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Articles by Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Carolyn Agin Schmidt

DWI in 2014

The holiday season is here! Unfortunately, this is also the season where drunk driving is more likely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts 728 people will be killed or injured from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. That is one sobering statistic. 1/3 of car crash fatalities in Minnesota are caused from driving while impaired. Minnesota is strengthening DWI penalties in hopes of decreasing this number in 2014.

Whiskey plates in Minnesota

Restricted use plates, often referred to as “whiskey plates,” are a not-so-uncommon sight to see on Minnesota highways and streets. The plates start with the letter “W” to indicate the alcohol-related offense. As of June 2012, there were over 16,000 whiskey plates in circulation in the state of Minnesota.

What Happens After Your DWI Arrest in Minnesota (Part A)

If you are arrested for a DWI, you may face serious penalties that include fines, a drivers' license revocation, license plate impoundment, vehicle forfeiture and the possibility for jail time. You may be able to fight your DWI charge to avoid these penalties. Therefore, it is important to know what happens after a DWI, and what will be required of you.

What Happens After Your DWI Arrest in Minnesota (Part B)

The Suppression Hearing

If your defense lawyer believes that certain evidence should be suppressed, then he or she may request a suppression hearing. In Minnesota, this is called an Omnibus Hearing. At this hearing, the court may suppress any evidence that was gathered in violation of your rights.

Crime-Lab Errors Show Impact of Effective DWI Counsel

Errors in more than 100 Driving While Intoxicated cases at a local crime lab resulted in the lab reporting too-high levels of blood alcohol, a local online news source recently reported. The scandal points up the importance of having a dedicated criminal attorney mount a vigorous DWI or DUI defense if you are accused of this crime.

As Minnesota online news service ABCnewspapers.com reported, personnel at the Anoka County Sheriff's Office tri-county crime lab -- which also handles cases for Wright and Sherbourne counties -- made a math error in calculating blood alcohol in 111 cases. The error inflated blood-alcohol levels in tested urine by about one-third.

Motor Vehicle Forfeiture in Minnesota

If you are convicted of a DUI/DWI charge, you may face not only jail time and large fines, but also administrative penalties such as a revocation of your license and the forfeiture of your motor vehicle.

In Minnesota, if you are arrested for DWI/DUI under certain circumstances, the arresting police officer has the right to seize your vehicle at the time of the arrest. If your vehicle is seized, the prosecuting attorney can then serve a notice of intent to seek a forfeiture of your motor vehicle.

Minnesota DUI Do's and Don’ts

Stopped by an officer while driving - and at risk for getting an alcohol-related driving charge? Here's some tips to consider.

Penalties for DUI/DWI Convictions in Minnesota

In Minnesota, the charges and penalties associated with a DUI/DWI conviction depend upon a number of factors.  These factors are called “aggravating factors” and they influence your case by subjecting you to harsher charges, sentences and/or mandatory minimum sentences. 

Had Too Many to Drive? Don’t Sleep It Off Inside the Car!

Did you know that you could get a DWI/DUI even if you have not been driving? According to Minnesota law, it is unlawful for “any person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle” while under the influence of alcohol or with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. [Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(1), (5).]    

Minnesota DWI/DUI and the Implied Consent Hearing

If you have been arrested on a DWI/DUI charge, you most likely received a "Notice and Order of Revocation" from the arresting officer. This form notifies you that your license is in the process of being revoked. Unless you request a hearing, often referred to as an Implied Consent hearing, within 30 days of receiving this notice, your license will be revoked.

Under Minnesota law, you have the right to request an Implied Consent hearing to challenge the state's right to revoke your license. In order for the court to accept your request for a hearing, the request must be in writing and must be filed with the court within 30 days of your arrest.

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