Every state does not use the same terminology for driving while intoxicated. Generally, people are familiar with the term DUI(driving under the influence). In Minnesota, there is technically no DUI charge. Instead, Minnesota has a DWI(driving while intoxicated). Can the terminology of DUI and DWI be interchangeable? Yes. A DUI and a DWI are very similar in nature because they both prohibit driving any type of motor vehicle while being intoxicated.
Generally, in a DWI case, a defendant will be charged by the state with more than one charge of DWI. The first charge for a defendant is what we call a traditional DWI.
A DWI takes place when an officer, based upon what he or she has observed and the standardized field sobriety tests, firmly believes the driver is under the influence of an alcoholic substance. The second charge is one that is probably thought of instantly when a DWI charge is mentioned, and this is when the individual’s blood alcohol concentration is over 0.08,
DWI: A Quick Review
In the majority of cases, here is what will take place:
- An individual will be stopped by a police officer
- The police officer will detect the smell of alcohol
- The driver will be asked to step out of the vehicle
- The driver will be asked to perform a sobriety test and will be given a breathalyzer
- The police officer will read aloud an implied consent advisory
- The police officer can release the individual if it has been determined that he or she is sober, or an individual can be taken to jail or a detox center
The Police Stop
In Minnesota, the police must witness a traffic violation or have reasons to believe that a crime has been committed in order to make a stop. The law requires police to base their decision to stop an individual on objective evidence. Police officers do not have the legal authority to base a stop of a vehicle on a ”guess” or simply because they have the desire to do so.
The Minnesota police have been trained to observe for any suspected DWI situations. Minnesota police officers will look for behaviors that include(but are not limited) to the following:
- Swerving, drifting, weaving
- Hitting or almost hitting another vehicle
- Irregularities in braking
- Varying speed
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Driving in the opposite lane
- Driving on a one-way street in the wrong direction
- Failing to respond to the officer’s signals
In order to justify a stop, Minnesota police officers will be able to state he or she witnessed a traffic violation after witnessing the above behaviors. The officer will also state that the witnessed behaviors gave them the legal authority to stop your vehicle and perform an investigation.
If anyone is arrested, released, and charged with a DWI, one should not wait to take action. In Minnesota, DWI cases can be categorized under a criminal court case or an implied consent case. It is important that a Minnesota DWI lawyer take action on the criminal case and the implied consent case because while the cases can have their own consequences, there can also be consequences that are interconnected.
The consequences that one may face include(but not limited to) the following;
- A jail sentence
- Significant fines
- The revocation of the individual’s driver’s license
- The vehicle and/ or license plates can be subjected to forfeiture
If an implied consent case is going to be filed, it will need to be filed within 30 days after issuance of the notice.
The Need To Hire A Minnesota DWI Lawyer
After the police have done their job and charged you with a Minnesota DWI, you will have a long list of things at stake. Your family, finances, career, future, and freedom will all be on the line. The prosecution will not show any sympathy towards you, what type of person you are, or what you do for a living. The prosecution wants to make a conviction because that is what they get paid to do every single day.
The judge is not going to be on your side either. The judge who has been assigned to the case will not come between either side until someone files a motion, you sign a plea agreement, or the case goes to trial. Your case cannot be a dismissed unless a solid defense challenge is presented or the jury assigned to the trial determines you are not guilty.
You can have someone on your side who will be your strongest ally. A Minnesota DWI lawyer can build a solid defense for you. You need someone on your side who understands your situation and your rights. The right Minnesota DWI lawyer will fight to the end to get your charges reduced or dismissed completely.
A Minnesota DWI lawyer will have a variety of factors to evaluate, including the following:
- The reason behind the stop
- How the police officer handled your case
- The evidence that is being used against you
- The testing methods performed by the lab
- The procedures used to implement your standardized field sobriety test
There are so many factors that can be challenged, but only an experienced DWI lawyer will be able to use those factors in your favor. It does not matter what you did, everyone is deemed innocent until they have been proven guilty. You are not the first person to make a mistake and you will not be the last. However, it is how we recover from those mistakes that makes the difference.
You can take control of the DWI charges that have been brought up against you, but you will need a solid and strong defense. After you have hired a DWI lawyer, it is important that you become thoroughly invested in your case and ask questions. You can read the police reports that were filed, set appointments, and watch the video of your arrest. You can also obtain a chemical use assessment and adhere to the recommendations.
When faced with a DWI charge in Minnesota, you need someone who can litigate the criminal and implied consent portions of your case. You also need someone who will spend the time and energy that is required to provide you with the second chance you need.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individualsituation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.