Your Attorney Needs To Be The Smartest Person In The Room

With the exception of high-profile DNA-related cases, no area of criminal defense is more focused on scientific principles than DWI cases. Urine tests, blood tests, breath tests are each types of testing used to determine a person's drug or alcohol concentration has its own pitfalls and shortcomings that can be exposed in court. Nearly every DWI case involves one of these tests (or someone refused to submit to one of these tests, opening up a variety of additional defenses), which means nearly every DWI case presents an opportunity to fight for either a reduced penalty or a dismissal of the case.

In Minnesota, very few prosecutors understand the science behind a blood test or a breath test. In fact, some judges would be hard pressed to describe how "infrared spectroscopy" is used to take a sample of someone's breath and end up reporting a result that goes down to the thousandths of a gram of alcohol per a whopping 210 liters of breath. 

That's where we step in. Nobody -- and we mean nobody -- understands more about the science of DWI testing than the attorneys at Ramsay Law Firm. Sometimes, the State's expert witness knows as much as we do, but nobody knows more. That's one giant way we've distinguished ourselves from any other defense attorney in Minnesota; Our scientific knowledge is unmatched.

We have both the intellectual knowledge to understand why a DWI test result can be challenged, and the decades of hands-on experiences and skills to know exactly how to raise that challenge, and win. We've succeeded at it time and time again.

Ramsay Law Firm Was Entirely Responsible For Changing the Legal Landscape For Breath Tests in Minnesota -- Twice

Minnesota's old breath test machine (the Intoxilyzer 5000EN) had a host of problems that came along with it. They were problems that were hard to uncover, and even harder to prove in court. That's why we went into federal court to urge the manufacturer to release the source code to the instrument, in a format that our experts could review. While we were accomplishing that, we compelled the state crime lab to release all of their communications with the manufacturer regarding the instrument. After countless late nights reviewing documents and filing motions, we found the "smoking gun," namely, proof that the Intoxilyzer was reporting breath test samples as "deficient" (and treating the driver as though they had refused to submit to the test) instead of accurately reporting the final results. Worse, we found out that the State knew about this error, and was trying to cover it up. At the end of the day, Minnesota was forced to toss the Intoxilyzer out the window, after years of not conducting breath tests at all due to uncertainties regarding whether or not the results were even admissible in court.

Fast forward to today: Minnesota's got a new machine in town, the DataMaster DMT. Rather than go after the source code, we took another approach. We attacked the method that the State was using to report its results. Our attack was simple -- we wanted to know how accurate these breath test results were. We knew that when the machine said "0.12" it didn't really mean "0.12," and we wanted to know what that result actually meant. After years of litigation and education, and a lot of successes in court for our clients, we got part of the answer, and now the State is (kinda-sorta) reporting how inaccurate its fleet of breath test machines really are. 

The game has changed in Minnesota, especially for breath tests. We're winning cases for our clients because of how well we understand all of the shortcomings that cause problems for breath tests. In fact, we've won cases with breath test results as high as 0.18, and not by getting the test thrown out on a constitutional issue. We're winning these cases because nobody -- we repeat, nobody -- understands these issues in Minnesota better than the attorneys of Ramsay Law Firm. We literally wrote the playbook when it comes to fighting breath tests.

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  • American Chemical Society (ACS-CHAL)

    American Chemical Society (ACS-CHAL)

    Like "poet-warrior" or "philosopher-king", the Chemistry and the Law Division of the American Chemical Society (an organization chartered by Congress with more than 161,000 members) developed the "ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation" to recognize attorneys that "use validated and legitimate science for the benefit of justice" and "expose invalid or non-validated science and use valid science in the courtroom." Chuck is the only attorney in Minnesota to have attained this designation.