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DWI Defense Strategies in Minnesota – Why Challenging Your DWI is a Good Idea

When charged with DWI, a significant number of motorists in Minnesota do not hire a private criminal defense attorney and often accept the first plea bargain offered by the prosecutor. Many individuals plead guilty when their chances of obtaining a dismissal, acquittal, or reduction are likely very good when the right legal counsel employs one of the DWI defense strategies described in this post.

The reason for this type of miscalculation involves an inaccurate belief that a conviction is inevitable. The reality is that there are many DWI defense strategies that our team of Minnesota lawyers have effectively used to protect our clients from the harsh consequences of a conviction.

Examples of Common DWI Defense Strategies

Challenging the Legality of the Stop

Generally, an officer cannot pull you over without “reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts” that you are engaged in criminal conduct. An exception to this rule is DWI checkpoints.

The basis for a stop is usually a minor traffic violation like speeding, improper lane use, or failing to use a blinker. However, if the officer does not have sufficient evidence to justify the initial stop, then we might be able to have all evidence that flows from the stop excluded from your case.

This situation often leads to dismissal because the prosecutor is denied of the officer’s observations of the driver, field sobriety test results, chemical testing of blood alcohol concentration, and other evidence obtained during the illegal stop.

Contesting Accuracy of Officer Observations

The arresting officer will typically refer to a litany of indicators that are intended to suggest you were intoxicated. These include red and watery eyes, the odor of alcohol on your breath, lack of coordination, and slurred speech.

Many times officers include this information in their report on a rote basis without actually observing these physical signs. Sometimes the officer’s location in relationship to a driver compromises the reliability of such alleged observations.

Our DWI attorneys carefully review the police report, officer testimony, and other evidence to identify inaccurate testimony.

Revealing the Unfairness of Field Sobriety Testing

Although many motorists think Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are a reliable indicator of intoxication, these tests can be inaccurate for many reasons.

Sometimes the officer lacks the training and experience to perform the tests properly. In other situations, the officer simply neglects to comply with the strict procedures and scoring requirements associated with the testing.

The tests also do not actually evaluate “intoxication.” Drivers can fail for many reasons unconnected to alcohol consumption that include fatigue, sleepiness, illness, injury, lack of coordination, poor physical conditioning, proximity to traffic, inappropriate footwear or clothing, and more.

Chemical Testing of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

If a breath test machine is not calibrated properly or the officer fails to handle evidence properly when conducting a blood or urine test, the results can be inaccurate.

Even minor deviations from proper procedure might justify seeking exclusion of BAC results. Our lawyers carefully review the facts and circumstances of every case to determine if a basis exists to exclude BAC test results.

Complicated Cases Require Excellent Legal Representation

These are only a few examples of the DWI defense strategies that we might employ to protect your driving privileges, reputation, and liberty.

If you have been arrested for DWI, we invite you to speak to a Minnesota DWI Defense Attorney at Gerald Miller, P.A. as soon as possible.

The sooner you contact us the sooner we can start protecting your rights. Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation.

About the author

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.

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