This is her first DWI, She is a recent college grad, and has a job working with vulnerable adults. She needs to drive them to appointments, etc. If she loses her license, she will likely lose her job. Does it make sense to try and get the charges reduced. Or, is this "cut and dried", with no hope of negotiating to a lesser charge?
First off, this is not necessarily a "cut and dried" case. There are several factors that go into 1) getting the charge dropped, or 2) getting the charge reduced. The first thing to look at is whether or not the officer had a valid purpose for pulling her over. Next, was there enough evidence to lead the officer to conduct a DWI investigation. Finally, was there then probable cause for the officer to make an arrest. Often time, the answer to all these questions are "yes." However, that is not always the case. If the officer didn't follow all the rules he needs to, then there could be a chance to motion for the court to suppress certain evidence, which could lead to a dismissal of the charge.
Obviously, I don't know a lot about the facts of the case, so I can't say whether that scenario is likely, but it is always a possibility.
Next, with a blow of .10, she is likely looking at a 90 day suspension of her license. Now, even with that suspension, there are still a couple ways to have her driving privileges restored.
Finally, if this is a case where the officer "played by the rules," then there could still be possible negotiations with the prosecutor in hopes of having the charge amended to what is known as a "wet reckless" (reckless driving). Every prosecutor is different, and ultimately the power is in their hands when it comes to amending charges. However, most prosecutors are willing to listen and negotiate cases. The fact that this is her first DWI is good, hopefully her over all driving record is clean as well. Also, the type of job she has is a positive for negotiations. There are several other things that could be used in negotiations as well, such as the circumstances behind the driving pattern, the field sobriety exercise, and other facts of the case.
It would be your attorney's job to discuss the case with the prosecutor and lay out the reasons why she is a good candidate to have the charge amended.
I hope this information helps, and also Happy Thanksgiving.
I wish you and your daughter the best of luck,
Leone Legal, PA
PO Box 70
Chanhassen, MN 55317
612-356-2529 (call or text)
Since I win a high percentage of DWI cases, it must not be "cut and dried." She will need to challenge the administrative license revocation within 30 days, or it will become permanent. There is no court date for that unless she retains an attorney to serve and file a legal challenge to it before it is too late, within 30 days. See more at links below.
Like Mr. G, I have tried and won a good number of DWI cases, including a felony DWI appeal win in the Minnesota Supreme Court--the first time they had ever overturned a felony DWI conviction. No DWI case is "cut and dried." Whether she can get a careless at a .10 frankly is largely dependent on what county it happened in, which you didn't say. In Ramsey Co. and Henn. Co., a driver can get a temporary reinstatement of her DL while the case is pending. If your daughter was not arrested in either of these counties, then she will lose her license after her 7 day temporary DL expires, while he case is pending. So, if she loses her DL while fighting her case, she may lose her job w/the vulnerable adults. One way around this is she could get her DL back immediately if she went on Ignition Interlock and she could then get a work vehicle exception and perhaps keep her job.
More info is available on my website at www.dwi-legal.com and http://www.dwi-legal.com/Practice-Areas/Ignitio... and http://www.dwi-legal.com/Practice-Areas/Loss-of....
If she does go onto Ignition Interlock, then I recommend the vendor SmartStart (website is www.smartstartmn.com) because my clients have reported to me that it is the Vendor which has the best customer service and is easiest to work with. Feel free to call me at 651-247-6118 for a free initial consultation.
First, if this is a first offenseit was charged as a fourth degree offense. This is still serious as a misdemeanor and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. If convicted any subsequent DWI offense would be much more serious and with four offenses in ten years, you can be charged with a felony. As a result, as strong defense on the first alleged incident can be critical to your future. Different Judges give different sentences. Accordingly, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process.
WIth a low BAC of .10, it is certainly possible that the prosecutor will agree to a careless driving. However, that is only half the still a license revocatoin which is the equivcalemnt of a DWI in terms of affect on a driving record.
There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a first offense over your lifetime, you may be revoked for 30 to 90 days. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge your license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense. Do not forget this critical time period. All too often people with strong defenses come to me too late to challenge the license revocation. The end result goes well beyond simply having your license revoked. A failure to challenge results in an Implied Consent violation on your record which can also affect employment and may be used to enhance any subsequent DWI offense.
There are many challenges to a DWI. Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.
Other points of a defense analysis include:
· Reasonable Suspicion. The officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe a specific crime has been committed in order to stop a person. If that reasonable suspicion is lacking the stop and the ticket may be invalid;
· Probable Cause to arrest and charge. The officer must make sufficient observations to form a basis for probable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Oftentimes, officers perform field sobriety tests incorrectly making the arrest invalid;
· Procedures at the Station. The officer must follow very specific procedures at the station including reading and recording an Implied Consent Advisory that informs you that you have a right to a lawyer. If any of the steps are omitted, the charges may be dismissed;
· Test Procedures. Testing methods to determine blood alcohol concentrations are imperfect at best. Like any scientific method, any test result has a margin of error. If the machinery is not properly maintained and even if it is properly maintained, the test results may vary from true Blood Alcohol Concentration. A sufficient variation may result in a reduce charge or no charge.
I have over 20 years of experience representing defendants charged in DWI cases. Often the defenses do not become apparent until full discovery has been made. This includes acquiring audiiotapes, videotapes (which may often exist from squad cameras and at the station), as well as police reports. In the end, we scour the records to explore every possible challenge to the prosecution's case.
For a FREE Consultation and legal representation call us at 612.240-8005.
Unfortunately much more information is needed to answer your question. You should be consulting a local experienced DWI / DUI / OWI / drunk driving lawyer, now.
I recently had a case with a 4th offense OWI in a fully loaded semi and a .24 blood test reduced to reckless driving. That was an unusual case, but no one can tell what can be done without really looking at what happened and what the evidence is.
No DWI is cut-and-dried.
Often people think that because it isn’t a murder case, a drunk driving case is simple. Nothing could be further from the truth. These cases can be among the most complex a criminal defense lawyer handles. The government is willing to spend an incredible amount of money to convict you though. They will have expert witnesses available for consultation and trial.
That she has been charged or that some contraption says her alcohol level was at a certain level does not mean that she is guilty. It certainly does not mean that she can be proven guilty using competent, valid evidence.
Field sobriety “tests” are designed to give police a reason to arrest. You cannot “pass” them. The police will admit that almost a third of healthy young adults who take these tests without any alcohol will be judged to be “under the influence” – and that assumes they are properly administered!
After even a first drunk driving conviction, you may face employment discrimination. You will certainly be charged higher for insurance. Having such a conviction will also make you a target for drunk driving arrest in future interactions with police. You will automatically become a suspect.
You will want a lawyer who is familiar with field sobriety “tests,” perhaps one who is certified to administer these tests. You will want a lawyer familiar with the weaknesses of the contraptions that are used to report alcohol or drug levels. You want an experienced trial lawyer, used to cross-examining police officers. Police officers are practiced, experienced witnesses.
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I am an experienced Wisconsin drunk driving (DUI/OWI/DWI) defense lawyer practicing in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the Internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you.
If something I say disagrees with what your own lawyer is telling you, you should rely on your lawyer who is familiar with you, your entire case, the local courts and practices.
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