Charged with a DUI In MN? Get the Facts
Your attorney may ask you these questions:
How much did you drink?
Be honest when you answer this question. Your attorney needs to know the truth to defend you.
What were the officer’s reasons for the traffic stop?
This is a crucial question. This will help your attorney decide if the officer pulled you over for legitimate reasons or not.
What did you think of the officer?
The actions and behaviors of the officer can help your case.
Did the officer wait 15-20 minutes before giving you a breath test?
Officers need to wait around 15-20 minutes before giving you a breathalyzer test. It takes about 15 minutes for any residual alcohol in your mouth to go away.
How well did you perform the roadside tests?
Tell the truth to your attorney. The more information you can tell them, the better. The officer may have made mistakes.
Have you been arrested for anything else?
Your past could help or hurt you. A clean record could help your case. If this is your second or third offense, it may be hard to reduce your penalties.
Were there any witnesses?
A nearby witness can help support your case. They can offer extra information about the traffic stop. A witness could testify if the cop seemed out of line.
What were your test results?
The attorney needs to know your BAC level. The level of your BAC determines the charges and penalties you will face. A BAC concentration over .16% could result in a misdemeanor charge with a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
To be found guilty:
You have to be the driver of the motor vehicle.
The officer has to know for certain that you were the person driving, or in physical control* of the vehicle. They should also ask for your ID.
*Many drivers think that they can sit in their vehicle and wait until they sober up. Being in the vehicle with access to the keys is deemed to be in physical control and result in charges.
There had to be a suspicion that your driving seemed impaired.
A cop cannot pull you over without a reason. There has to be some sort of reason for suspicion. For example, swerving, violating a traffic rule, or having an equipment violation.
You had a BAC of .08 or higher.
You have to be at or over the legal limit to be charged with a DUI. The amount of alcohol in your blood can result in different charges.
Or, the tests show a restricted substance in your blood without a proper prescription for it.
In Minnesota, it is illegal to be under the influence of a substance that can impair driving. This can apply to marijuana use as well.
You were driving in Minnesota.
You had to be driving in Minnesota to be charged in Minnesota. They have to prove what city/county as well.
Things that could help your case:
Do they have enough evidence of your blood alcohol level?
There are several steps cops need to take to conclude your BAC. Your attorney can help identify if the officer missed any of these steps.
Do they have witnesses to support their case?
It is important to look at the witnesses of your case. Witnesses may be able to back up your side of the story. For example, a witness that can testify that you were not driving or in physical control.
The officer needs to have a legal justification of why they stopped you.
An officer cannot pull you over without a reason. They should always state why they pulled you over.
Is the officer’s statement certain and accurate?
Incompetence, uncertainty, and dishonesty can discredit an officer’s statement.
They didn’t read you your Miranda rights.
An officer must tell you your Miranda rights while you are in custody.
Other DUI Facts To Know
You should seek an attorney’s guidance for your DUI charges.
Depending on the situation, an attorney can lower charges and fines.
There is a lesser charge called “wet reckless”, it is a plea that often has lower fines and no jail time.
You could be back to driving 90 days, depending on your offense.
If you refuse a blood test you may have a longer suspension.
Don’t drive without your license. It will only make things worse. You could be charged with a misdemeanor, or fined up to $1000.
If you weren’t the one driving the vehicle, you can’t be convicted. There is a lot of grey area in these type of cases, so contact an attorney right away.
- Minnesota's Underage Drunk Driving Laws & Consequences
- What You Should Know Before Accepting a DUI Plea Deal
- What Happens After Your DWI Arrest in Minnesota