What to Expect After a Minneapolis DUI Arrest
Every Minneapolis DUI Arrest is different. The individuals accused of operating their vehicle while impaired might vary, but the process they each face following an arrest is largely the same.
If you are arrested for DWI in Minneapolis, the process that follows can be long and challenging. If you are ultimately convicted of the offense, you could face time behind bars and costly fines. The collateral consequences that come with a DWI conviction could follow you long after your jail term has ended.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller could help you understand what to expect after a Minneapolis DWI arrest. Our firm could aggressively pursue a defense strategy on your behalf. Reach out right away for your free consultation.
If you have been arrested under suspicion of DWI, you have likely already gone through several steps in the criminal investigation. Most DWI arrests begin with a traffic stop. These stops are typically based not on the suspicion of DWI, but instead on a moving violation like speeding or running a stop sign.
If an officer suspects you have been drinking, you could face a number of other investigative techniques. The police might have asked you to submit to a roadside breathalyzer test. The police might have also asked you to submit to standardized field sobriety tests like the one-legged stand, the walk-and-turn test, or a horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
The police will also base their arrest on their own observations. At trial, police often testify that they detected the odor of alcohol when they approached the driver. The police could also use an admission of drinking or the presence of an open container against you.
The Aftermath of the Arrest in Minneapolis?
For most people, an arrest for DWI leads to you being handcuffed and placed in a police car. If you are the owner of the vehicle and there is not a sober passenger with you that could drive your car home, the police will make arrangements to tow your vehicle. This can be a headache for multiple reasons. For starters, you will be on the hook for the cost of towing and storing your car. What’s more, the police have the right to search your vehicle when it is impounded in an effort to catalog your possessions.
After your arrest, you will likely be taken to a police station nearby. In addition to being held for the next several hours, you will also be fingerprinted and processed. Before that step can happen, you can expect to go through a breathalyzer test.
Breath Testing and the Implied Consent Advisory
For most people, the first thing that occurs following their transportation to the police station is a breath test. These tests are performed by the police, and they capture a sample of a driver’s breath to measure the concentration of alcohol that person has in their bloodstream.
There are steps that must be taken before the test occurs, however. For starters, the police must wait a minimum amount of time—generally 20 minutes—following an arrest to perform these tests. During that time, the police must monitor the accused to ensure they do not eat any food, drink anything, or vomit. This prevents false positives from occurring during the testing process.
Another important step that must occur before a test is given is the implied consent advisory. The implied consent advisory is a document that is to be read aloud to a person before they are administered a breathalyzer test. This advisory lays out three important pieces of information for the accused to consider. The advisory informs drivers that:
- They are required by law to submit to a breathalyzer test,
- The failure to do so is a crime, and
- They have a reasonable amount of time to consult an attorney prior to the test.
There is no specific time when the advisory must be read other than before the test. When accidents are involved, the law waives the requirement in some cases.
Other Types of Testing in Minneapolis?
Not all police will rely on breath testing in every case. There are situations where they might ask you to submit to a blood or urine test instead. In these cases, courts have found that asking for a voluntary sample does not violate the rules regarding the implied consent test. However, if the driver refuses the advisory would then need to be read to them for them to face any potential consequences.
There are other situations where the advisory is not necessary. Specifically, when the police secure a warrant for a blood sample from a suspected drunk driver. If a judge issues a warrant for a blood sample, there is no need to read from the implied consent advisory.
After the police seek a breath test and ask you questions about your arrest, the next step involves being booked into jail. This process involves having your fingerprints and photograph taken. The police will also check your record to determine if you have any outstanding warrants.
How long you spend in jail following an arrest will depend on the circumstances. The most important factor in this situation is whether or not you have prior convictions for DWI. If you are a first-time offender, you are likely to be released after you sober up.
Drivers that the police find uncooperative, or those with previous DWI convictions, might not be so lucky. The police have the right to hold a person accused of driving while impaired in jail until their arraignment hearing.
Whether you are released following a DWI arrest or required to stay in jail, the initial court hearing in your case is known as the arraignment. At your arraignment, you will have an opportunity to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.
For people who have been held in custody following their arrest, the arraignment hearing is their first chance to get out of jail pending trial. The court will issue a bond amount that could allow the accused to pay a cash bond with the court in exchange for their freedom until trial. This bond will be returned so long as the accused attends court and follow all other orders from the judge.
It is common for the prosecutor to make a plea offer in most DWI cases. For first-time offenders, this typically involves exchanging a plea of guilty for a recommendation of no jail time.
Deciding to accept or reject a plea bargain is your decision and your decision alone. However, your attorney could help negotiate better terms and advise you on whether the offer made by the state is fair.
There are many cases where suppression hearings are required before trial. These hearings are your attorney’s opportunity to have some of the evidence against you excluded for trial. There are a few reasons why a suppression hearing might be called for. First, your attorney might have determined that the police stop that initiated your arrest was illegal. Second, your attorney might have identified a legal issue regarding the admissibility of your blood, breath, or urine test.
If your case is not settled or dismissed, you will eventually have your opportunity to be heard at trial. At trial, both your attorney and the prosecutor will have the chance to call witnesses and put on evidence. At the end of the day, a judge or jury will determine your guilt or innocence. If you are found innocent, you will walk away without a conviction on your record. If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced according to the guidelines set out in the statute.
Talk to Gerald Miller About Your Minneapolis DUI Arrest
There are a lot of things that can occur following your DWI arrest, and most of them are difficult. Even though this process can be challenging, having the right attorney by your side could make things easier. You could have peace of mind knowing that you formed the strongest defense strategy possible in your case.
Unsure of what to expect after a Minneapolis DWI arrest? Gerald Miller could answer any questions you might have. Call the attorneys of Gerald Miller today for your free consultation.
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