First Not Guilty Verdict of 2010: Hennepin County Jury Acquits Man of DWI Charges

Posted On January 14, 2010 by Charles Ramsay

In our first trial of 2010, a Hennepin County jury found my client not guilty after a trial in Minneapolis.

The prosecutor had charged "Eric| (not his real name) with DWI after his arrest in August last year. The police officer stopped Eric's Mercedes convertible after crossing over the center line three times, almost striking another vehicle. Eric agreed to perform standardized field sobriety tests consisting of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (eye test where the person follows the officer's finger or pen), the One Leg Stand, and the Walk and Turn test (walking heel to toe on a line).

The officer arrested Eric after the field sobriety tests. Eric submitted to a urine test. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) tested Eric's urine sample and reported his alcohol concentration was over the legal limit of 0.80. As a result of the test result, the state charged Eric with two charges of Second Degree DWI (3d in ten years) and forfeited his $80,000 automobile.

Before trial I obtained Eric's urine sample from the BCA and had it retested by an independent lab. The reported result was .076, just UNDER the legal limit.

We began trial Tuesday with pre-trial motions. The judge denied all of our motions (the first time that has happened in my career!) and we began picking a jury. I called no witnesses to testify and relied on my cross examination to establish reasonable doubt in the jurors' minds.

The jury returned Thursday afternoon with a verdict of Not Guilty.

Many believe DWI cases are not winnable. Most attorneys unfortunately believe all they can do is |negotiate| with the prosecutor and do not challenge the evidence or take the cases to trial. As a result of challenging the evidence and winning the trial, the state will likely return Eric's $80,000 vehicle.

If you have been charged with DWI in Minnesota, call Minneapolis DWI lawyer Chuck Ramsay immediately. We don't negotiate â?? we win!

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