Selecting The Best DUI Defense in Minneapolis, MN
If you have been arrested for driving while impaired in Minneapolis, it is understandable if you are concerned about the consequences of a conviction. You could face jail time, fines, and the suspension of your driving privileges. Your conviction could also remain on your record for the rest of your life. This could complicate things for you in the future, especially when it comes to employment.
Not every drunk driving arrest will lead to a conviction. In fact, there are a number of defense strategies that could help you avoid a conviction entirely. If you are successful at trial, you will walk away from this process without a conviction on your record.
There is more to selecting the best DUI defense than picking from a list. The facts of your case will determine what the best course of action might be. An attorney could evaluate every aspect of your case and advise you on the best defense strategy. Reach out to the attorneys of Gerald Miller today to get started.
Challenging a Traffic Stop in Minneapolis
One of the best DUI defenses is based on challenging the traffic stop. Most drunk driving arrests occur following a traffic stop initiated by the police. This is usually for some kind of moving violation like speeding or failing to yield. While the underlying traffic issue does not matter directly in your case, the reason you were pulled over, does. This is thanks to the protections against unlawful searches and seizures the U.S. Constitution provides you.
In order for the police to pull your vehicle over, they must have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a traffic violation or criminal act. If they cannot do that, your traffic stop was unlawful. When unlawful traffic stops happen, our firm can work to exclude any evidence collected afterward from the trial.
The evidence obtained by the police in the aftermath of an illegal arrest can be extensive. Without it, the state is unlikely to have the evidence needed to move forward with the case. This evidence could include:
- Admissions of drinking
- Field sobriety test results
- Breathalyzer test results
- The presence of alcohol in the vehicle
No Evidence You Were Driving
Most of the time, a drunk driving arrest will stem from police initiating a traffic stop on a motorist they encounter in Minneapolis. However, that is not always the case. In some situations, the arresting officer might not actually witness you driving your vehicle. This could serve as the basis of one of the best DUI defenses.
A critical component of a DWI case for the state is that you were the driver, operating, or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired. If you can make the case that you never drove the vehicle, it could go a long way toward earning an acquittal.
It is important to note that there are situations where you could be guilty of DWI even if you never drove or operated the vehicle. Under the law, DWI also applies if you are in physical control of a vehicle. Physical control means that you were in a position where you could have driven the vehicle at a moment’s notice. The most common example of physical control is sitting in the front seat of a running vehicle.
It is the state’s burden to prove that you drove, operated, or where in physical control of a vehicle. In some cases, there might be little evidence you were involved with the vehicle in any way. In other cases, you might be able to show you were not in physical control of the vehicle.
False Positive Breath Test due to Mouth Alcohol
The breathalyzer devices that law enforcement relies on are not infallible. The same is true for those charged with operating them. If the proper steps are not taken, these machines could provide a test result that is inaccurate. One of the ways this can happen is when alcohol in your mouth registers a false positive. Thankfully, there are ways for our attorneys to raise this issue at trial.
One of the steps that police must take prior to administering a breath test is allowing enough time to elapse. Typically, the police will require you to wait between 15 and 20 minutes before you provide your sample. During this time, an officer must observe you to ensure that you do not put anything into your mouth.
The reason for this delay is simple. If you have any alcohol in your mouth—from a beverage or even mouth wash—the device will likely give a false positive. This means you could read as being over the legal limit when you are not.
One of the ways our attorneys raise this issue is by questioning whether or not the police waited the appropriate amount of time to take the sample. We also will question officers on if they were diligent in observing you the entire time. If they failed to follow protocol, we might be able to have your results thrown out.
It is no simple task to collect or test a blood, breath, or urine sample during the course of a DWI investigation. That is why one of the best DUI defenses relates to the lack of appropriate certification. If the police were required to be certified in order to collect or test your sample and they were not, any results from the test could be invalidated.
Certification issues are common when it comes to the collection of breath test samples. Breathalyzer devices are complex and must be carefully calibrated. If they are not, the results of the render can be inaccurate. If an officer is not currently certified to use these devices, it could serve as a defense for excluding the results of that test.
The same is true when it comes to blood or urine testing. Specifically, there are strict certification requirements that come with testing either blood or urine. If the lab operator lacks the necessary credentials to perform these tests, the results could be thrown out in court.
Lack of Evidence
Never forget that it is the duty of the state to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. While you have a number of potential defense strategies to choose from, you are under no obligation to raise a defense—much less prove one beyond a reasonable doubt. For that reason, highlighting the lack of evidence against you is often a viable defense option.
Building your defense around the state’s lack of evidence can look different than other defense options. Often, it involves calling no witnesses at all. With this approach, your attorney will let the state make their case. At the end, they could highlight that the evidence against you is so weak that, even assuming their allegations are true, there is not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
Reasonable doubt is intended to be a high bar. It is not enough for a judge and jury to suspect you might have been impaired. The state must provide clear evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that you were impaired while behind the wheel. Pointing out that the state has failed to do that can be one of the best DUI defenses available.
There are certain medical factors that could result in a false-positive result for alcohol in your bloodstream. In addition to rare conditions that result in a person naturally registering as having alcohol in their blood, more common conditions like diabetes can have a similar result. Our team of attorneys could show that you have one of these conditions and that it likely led to your false positive breath test.
Talk to an Attorney About the Best DUI Defense Options in Your Case in Minneapolis
There is much that goes into defending against allegations of driving while impaired than simply selecting the best DUI defense. Your attorney can carefully review every aspect of your case before determining how to proceed. If you have been charged with a DWI in Minneapolis, MN, you are entitled to a vigorous defense. Reach out as soon as possible to the attorneys of Gerald Miller to discuss your options.