so forth until the officer tells them to stop.
Officers are trained to look for different “clues” during this test. Those are: swaying, using arms for balance, putting their foot down or hopping, etc. The officer only needs to witness two clues for them to consider the driver to have failed the test.
For the most reliable (if that is even possible) one-leg stand test, it should be done on a level, flat, reasonably dry, and non-slippery surface. Certain factors can affect the results of the test. If the person is sixty-five years old or older, they are more than fifty pounds overweight, they have balance issues, leg, back, knee, or foot problems. Also, the footwear of the driver can affect the test. If a person is wearing a heel over two inches or higher, flip-flops, or platform shoes the officer should give the driver the opportunity to perform the test barefoot rather than in their footwear. External factors, such as the wind, rain, snow, and cars passing by also affect the performance of the test.
While officers may show a driver how the test should be completed, they often do not tell the drivers the secret of the test. Officers will often lean back while they hold their leg in the air during the one-leg stand test. This allows them to keep their balance more easily than if they are standing straight up. However, they do not tell drivers this little secret, which results commonly in the driver trying to complete the test while standing straight up, which makes it more difficult to complete.
The one-leg stand test is one of the common field sobriety tests used by MN law enforcement officers. Often, we recommend a person should refuse to take the coordination tests, such as the one-leg stand test and walk-and-turn test. We also recommend refusing to participate in the HGN test. These tests are often skewed in the favor of law enforcement, which will give the prosecution more arguments to make against you in your case. If you think you are close to the legal limit, then you can ask the officer to take the PBT. If that PBT gives a reading well under .08, then the officer may allow you to drive away or have a person who is completely sober come pick you up. The most important test to consider whether you should refuse or not is the evidentiary breath, blood, or urine test which is often conducted at the police department, jail, or hospital. Before deciding to take an evidentiary breath test, the officer should give you an opportunity to consult with a Minneapolis DWI lawyer. Take that opportunity. We, and many other respected firms, offer consultations at no charge.
Must the police read Miranda rights during a DWI stop?
Anyone who has watched enough police procedural shows knows that reading the suspect his or her Miranda rights is a crucial part of any arrest. In spite of the fact that these warnings are frequently portrayed as essential to the arrest, with the lack of proper notice frequently being cited as a basis for overturning criminal charges, the reality is far less clear.
Miranda Rights refers to the warnings given by officers to detained suspects who are about to be questioned. Unfortunately, this is not the case, especially when it comes to DWI stops in Minnesota, despite the widespread belief that any arrest in which an officer fails to read these warnings will ultimately be thrown out. The only time Miranda warnings are required is when an individual is in custody and being questioned by a law enforcement official. The two requirements for a Miranda warning are (1) being arrested and (2) being interrogated in custody. For instance, if a person has been arrested and is being transported to a nearby police station for further questioning, he or she must be advised of his or her Miranda rights. If the officer fails to do so, the information obtained during the interrogation will not be admissible in a subsequent trial.
The problem is that in the majority of Minnesota drunk driving cases, Miranda warnings are unnecessary. The majority of drunk driving cases do not require a detention interrogation. Officers may question suspected drunk drivers, but no warning is required if these questions occur outside of police custody. Upon arrest, a simple blood alcohol test can be administered, typically without the need for lengthy questioning sessions. However, there is one scenario in which Miranda warnings would be required during an arrest for drunk driving.
For example, if a driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI, placed under arrest, and transported to the police station for a breath test, that driver is now clearly in police custody, which is the first requirement for invoking Miranda rights. Before continuing with the interrogation, the Miranda Rights must be explained and waived if the officer decides to question the individual, perhaps about the amount of alcohol consumed that evening.
If a police officer fails to inform a suspect of his or her Miranda rights, it is crucial to understand that the suspect’s case will not necessarily be dismissed. Instead, the results of this unlawful interrogation will not be admissible in the eventual criminal prosecution.
Must the police read the rights during a DUI traffic stop and investigation?
Officers are not required to read Miranda warnings during a DUI investigation. A DUI investigation encompasses everything that transpires between a driver’s stop and arrest. This could happen after a traffic stop or at a DUI sobriety checkpoint. Currently, a driver is not “in custody.” Therefore, the officer is not required to read Miranda before interrogating the suspect.
What transpires during a DWI investigation?
During a DWI investigation, a police officer may take one or more of the following steps:
• Request that the driver perform one or more “field sobriety tests” (“FSTs”); • Request that the driver submit to a cheek swab for DUI of marijuana or driving under the influence of drugs (in some jurisdictions); and/or
• Inquire if the driver demonstrates signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, dilated or “pinprick” pupils, or confusion.
Typical questions posed by a police officer include:
• Where are you coming from?
• Were you drinking?
• Have you consumed any prescription or illegal drugs today or last night?
Other evidence of driving under the influence is admissible. Drivers must also keep in mind that statements are not the only indication of driving under the influence. Even if Miranda rights have been violated, the prosecutor may still present additional drunk driving evidence.
Such evidence may include: • Any traffic violations committed by the driver; • Observable signs of physical and mental impairment (such as a flushed face, the smell of alcohol, etc.); • The presence of alcohol and/or drugs or drug paraphernalia in the vehicle; • The driver’s performance on field sobriety tests; • The driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as determined by a DUI blood test or DUI breath test; • Traffic cam video footage and/or still photography
After being stopped on suspicion of DWI, those suspected of gross misdemeanor or felony DWI may be detained and transported directly to jail. The time spent in jail is pending an appearance in court. Unfortunately, a person arrested without a warrant may spend four or more days in jail before appearing in court, which can cause a number of difficulties with work, family, and other responsibilities.
At Ambrose Law, we strive to get you back to your life as quickly as possible. This means releasing you from jail while the criminal proceeding against you continues. By releasing you from jail, you can return to work, school, and your family until you must return to court to face the charges against you.
If you have been charged with DWI, it is essential that you mount a vigorous defense. By having a skilled St. Paul & Minneapolis DWI attorney by your side every step of the way, you can get out of jail faster and achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Even if you were driving under the influence of alcohol, there may be circumstances that prevent you from paying the maximum penalties.
People suspected of gross misdemeanor or felony DWI offenses are frequently detained in jail until their court appearance. A person arrested without a warrant may spend at least four days in jail before appearing in court to discuss conditions of release. Under the circumstances, Ambrose Law can help get your friend or family member out of jail as soon as possible.
In a typical DWI case involving an arrest without a warrant, the prosecution and courts must adhere to two rules. First, the court must determine probable cause to detain the defendant within 48 hours of the arrest.
The judicial determination should also establish bail or release conditions, although some defendants will continue to be detained without bail. If the court fails to determine probable cause within 48 hours of the defendant’s arrest, the jail must unconditionally release the defendant.
Second, if probable cause is determined by a judge within 48 hours of an arrest, the defendant must still appear in court within 36 hours. The 36-hour rule, however, does not include the day of arrest, Sundays, or holidays.
If Monday is not a holiday, a person arrested at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday must appear in court by 12:00 p.m. the following Tuesday. Occasionally bail is required, and occasionally it is not.
When it is required, bail is called “mandatory bail.”
The mandatory bail for a first-time offender with a BAC of 0.20 or higher or who had a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense is $12,000. A person committing their third offense within ten years is also subject to the $12,000 bail requirement. The court typically sets bail as a monetary amount that the defendant must pay in order to return home pending the next court hearing. If you appear as required, your bail is released at the conclusion of your case. If you fail to appear in court, your bail is forfeited and given to the court.
The bail hearing, which takes place in court, is where the judge determines the amount of bail.
A judge may require bail if he or she believes that you pose a threat to the public or are unlikely to appear in court when required. The judge may consider your ties to the community, your involvement in the community, your family members who are in court with you, the duration and nature of your employment, and your prior criminal record.
Taking Care of the Bail Process
A bail bondsman can be quite useful because the majority of defendants lack the funds to pay their bail. In exchange for a fee, the bail bondsman puts up the cash. The fee is a percentage of the bail amount and is occasionally secured by a lien. This ensures that the bail bondsman will be compensated if the defendant fails to appear at future court dates. Your Minneapolis and St. Paul DWI attorney will assist you in selecting a reputable bail bondsman to ensure you receive the best deal. Your attorney will take into account factors that are important to you, such as whether collateral is required and how quickly bail can be posted. Thus, you can return home as quickly as possible.
Helping You Get Out of Jail Fast
Your DWI attorney in Minneapolis will help you get out of jail quickly so you can resume your life. Occasionally, however, electronic alcohol monitoring may be necessary, or you may be required to wear a monitoring bracelet as a condition of your release. In the end, if you are charged with DWI in the first or second degree, you must post bail.
You and your attorney will determine the optimal combination of release conditions, given that conditions can affect bail amount.
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