Twin Cities Criminal Defense

Minneapolis, Bloomington & Edina, MN DWI Lawyer

DUI / DWI law information

The legal limit in Minnesota is .08. A first DWI offense with a reading of less than .20 is a misdemeanor level offense, provided there are no aggravating factors. There is a civil side to a DWI/DUI offense, which is the license revocation. To read about the potential penalities you face if convicted with a DWI charge, see my DWI sentancing and manditory minimums page.

The “Missouri v. McNeely” opinion issued on April 17, 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court is good news for people with currently pending DWI cases! Call Richard Ohlenberg now for a free initial consultation to discuss if this decision may help you! Click here for a more detailed discussion of this important case.

As a direct result of the Missouri v. McNeely case, the Minnesota Supreme Court has now held that a driver who refuses a blood or a urine test will not be convicted of test refusal UNLESS the police requested and sought a search warrant from a Judge. Because search warrants signed by a Judge are now required in these types of cases, the police now request blood and urine tests less frequently than they did in the past. The Minnesota Courts of Appeal have ruled that blood and urine tests are invasive searches and, for that reason, search warrants are required in those types of cases.

More Changes may be coming: Breath Testing and Test Refusals!!

As of the present time, the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled in the State v. Bernard case that a driver’s breath may be searched without a search warrant. They ruled that it is a permissible search incident to arrest because searching breath is less invasive than a search of a person’s blood or urine. So, search warrants are not currently required in cases where the police request a breath test.

However, the United States Supreme Court has accepted the Bernard case for review and will be holding oral arguments on April 20, 2016 to determine if Minnesota’s test refusal law is constitutional or not. They are also expected to review the issue of whether search warrants should be required in DWI breath test cases as well. So, at this particular time it is especially important that you have an experienced attorney in your corner if you have a pending DWI or Test Refusal charge that you are facing. This is particularly true if you are facing a repeat offense where your vehicle may be seized and forfeited by the State of Minnesota. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide the Bernard case by June 30, 2016.

Why You Need a Lawyer on Your Side

It is important that a person with a DWI charge contact an experienced attorney shortly after being cited for a DWI/DUI because if the defendant misses a deadline he or she loses the opportunity to contest the revocation or cancellation of his or her driver’s license. In addition tothe civil side of an attorney working to preserve your license, we can also challenge the circumstances and or evidence around your DWI arrrest. Each circumstance is unique, which is why the best way to build a defense to your DWI charge is to talk about the elements specific to your case.

Some of the possible defenses to a DWI include:

  • Did the officer had the right to pull you over?
  • Was the breathalyzer was properly maintained, callibrated and administered?
  • Whether or not the BAC evidence can be challenged
  • Additional possible defenses around your specific situation

Costs of NOT hiring a lawyer

While you may have heard from family and friends that hiring a DWI defense lawyer can be expensive, it’s important to understand that NOT hiring a lawyer can have far greater consequences, including, but not limited to:

    • Higher insurance premiums
    • License forfeiture / revocation / suspension
    • Loss of commercial driver’s license
    • Limits on future employment opportunities
    • Fines
    • Time spent in jail

Call Today - Free Consultations

If you have been charged with a DWI in the Twin Cities metro area (Bloomington, Richfield, Minneapolis, Edina, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Plymouth, etc), contact me for a free initial consultation. I can review your case and the circumstances around your pull-over and work with you to develop a plan to move forward. Working with an experienced and effective DWI lawyer significantly increases the liklihood you will receive the best possible outcome. Call me for a free initial consultation at either my St. Louis Park or Prior Lake office locations at 952-447-1600 or my cell phone at 612-804-4512 to take the first step towards putting this all behind you.

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