Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top 5 Police Mistakes (DWI Arrests)

Police are human and as such they make mistakes.  An experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney will find those errors and work them to your benefit - winning you the outcomes you desire  including the possibility of getting your case dismissed. These are the Top 5 mistakes your lawyer should look for.

#1 - Did the Police Have a Reason to Pull You Over?

Cops can't stop a vehicle on a hunch or because you look "funny." To be a valid-legal stop, an officer must sufficiently explain to the Court why he pulled you over - such as observing a violation of the law, like Speeding. However, if he can't do that, then any/all of the evidence he gathers after that should be dismissed. 

#2 - Did the Officer Assume Too Much?

If the officer notes an odor of alcohol coming from your vehicle - did he just assume that that odor meant that you were intoxicated?  Granted, such an odor might support an assumption that someone has been drinking; however, it is by no means an indication of intoxication.  If this is all the officer is relying you - your attorney might be able to make an argument that could see the charges against you reduced and/or dismissed.

#3 - The Field Sobriety Tests

These roadside gymnastics have taken on an all to real importance in Drunk Driving cases, as such they are ripe for ferocious argument when mounting a vigorous DWI defense. Areas that an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney needs to attack are: (a.) did the officer fail to disqualify you if you were physically unable to pass these exercises; (b) were the tests conducted in an unfair manner - under less than ideal circumstances; (c.) were you properly instructed as to how to perform the tests; and (d.) does the officer know how to assess one's performance on these tests.

#4 -  The Implied Consent Procedure

Prior to requesting a sample of your blood, breath or urine, you must be informed of your right to an attorney. If an officer failed to do this and/or make resources available to you to contact a lawyer - then a real strong argument can (and should) be made that the results of the test you take should be excluded in their entirety. Test results should also be excluded

If the results are suppressed, your case is all but done - because the blood alcohol number is often the only thing that cases such as this turn on. 

#5 - Test Refusal - Did You Really Refuse?

If law enforcement decide that you refused the test (which is often more complicated when someone actually agrees to the test, but the officer reads their behavior to mean otherwise) a question can always be raised about whether you actually refused. A good Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney will seek to address whether you were ever asked about any physical problem you might have had that made taking the test impossible or whether you were ever given the option to perform a test other than blood, breath or urine.

What Should You Do?

If you're like most people, you probably didn't know that the police made the kinds of mistakes that I've just laid out and/or you didn't know know that these mistakes could significantly help your case. Well, believe me - they can.  Big Time.

Since leaving the county attorney's office, I've used the inside knowledge I've been given to to defend individuals who've been charged with Drunk Driving.  As a former prosecutor, I know exactly what needs to be in a police report and/or testified to in court.  If it isn't there - I'll effectively make an argument to the court that could see your charges reduced (or dismissed) and your license re-instated.

If you've been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, you need experienced legal representation right away. Call the Rolloff Law Office to set up a free, no obligation consultation and I'll explain exactly what I can do to help you. Call today - (612) 619-0262.

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