The good news for some motorists facing charges of driving while impaired (DWI) in Minnesota is that reduced charges might be a possibility. Unfortunately, this outcome is the exception and not the rule. If you’re wondering can a DWI be reduced in Minnesota, you should determine your set of circumstances.
Reduced charges are typically on available for drivers with no prior DWI convictions. While there are no broad requirements, prosecutors might consider a reduced charge in cases where your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was barely above the limit.
Every prosecutor takes a different approach to reducing DWI charges. By hiring a DWI defense attorney with experience handling cases in the court you are charged in, you could obtain a better understanding of your chances of a reduced charge. Contact the attorneys of Gerald Miller right away to learn more.
The Decision to Reduce Charges in Minnesota
Just like with the potential dismissal of criminal charges, it is ultimately the decision of the prosecutor to reduce a DWI offense to some other charge. This decision is entirely in the hands of the state, which makes selecting an attorney with an understanding of how to negotiate these charges helpful.
That does not mean your attorney will not have a role to play. In fact, your legal counsel will typically be the primary force driving the reduction of the charges against you. With the help of an attorney, you might be able to avoid a DWI conviction.
Reducing a DWI to Reckless Driving in Minnesota
When the prosecutor agrees to reduce a DWI charge, they typically reduce it to an offense known as reckless driving. In some jurisdictions, this is known as a “wet reckless.” In this case reduction is somewhat of a misnomer, as reckless driving is a misdemeanor just like 4th degree DWI. The important difference is that a reckless driving charge may not carry all of the collateral consequences that come with a DWI conviction.
The penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction are substantial given that the offense is a misdemeanor. The maximum jail term is 90 days and there is a fine of up to $1,000 as well.
How to Get a DWI Charge Reduced in Minnesota
There are multiple factors that can go into the decision to reduce a charge from DWI to reckless driving. Every prosecutor has their own guidelines, but most will not reduce a DWI for drivers with a BAC of .10 or above. Additionally, prosecutors are more likely to agree to a reduction of charges in cases where you complied with the police at the time of the arrest. The prosecutor will also likely take your driving record into account. If your record is full of moving violations it could hurt your chances of seeing a reduced charge.
The strength of your potential defense will also come into play. The stronger the case your attorney can make on your behalf, the more likely the state will be to consider reducing your charges.
Typically, the two best ways to take on a DWI charge are to challenge the police stop or the results of the chemical test. Challenging the police stop generally involves the argument that the police unlawfully pulled you over. The result of an unlawful search and seizure is the suppression of any evidence collected, making this defense a potent one.
Challenging the chemical test is also common. Breath, blood, and urine samples are only useful in showing intoxication if they are collected and tested following specific guidelines. If your attorney can establish that your sample was tainted or improperly stored, they could have the results of your test thrown out. Aggressively pursuing a defense in your case could lead to a reduction in charges or even a complete dismissal.
Discuss Your Defense Strategy with a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer
Are you still asking how can a DWI Be Reduced in Minnesota? A successful defense strategy starts with hiring the right DWI attorney. While countless attorneys hold themselves out as defense lawyers, some have more experience than others. Your best chance for a reduced charge or an acquittal could come from the guidance of an experienced Minnesota DWI defense attorney.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller have a long track record of success in DWI defense. Our team understands how to take on these cases and win. To discuss the possibility of a reduced charge or a dismissal, call today for a free consultation.