A DWI Charge Doesn't Have to Haunt You

Consult a DWI lawyer in St. Paul, MN

Talk to a DWI Defense Attorney in Saint Paul, MN if you have been charged with a DWI. Marsden Criminal Defense can handle your case whether you are in St. Paul, Minneapolis or in the Twin Cities or anywhere in the State of Minnesota.

 

Were you in physical control of a motor vehicle?  Was the stop proper?  Did the officer have probable cause to believe you were under the influence?  Was the breath or blood/urine test conducted properly?  Did you really refuse the test?  Call Marsden Criminal Defense to schedule a consultation with a DWI defense attorney in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

What are the penalties for a DWI?

What are the penalties for a DWI?

DWI is the most frequently charged crime in the United States. As such the penalties are ever changing and becoming more severe. The consequences of a DWI conviction can be long lasting. You could be facing:

LICENSE REVOCATION: Your license will be revoked where you will be required to pay a $700.00 reinstatement fee. You may also be required to have an interlock device placed in your car along with "whiskey plates."

JAIL TIME: You could also be required to spend additional time in jail. Up to 90 days in a misdemeanor case. 1 year in a gross misdemeanor case. And prison time if you are convicted of a felony DWI.

PROBATION: You will be required to complete a chemical evaluation and follow the recommendations, which may include a DWI educational program (or chemical dependency treatment if circumstances warrant it), a MADD Panel, you may be required to abstain from mood altering chemicals, be subject to random testing and subject to other restrictions.

FINES: Along with the revocation of your drivers license, jail time and probation, you could be required to pay a substantial fine.

Take your case seriously! Just because you did it doesn't mean you're guilty. A qualified DWI lawyer can really make a difference. Because Brian Marsden has decades of experience, he knows what it takes to prevent a DWI conviction and to rescind the revocation of your driving privileges. He will also work to keep you out of jail

Minnesota DWI Frequently Asked Questions

These questions and answers are specific to cases arising in the State of Minnesota.

MY DRIVING WAS FINE, CAN THE OFFICER LEGALLY PULL ME OVER?
The officer needs an articulable reasonable suspicion to believe you committed or were committing a crime. If the judge finds the officer did not have a basis to make the stop, your case will be dismissed.


WHAT SHOULD I SAY IF I'M STOPPED BY A POLICE OFFICER AND HE ASKS ME IF I'VE BEEN DRINKING?
You are not required to answer any potentially incriminating questions. A polite “I would like to speak with an attorney before I answer any questions” is an excellent reply.


DO I HAVE TO TAKE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS?
A person who is stopped by police and is under investigation as a possible drunk driver does not have to submit to field sobriety tests. “I would like to speak with an attorney before I submit to any testing,” will prevent the officer from observing and recording any inappropriate or incriminating responses or actions. However, the officer will generally arrest anyone refusing to take those tests. So you will go to jail but you will also help your case. Don’t worry, the cop would have arrested you anyway.


DO I HAVE A RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY BEFORE DECIDING WHETHER TO TAKE A BREATH TEST?
In Minnesota, a person has the right to a reasonable amount of time to speak with a lawyer prior to taking or refusing to take the breath test for alcohol, so long as it does not unreasonably delay the testing process. The test must be taken within two hours of arrest.


SHOULD I AGREE TO TAKE A BREATH TEST?
Yes you should! Generally speaking, you should always take the test. However, prior to making that decision you should do your very best to obtain a lawyer’s advice. A phone and phone books will be made available. So pick up the phone and call me.


CAN I ELECT TO TAKE A BLOOD TEST INSTEAD OF A BREATH TEST?
In Minnesota, the driver must take the breath test if it is the test offered. However, if the officer instead wants a blood or urine test, the officer will first be required to obtain a search warrant. If you take a chemical test, you should also request to obtain your own test by a person of your own choosing that you would arrange through your lawyer. If you are denied the opportunity tom make those arrangements, the officer have then prevented or denied your right to an additional test. This would then prevent the State from using their chemical test against you at trial.


THE OFFICER NEVER READ ME MY RIGHTS, WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
You are asking about “Miranda” warning and the right to remain silent and to seek the assistance of a lawyer. Often, in drunk driving cases, police do not give that warning until after the testing is completed. Generally the questions asked are preliminary. “Have you been drinking,” “How many have you had” and the like. If the questioning goes deeper, a Miranda violation occurs. The consequence of a Miranda violation is that the prosecutor cannot use your answers to convict you.


WHY DID I RECEIVE MORE THAN ONE TICKET CHARGING ME WITH DRUNK DRIVING?
Minnesota has seven different offenses that fall within a drunk driving charge: Driving While Intoxicated, Driving Under the Influence, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or more, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .16 or more, Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substances and Test Refusal.


WHY IS THE OFFICER ALLOWED TO TAKE MY LICENSE IF I'M PRESUMED INNOCENT?
The law is designed to protect the public by revoking the drivers licenses of alleged drunk drivers. This is not fair, but the courts justify this by saying it is not punishment but is for the protection of the public. Unless your license or privilege to drive is already revoked or suspended, the officer will issue you a 7 day temporary license that allows you to drive for a week. You can challenge the revocation of your drivers license through an administrative review proceeding or an Implied Consent hearing before a judge. This may have bearing on the disposition of charges in court and you might be able to get you license reinstated.


CAN'T I JUST REPRESENT MYSELF? WHY DO I NEED A LAWYER?
Abraham Lincoln once observed that a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. Although you can represent yourself, it is usually not a good idea. The drunk driving area of the law is complicated and you need someone who knows “the ropes” to get you the best possible result.


WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT FOR DRUNK DRIVING?
Generally speaking, a conviction for a first offense may involve a fine, a license restriction, attendance at a DUI education course and a MADD panel along with probation for one or two years. For a second or third DWI offense mandatory jail sentences may apply along with longer periods of probation. A fourth DWI in 10 years is a felony for which a mandatory sentence of at least 6 months or longer may apply.


WHY SHOULD I TAKE CLASSES BEFORE I GO TO COURT IF I AM PRESUMED INNOCENT?
Yes, you are presumed innocent. But if after trial, the judge or jury finds you guilty, the sentencing proceeding follows, usually immediately. Therefore, it is wise to do a chemical evaluation and complete the recommendations which will generally include an educational program along with a MADD panel so that the judge knows that you have taken the charge seriously and so that you can obtain a more favorable sentence.


WHAT ABOUT THE ALCOHOL INTERLOCK DEVICE?
The alcohol interlock allows many person charged with DWI to get back driving right away without the hard revocation period that would otherwise follow and keep you off the road for a longer period of a time. There are numerous vendors who rent the alcohol interlock device which requires that you furnish a breath sample to operate your vehicle.


ARE THERE ANY DEFENSES TO DRUNK DRIVING?
YES! There are which depends upon the circumstances of your case. Mr. Marsden has caused many DWIs to go away or to be reduced. He’d like to make yours go away too!