It almost goes without saying that being arrested for a DWI can have serious consequences in Minnesota. The repercussions of a conviction can result in thousands of dollars in fines, jail or prison time, and loss of driver’s license.
All of which makes it vital to defend yourself against these charges should they ever arise. No matter how dire your situation may seem—and how onerous the criminal and civil penalties appear—there may be viable defense strategies you can count on to mitigate the damage.
There are multiple defense strategies an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to raise on your behalf. Here are just a few of them:
Illegal traffic stop
In order for an officer to be able to conduct a traffic stop, they need to have a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is being committed. If the officer does not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull you over, it can give you the grounds you need to argue that all the evidence gathered by the officer must be suppressed due to the illegal traffic stop. Winning this argument would likely result in the dismissal of your DWI case.
Improper field tests
The classic field tests that officers use at a DWI stop (touching your nose, reciting the alphabet backward, walking a straight line, etc.) are not definitive proof of intoxication. If the prosecution’s only evidence of your intoxication is these field tests, it may not be enough to convict you.
Uncertain breathalyzer tests
Even if officers use proper testing methods at your traffic stop, like a breathalyzer, it may not always yield accurate results. If the testing device was in poor condition or the officer using it did not maintain or use the device according to directions, the results may not be reliable in court.
Lack of evidence
In some cases, officers may make a DWI arrest based on the smell of alcohol. If this is the only evidence they present in your case, a judge may question the officer’s ability to collect evidence and dismiss your case as a result.
Do not immediately plead guilty
Do not give up and plead guilty right away, even if you suspect you don’t have a defense in your DWI case. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to explore your options. They can review your case and determine if there are any viable grounds for defense. There are many forms of defense in DWI cases, and a lawyer can help you build the strongest possible defense in your case.