Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why Should You Fight Your DWI Arrest?

If my experience as a prosecutor and as a Minnesota DWI Attorney has taught me anything it's that well-meaning individuals fail to fully appreciate the nature and consequences of becoming entangled in the criminal justice system. Nowhere is this more evident than with those charged with a (first) DWI.

For whatever reason, too many people will either try to represent themselves and/or hire a general practitioner-type attroney.  IMHO, neither have the knowledge or experience to provide their clients with the advice that they'll need to best serve their interests - in the short and long term. 

Believe me, and I've seen it often enough to know, a Drunk Driving conviction can change somone's whole life - not only in due to the penalties imposed by the judge like large fines, community service obligations and possible jail time - but also because of the long-term collateral consequences that can have a lasting and signifigant impact on one's future.

What Sort of Long Term Impacts?

One example of the severity of Minnesota's DWI penalties, can be illustrated by a gentleman I'll call Paul - a successful salesman.

In the fall of 2007, Paul was cited for Drunk Driving. Not believeing that anything could really be done about his arrest (because he'd been drinking before he drove,) he walked into court without an attorney and "fell on his sword" - pleading guilty without first fully assessing the true nature and consequences of his actions.

To say that he came to regret this decision would be an understatement.  See, due to the nature of Paul's work - having a valid driver's license was a necessary prerequisite.

Paul's loss of his driver's license effected his ability to meet clients. As such, he had to either beg, cajole or hire other people to drive him to client meeting or risk being caught driving on a suspended license. 

Then there was the stigma of his arrest and conviction.  Once word got around about that, some of his clients became reluctant to deal with him and his sales numbers suffered.  Then, when the recession hit Paul was laid off - owning in no small part to his declining sales numbers and performance.

As anyone who has been out of work can appreciate, it’s tough out there - to find that next job or even get that first interview.  What Paul learned sas that these difficulties were made worse by his dependence on others to give him rides to interviews. (This continued even after Paul had his driving privledges re-instated because he could not afford the expensive insurance premiums he was now being asked to pay.)

If Paul was lucky enough to gain an interview - where he could demonstrate his skills and past successes - he often left those meetings feeling as though he would be offered the job.  However, that wasn't the case. After a while, Paul came to conclude that maybe his DWI arrest was the deciding factor - after he came to learn that anyone (including a potential employer) could easily access Minnesota criminal records online.

Of course, without a job Paul was unable to keep up with his bills - first being forced to sell his vehicle and soon thereafter his townhouse.  As the recession continued, he ran up of credit cards, and due to his mounting debt he was forced to sell anything of value

The vicious cycle continued until he was forced to declare bankruptcy in late 2009 and later eventually divorce in 2010.  He fell in to depression and substance abuse. 

Once a symbol of the American Dream, Paul is now a casualty of the war on Drunk Drivers.

What Can You Do?

No matter the infraction, if you want to ensure that your rights and freedoms are upheld and fought for - against the big, bad government - you need to seriously consider getting an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to take your case. Granted they can't always work miracles and just have the charges go away, but they can take the sting out of the penalty that the government's seeking to have you suffer.

I've been successful in getting fines reduce, jail time thrown out and license revocations shortened or withdrawn in their entirety. If you want someone on your side, let me use what I learned as a former prosecutor to win you the results you desire. Call the Rolloff Law Office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, today.

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