Arresting & Testing Process
MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL DWI LAWYER
When arrested for DWI, there is a process that is followed. That process starts with the traffic stop. The officer has to have suspicion of DWI in order to make the stop. They can’t simply pull you over for no reason.
Once pulled over, the officer may ask you if you have been drinking. Expanding the search beyond that with questions not related to the reason why they are stopping you is not permitted. From this point, they may request a breath test or for you to submit to field sobriety tests. It is important to note that field sobriety test results tend to be subject to the officer’s perception. However, the breath test will show a number and that number can lead to the arrest.
If you are the defendant or a family member or friend of someone who has been arrested of DWI and you need to secure an attorney, the Ramsay Law Firm, PLLC has the experience needed to help your loved one through the arrest process and the legal process that follows.
GUIDANCE THROUGH THE ARREST PROCESS
After being arrested, you are faced with the decision to go forward with testing or deny it. If you decide to refuse the test, a separate criminal charge is filed. It must also contain the elements that law enforcement had probable cause to believe that the driver was intoxicated and that the Implied Consent Advisory was read to the defendant. You will want to talk to your St. Paul DWI attorney regarding what to do in this case so you can receive the proper advice.
Through the advice of your attorney, you will know what to say and what not to say. Anything that you say throughout the arrest process can be used against you in court and your Miranda Rights state this.
SECURING EVIDENCE IN YOUR CASE
After you call your attorney, work begins on the case. Once you are arrested and taken to the station, you are fingerprinted and you must submit to blood or urine testing to back up any tests that were performed at the scene of the traffic stop. It is important to follow what the law enforcement officers tell you to do so you do not do anything that could be used against you in court. Your attorney can look at evidence and other factors to determine what defenses can be used. Just because a test suggests that you were intoxicated doesn’t mean that the evidence is admissible.
From there, your attorney can make arrangements for release; otherwise the hearing has to be awaited while in jail. This can range from 48 hours to days. Your St. Paul criminal defense lawyer will arrange for the earliest possible release.
MINNESOTA IMPLIED CONSENT
Implied consent is a very controversial law in Minnesota, as it has been challenged at the State Supreme Court level multiple times and opinions have also been written regarding the need for a warrant when it is possible before requiring a person to submit to invasive testing, such as blood and urine testing.
Nonetheless, state law says that a person must submit to field sobriety testing if they wish to keep their driver’s license. This is the testing that is done before a person submits to chemical testing (urine and blood). Before this testing is administered, the officer will read what is called the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory (MNICA). This advisory instructs the driver suspected of DWI of their rights and the laws that surrounding the testing.
The MNICA instructs drivers that Minnesota law requires the tests to be done to determine if the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel of a vehicle. It states that DWI test refusal is a crime and does have penalties.
Before making the decision to submit to testing, you do have the right to consult with your Minneapolis DWI attorney. This contact must be made within a short period of time because taking too long to decide will result in the assumption that you refuse. You cannot tell the officer that you will wait because the officer has to also submit chemical testing within two hours of the commission of the alleged offense if he or she believes you are under the influence.
Nevertheless, the officer must inform you of your rights before you submit to testing. They are not required to read them to you under any other circumstance. They are also not required to read them to you if there was an accident where injuries were involved. Furthermore, the rights cannot be read if the driver is not capable of refusing the test, such as in the case they are unconscious.
DEFENDING AGAINST IMPLIED CONSENT
If you refuse the test, then you will have additional charges brought against you. If convicted for DWI, the implied consent penalties enhance the penalties. However, you can defend against implied consent, although it is advisable to go forth with the testing as the officer requests. What your Minneapolis DWI lawyer will do is determine whether or not the arresting officer followed correct procedures during the arrest. This means aggressively pursuing any errors that the police may have made during the DWI arrest process and using those errors to achieve a better result.
CONTACT A MINNESOTA DWI ATTORNEY
Implied consent is Minnesota’s very controversial law that when a person obtains their driver’s license, they are implying that they consent to field sobriety tests if an officer requests for them to do so. If you have been accused of refusing to take field sobriety tests or your rights were violated in some way, you have the right to fight the charges against you. To learn about your options and your rights, call the Ramsay Law Firm, PLLC at 651-604-0000 to schedule your free consultation.