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Minneapolis DWI Lawyer – Secure Your Best Defense

Minneapolis DWI Lawyer: How to Find the Best One for Your Case

The best DWI lawyers are fighters with strong negotiation, trial, and appeals skills. They carefully prepare cases in a strategic manner, forcing an attractive plea offer or a win at trial or on appeal.

Never believe that a charge is destined to stand. Many people in Minnesota face false DWI accusations based on tainted, flawed, or manufactured evidence.


Also, a top Minneapolis DWI lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, using the strengths of your defense and the weakness of the state’s evidence to convince the prosecution or court to reduce the charge or sentence.

A Strong Negotiator

A successful criminal defense lawyer must possess strong negotiating skills. Most cases end in plea bargains, and your attorney’s ability to win the best terms possible is vital to your interests. 


Part of being a stellar negotiator is a thorough understanding of the law and legal procedures relevant to a DWI case in Minnesota. With this knowledge, your DWI attorney can identify and leverage facts or legal precedents that strengthen your case and, therefore, induce the prosecution to accept a lower-level charge and sentence.


For example, your Minneapolis DWI defense lawyer can exploit weak evidence to negotiate a better deal. Insufficient evidence. This often occurs when there was shoddy police work, such as improper field sobriety testing, a breathalyzer calibrated incorrectly, or an officer that made a traffic stop with slim evidence of probable cause.


Preparation and strategy also play a crucial role in plea negotiations. DUI defense lawyers need to study their client’s cases thoroughly, anticipate the challenges, and prepare responses that knock the prosecutor back on his heels. Successful lawyers do this by analyzing evidence, anticipating the prosecution’s strategy, and steering negotiation talks in the desired direction.


Moreover, excellent communication skills are necessary for any good negotiator. Firstly, the lawyer must communicate effectively with clients and witnesses to gain a piercing understanding of the case. They, he must articulate points to the prosecutor in a convincing fashion that motivates the state to offer a better deal.


An often overlooked aspect of this type of negotiation is relationship building, particularly with prosecutors and judges. A lawyer with a formidable reputation known for professionalism, fairness, and integrity can get further in DUI plea negotiations.


Effective negotiation also requires a keen comprehension of human psychology. A defense lawyer must understand how a judge or jury will view the evidence and use this insight to his advantage. He also must have knowledge of the pressures and challenges faced by the prosecution in managing large caseloads and when they are willing to strike a bargain rather than continue battling for the maximum.


DUI lawyers also need to stay calm and composed under pressure. A professional demeanor lets the prosecution know they are dealing with a professional who can convince a judge and jury at trial. Also, a composed lawyer exudes confidence, which helps convince prosecutors and judges that his arguments are correct.


A smart DUI lawyer also knows that the judge, not the prosecutor, has the last word on plea negotiations. If the state’s attorney refuses to negotiate reasonably, the judge has the power to force him to negotiate. Ultimately, the judge can force a plea deal or dispose of the case. 

An Excellent Trial Lawyer

Some cases lend themselves to trials. This is particularly the case when the state has admissible evidence that leaves room for reasonable doubt. Because the state’s evidence is admissible, the court is less likely to grant a pre-trial motion to dismiss. However, if the defense demonstrates at trial that there is ground to doubt whether the defendant was impaired or above the legal limit, the defense may win. 


For instance, suppose an officer pulled over the defendant for swerving slightly within his lane. This is weak evidence of impairment. Sober drivers swerve slightly in their lane for many reasons.


While conducting the traffic stop,, the officer smelled a slight odor of alcohol. This is also weak evidence of DUI because a slight odor of alcohol may be detected when a person is well below the legal limit.


The officer then demanded the defendant take a handheld breathalyzer test, which the defendant wisely refused. Minnesota law allows drivers to refuse handheld breathalyzer tests because of their inaccuracy.


Then, the officer demanded the defendant participate in a field sobriety test (FST). Wisely, the defendant refused. Minnesota law allows drivers to refuse to take FSTs. Declining them is wise because if the breathalyzer results point to the driver being below the legal limit, the prosecution could use the FST to prove impairment. Minnesota law compels the court to convict if the defendant was impaired to any degree, even if under the legal limit.


The officer also tried to get the defendant to answer questions about whether he had been drinking, whether he had taken any drugs or medications, and where he had been that evening. Wisely, the defendant declined to answer any questions or make any statements without a lawyer.


At the police station, the defendant complied with the mandatory breathalyzer test taken on a reliable machine. He blows above the legal limit.


While it may sound like the state has a winning case, a DUI defense lawyer may find multiple avenues of establishing reasonable doubt and defeating the charge. 


For example, he may assert an improper calibration defense. Often, lawyers subpoena records for the specific breathalyzer device and discover the police department miscalibrated it or failed to document proper calibration. Regular calibration is essential to ensure the device’s accuracy.


Breaks in the chain of custody also create a defense. Chemical test results must be handled by only specific parties and secured against tampering or corruption. A break in the chain of custody opens the door to challenging the validity of the test.   


Poor operator training also feeds into a defense. The officer who administered the breathalyzer test may not receive up-to-date training. This calls into question his ability to correctly administer the test and interpret the results.


Medical conditions can also cause inaccurate test results. A defense may include asserting that a condition such Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease produced a false high reading on the breathalyzer. The defense may contract with a doctor to provide expert testimony.


This type of defense, focusing on the technical and procedural aspects of the breathalyzer test, can win at trial, as can many other defense strategies. An effective DUI lawyer analyzes the fact pattern surrounding the arrest and evidence collection to avail himself of any defense that may succeed at trial.


Here are some of the most impactful DUI defenses in Minnesota:

  • Improper Stop
  • Faulty Breathalyzer Test
  • Medical Conditions
  • Broken Chain of Custody 
  • Improper Field Sobriety Test Administration
  • Violation of Rights
  • Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration

Knows How to Establish Grounds for Appeal and File Appeals

A conviction at trial does not always stand. Trial courts must make the proper decisions on whether to dismiss a case or suppress evidence. The judge must also rule correctly on objections to witness testimony. In making these decisions, the court must consider constitutional issues and legal precedents. 


At trial, a vigorous defense may include many motions and objections. As a result, the court may rule unfavorably toward the defense in a contestable decision. If you are convicted, your DUI lawyer can make these questionable decisions the basis for an appeal.


Violation of constitutional rights is some of the most successful grounds for appeal. American law strictly forbids law enforcement from winning cases based on evidence that violates the Constitution. If your rights were violated at any point during your arrest or trial, your case may be dismissed. For example, Miranda rights violations, unlawful search or seizure, or the state’s failure to provide a speedy trial are all grounds for appeal.


Improperly admitted evidence often taints DUI cases. For instance, if a breathalyzer test was improperly administered, the court should exclude it from the evidence. When the lower court fails to do this, it’s grounds for appeal.


Some appeals turn on jury misconduct. Jurors must obey the edicts of the court. Failing to do so, such as a juror being biased or discussing the case outside of the courtroom, may induce an appellate panel to overturn a conviction.


Judges must adhere to sentencing guidelines. In some cases, judges have imposed sentences in excess of what the law and precedence dictate. The result may be an appeal of the sentence.


Jury instructions are vital to a fair trial. They tell the jury how to frame their decisions, how to consider evidence, and whether a circumstance of the case is grounds for acquittal should they believe the defense.


A faulty or misleading instruction negates a fair trial. For instance, if a judge failed to instruct a jury that doubts as to whether doubt of test results gives it grounds for acquittal, the defense may appeal based on an unfair trial.


Because jury instructions directly impact the verdict, they are often hotly contested. After a conviction, jury instructions adverse to the defense provide much fodder for appeals. 

What Makes an Effective Appeal

Firstly, it’s crucial to identify substantial legal errors that may have occurred during the trial. Appeals are not re-trials of fact. They depend on the trial court having made legal errors that prevented a fair trial. Additionally, they must be significant enough to have influenced the outcome of the trial.


For example, a key jury instruction on the consideration of a breathalyzer test certainly influences the verdict. However, the appellate panel may consider a minor overruled defense objection as too small an issue to have altered the outcome.  


An effective appellate lawyer needs sharp, acerbic, and persuasive writing and argumentation skills. At the first stage of an appeal, the panel reviews written briefs and the trial transcript from the lower court. For the appeal to have a chance, the lawyer must have written convincing arguments backed up by legal precedent.


Appeals need to show the panel how the decisions of the lower court impacted the outcome and how those decisions were wrong. For instance, a successful appeal may contend that the trial court should have excluded the evidence because of a Fifth Amendment violation and that had the evidence been ruled out of court, the defense would have won. If the appellate panel agrees, it will dismiss the case or order a new trial.


Hiring the best defense attorney available has an outsized impact on the results of your DUI case. You need an attorney skilled at negotiation, trials, and appeals, such as Gerald Miller, P.A.


Many options exist to fight a DUI charge. Chemical tests are often inaccurate, evidence of impairment may be explained as false indicators and constitutional infringements destroy prosecutions. 


For an expert analysis of your DUI case, contact Gerald Miller, P.A.


Related Content: Minneapolis DWI Defense: What You Need to Know About Field Sobriety Tests

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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