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Defenses to DWI & DUI Charges

Minnesota DWI Lawyer & Attorney

There are a number of defenses that can be utilized when someone that has been charged with DUI/DWI. Your attorney can review police reports, video and audio recordings, and various other details to determine what occurred and how to best defend you.

Comprehensive Defense Strategies

There are a number of things an experienced DWI & DUI lawyer will do when hired to defend such a case. They include a painstaking review of the following:

  • Stop of the motor vehicle – There is a common misbelief that an officer must have probable cause to make a traffic stop.  In fact, all that is needed is a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Normally, this suspicion is acquired based on observations of a moving violation, such a speeding or weaving. In more complicated cases, a stop may be based on a “tip” from another citizen.  An experienced defense lawyer can review all of the reports to see whether the stop was legitimate under the Fourth Amendment.  Was there truly a moving violation?  Did the “tipster” identify themselves? What information did the “tipster” provide? These are all questions that need to be explored.
  • Probable Cause for Arrest – Once a vehicle is stopped, the officer must acquire probable cause to believe that a driver is impaired before they can make an arrest. In Minnesota, it is easy to establish probable cause. The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that one indicia of impairment is all that is needed. Most often, probable cause is acquired due the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, admission of drinking, or bloodshot and watery eyes.In addition, the arresting officer will most likely have the driver undergo field sobriety testing for purposes of establishing probable cause. These tests are also called “divided attention tasks”, and are designed for failure. The tests include: standing on one foot, walking a straight line, following a pen with the eyes, and taking a portable breath test (PBT).An experienced DWI/DUI lawyer will review the report to determine whether probable cause can be challenged.
  • Right to an Attorney – In Minnesota, a driver has the right to speak with an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to a breath, blood or urine test. Under the law, a driver must be given a reasonable amount of time to contact an attorney. However, a “reasonable” time depends on the time of day, how diligent the driver is at trying to contact an attorney, and whether the driver appears to be dragging out the testing process.If an attorney can successfully argue that the right to counsel was not vinidicated, the DUI/DWI case will be dismissed.
  • Administration of the Test – In Minnesota, a driver has the right to challenge the test results, whether it be breath, blood or urine.   The Implied Consent law requires a testing officer to follow specific procedures.  If a step is missed, or overlooked, the results of your test may be suppressed and the case dismissed.

Contact Attorney Carson J. Heefner Today

Carson J. Heefner has over 25 years representing individuals charged with DWI/ DUI in the State of Minnesota.  He is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense, which is an intensive training seminar for people who defend those accused of DWI/DUI. If you or someone you know has been charged with such an offense,  contact Carson at  612-202-8971 or carson@heefnerlaw.com for a free consultation.