Sunday, November 25, 2012

MN DWI Defenses (Explained)

As an experienced and affordable Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I get a lot of questions about Minnesota DWIs.  Before you just give up and plead guilty to a charge of Drunk Driving, you might want to think about all of the possible defenses that could apply in your case.  Generally they fall into the following categories.  

Constitutional Defenses
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Successfully asserting a constitutional defense can dramatically affect the outcome of your case. Constitutional defenses place strict limits on the way the government can investigate, prosecute and punish criminal conduct.

Administrative Defenses
It’s not easy to prove someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, especially in something as subjective as a Minnesota DWI case. After all, you have a “presumption of innocence” and there are a lot of administrative rules designed to insure that the evidence collected by the state is accurate, reliable and legally admissible. When these administrative rules are violated, you have an “administrative defense.”

Procedural Defenses
Understanding how defenses work comes with experience. The state has collected a lot of evidence to use against you but they may have made a lot of procedural mistakes along the way. An experienced defense attorney who understands procedural rules can point out the states mistakes as part of your defense.

Equitable Defenses
Sometimes there is no “legal defense.” When that happens its important to try and mitigate/lessen your sentence and any potential damages. No one deserves to get the maximum sentence or treated like a criminal for a small mistake.  You need some to present some positive evidence and you need to present your side of the case in the best possible light.

Here are over 70 possible defenses to a charge of DWI. Ask yourself this: "Are any of them applicable in your case?"

  • Defective prior pleas
  • Denied independent test
  • Not the driver
  • Not in physical control
  • Not under the influence
  • Emergency Situations
  • Foreign substance in mouth
  • Burp immediately prior to test
  • Improper observation period
  • Improper calibration
  • Improper machine maintenance
  • Improper simulator solution
  • Intoxilyzer operator not certified
  • Intoxilyzer radio interference
  • Source code non-disclosure
  • Improper field sobriety test
  • No Miranda warning
  • Blowing too hard
  • Prosecutor witness problems
  • Diabetic condition
  • Crowded court calendars
  • No Implied Consent Warning
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Right to exclude illegal evidence
  • Right to bail
  • Illegally admissions and confessions
  • Improper Stop
  • Improper seizure
  • Improper search
  • Right to procedural due process
  • Right to due process
  • Right to a speedy trial
  • Right to a jury trial
  • Right to presumption of innocence
  • Proof beyond reasonable doubt
  • Right to remain silent
  • Right to subpoena witnesses
  • Right to counsel
  • Dismissal for delay (Rule 6.06)
  • Right to a speedy trial (Rule 6.06)
  • Right to release (Rule 6.02)
  • Right to disclosure (Rule 9)
  • Disclosure of evidence
  • Notice of bad acts (Rule 7)
  • Notice of criminal record
  • Right to evidentiary hearing
  • Right to probable cause hearing
  • Right to procedural hearing
  • Notice of relationship issues
  • Notice of identification evidence
  • Notice of state’s exhibits
  • Notice of state’s witnesses
  • Notice of admissions (Rule 9)
  • Notice of informants (Rule 9)
  • Right to depose (Rule 21)
  • Right to release (Rule 4)
  • Right to a public defender
  • Prosecutors duty of disclosure
  • Motion to dismiss (Rules 10)
  • Motion to suppress
  • Right to exclude witnesses
  • Right to subpoena witnesses
  • Right to subpoena documents
  • Right to Appeal
  • Offering non-legal justification
  • Supplying an alternative disposition
  • Demonstrating rehabilitation
  • Character evidence
  • Community involvement
  • Charitable and civil service
  • Military service
  • Personal financial issues
  • Personal family issues
  • Health issues

At the Rolloff Law Office, we try to present an equitable defense in every case. There are always two sides to every story and telling your side in the best possible way is important. In Minnesota DWI cases - inexperienced lawyers sometimes get caught up in all of the legal or technical issues and they forget that what happens in court will affect their client’s lives for years to come.  Call today to get affordable, experienced help: (612) 234-1165.

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