Do I Need to Hire DWI Lawyers Near Me for DUI/DWI Charge?
If you have been charged with driving while impaired (DWI) in Minneapolis, your first question might be “are there DWI lawyers near me?” Rest assured that there are countless attorneys nearby that would be happy to take your case, but that does not mean they are right for you.
The stakes of a DWI conviction are high, and you should do everything in your power to protect yourself. Hiring an attorney with extensive experience with DWI cases could give you the advantage you need to prevail.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller have spent years fighting for the accused. We understand DWI defense because we have focused our practice on these cases. Our extensive experience could be invaluable to you as you navigate the criminal justice system. Reach out today to learn more.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My DWI Case in Minneapolis?
You are under no obligation to hire an attorney in the aftermath of a DWI arrest. You might be entitled to serve as your own legal counsel, but that does not mean it is in your best interest. Experience goes a long way in a DWI trial, and your lack of experience handling these cases could put you at a disadvantage. Reach out to a DWI lawyer by searching “DWI lawyers near me” could be the best-case scenario for your defense. Your attorney could assist you in a number of ways:
Explain the Charges Against You
There are a number of complexities that come with a DWI case. The law surrounding testing blood, breath, or urine for traces of alcohol is especially complicated. The same is true when it comes to understanding the potential penalties you face. Your attorney could provide you with a better understanding of the law that impacts your case.
Investigating Your Arrest
The facts of your arrest are important. They will determine a number of things including the charges you face and the defenses that are available to you. For that reason, it is vital that you understand every aspect of your arrest and the events that follow.
Your attorney can begin your defense by carefully looking into every aspect of your case. This typically begins with an interview with you and requesting a copy of the police report. During the course of the investigation, your attorney could also evaluate whether the police mishandled evidence or unlawfully seized your vehicle.
Develop a Defense Strategy
There are many possible defense strategies that could be available in your DWI case. The facts of your case will ultimately determine what defenses are available, but it is the job of your attorney to put that defense into action.
One of the most common defenses in these cases involves a challenge to the legality of your traffic stop. The police cannot pull you over without a reason. In order to stop your car and investigate whether you are impaired, the police must have reasonable suspicion that you have either committed a crime or a traffic violation. If the police stopped you without any reasonable suspicion, your attorney could move to have the evidence against you excluded from the trial.
Another common defense involves the validity of the chemical test. There are strict regulations that cover the collection and testing of blood, breath, or urine samples. If the police or lab technicians violate these rules, the results of the sample could be compromised. This could serve as grounds to have the results of the test thrown out in your trial.
Litigate Your Case
There are few circumstances where the guidance of an attorney is more important than at trial. Trial is complicated, especially when juries are involved. There are arcane rules for offering evidence or questioning witnesses, and minor mistakes could have major implications in your case. Your attorney could provide peace of mind by taking on all of these challenging aspects of litigation. Your attorney could also ensure that you are prepared for what to expect when your trial date arrives.
What are the DWI Laws in Minneapolis, MN?
If you are facing accusations of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, it could be helpful to understand the burden the state has to prove their case. The prosecutor must establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and to do so they must prove a number of elements.
The crime of DWI is governed by Minnesota Statute Section 169A.20. According to this statute, it is unlawful to “drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle” while impaired. A DWI lawyer near you could advise you on what it takes to meet these standards at trial.
Driving, Operating or Being in Physical Control of a Vehicle
A key element to any DWI charge includes some type of motor vehicle. After all, the word driving is included in the offense. Despite this fact, it is possible to be convicted of DWI even if you were not driving.
This aspect of the statute is intentionally open-ended. While it is a crime to operate or drive a vehicle while drunk, it is also unlawful to merely control a vehicle while impaired as well. This leaves the door open for a prosecution even when the defendant is not driving.
Physical control means that you are in a position where you could drive a vehicle in short order. Typically, this involves being in the front seat of a parked or idling vehicle with possession of the keys.
Proving that you were driving or in control of a vehicle is only the first step that the prosecutor must take in your case. Additionally, the state must show that you were impaired when you were behind the wheel. There are seven different options under the statute. These options include:
- the person is under the influence of alcohol;
- the person is under the influence of a controlled substance;
- the person is under the influence of an intoxicating substance and the person knows or has reason to know that the substance has the capacity to cause impairment;
- the person is under the influence of a combination of any two or more of the elements named in clauses (1) to (3);
- the person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle is 0.08 or more;
- the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and the person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the commercial motor vehicle is 0.04 or more; or
- the person’s body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols.
Prosecutors only need to prove one of the seven elements in order to secure a DWI conviction. While all of these options are available, most cases are pursued through subsection 5. This option allows the state to secure a conviction for DWI based on the results of a breathalyzer test.
This option puts the state at an advantage given that they do not have to meet a subjective standard regarding your impairment. If they can show a jury that your blood alcohol concentration was at or above the legal limit at the time you were driving, they could secure a conviction.
The good news is that there are viable defenses against any of these approaches to a DWI case. The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand how to evaluate the facts of a DWI arrest and identify the optimal defense strategy.
Talk to an Attorney About Your DWI Case in Minneapolis
If you live in Minneapolis, MN, and are seeking a DWI lawyer near you, Gerald Miller is ready to serve as your advocate. Our firm understands what goes into a successful DWI defense, and we will put our experience to work by helping you fight back against these charges.
If you have questions about how an attorney could help, we are ready to answer them during the course of your initial consultation. The initial consultation is always free and there is no obligation to hire us after we speak with you. We are confident you will see how our experience could be invaluable to your case. Call right way to learn more.