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I got a DUI, my bac is .09. Is there any chance that my charges will be reduced or perhaps be dropped? This is my first offense.

Saint Paul, MN |

The cop would not tell me my bac during my first breath test on the side of the road. He just said that I was intoxicated and asked me to go in for more tests. I blew a .09 at the sherrifs office. I was only .01 over the legal limit of .08. Do I have any fighting chance in reducing the DUI charges OR perhaps getting the charges dropped since this is my first offense? I do not have a criminal record. Do I even need a laywer? They are very expensive. I do not want this on my record. Any help that I can get would be appreciated.

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Attorney answers 11


Unfortunately, the prosecutor will not give you a break even though you have a clean record and had a low test. There is a possibility that the prosecutor will reduce the charge to Careless Driving, but your license will still be revoked. If you want any chance to keep this off your record, and want to increase your chances of getting the charge reduced, you should hire an experienced DWI attorney.


It is possible the charge can be reduced but that does not help you with your alcohol license revocation. The prosecutor has no control over that. You need to file a challenge to that revocation within 30 days. To make sure your rights are being looked after I would suggest contacting an attorney without delay. Good luck.

This is not intended as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship exists because of this response.


Yes, there is a chance to get the charge reduced to a non-DWI offense; however, this will take strong negotiations with the prosecutor. Also, depending on all the facts of the case, there may be cause to have some evidence excluded, which could lead to a dismissal. The laws surrounding DWIs are always evolving, so help from an attorney would be very beneficial to you and your case.

Even if the criminal case is resolved in your favor, there is still the issue of your DL revocation. This can be challenged in a separate court proceeding; however, there are strict deadlines which must be met in order to preserve your right to challenge the revocation. Again, an attorney would be very beneficial to you in these regards as well.

As for your fear of the cost of an attorney. The best advice would be to contact multiple attorneys to see what their fees would be in your case. Every attorney is different, and there is no set price that is charged across the board; therefore, just because you can't afford one attorney, doesn't mean you can't afford another one (you won't know unless you inquire).

I hope you find this information helpful, and I wish you the best of luck.

Happy New Year


Yes a reduced charge is possible with good legal counsel. I strongly urge you to speak to a quality criminal defense lawyer right away.


You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney for a review of your case. A conviction, can mean serious consequences. An attorney will be able to evaluate your case, find any errors that the police may have made, and hopefully use those errors to get you a better result. Even if the police didn't make any mistakes, having an attorney with knowledge of the system can be a big advantage. They may be able to help with your license revocation and plea negotiations. I know lawyers can be expensive, but I believe it is worth your investment.


There are many ways of handling a DUI charge. Given your low BAC, an acquittal is possible based on the science of alcohol absorption. It may also be possible to negotiate for a non-alcohol offense. DUI law is very specific and consulting with experienced DUI attorneys is always important, as is hiring an attorney and I would strongly recommend you contact at least a few attorneys about your case. There are several very skilled lawyers here on and most, including myself provide free initial consultations.


I would not try and defend a DUI charge without an attorney. I agree that it will be very expensive, but it is not worth the risk of having a DUI conviction on your record if it can be avoided. You may be able to challenge the accuracy of the breathalyzer. Your success will also depend on how you did on your sobriety tests and what prompted your being pulled over in the first place. Many states have statutes that allow a conviction for DUI even with a legal bac if the officer has sufficient evidence such as sobriety tests and the officer's testimony that you were operating a motor vehicle while impaired.


You should confer privately with an attorney as soon as possible. The full facts of your personal situation are important. The negative collateral consequences to a conviction are severe.

TWIN CITIES to ST CLOUD. Do seek legal counsel for your personal legal issues and needs. This post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post is to be considered general information which may or may not apply to your personal situation.


It is possible that the prosecutor could agree to a lesser offense. However, that would not change the license revocation - which is a separate matter.

I would like to provide you some background on the DWI offense you received.

The Criminal Case of DWI

A first offense DWI i still a serious offense. At a minimum, it is a fourth degree offense. A fourth degree offense is a misdemeanor which carries with it maximum possible penalties of 90 days in jail and a $1 ,000 fine. As a result, it is important to present an aggressive defense. It is also important to know and understand the Judge's and their proclivities in your county.

License Revocation or Cancellation - The Implied Consent

A DWI is not only a criminal case, it has a civil element as well. There is a license revocation related to a DWI that is a case entirely separate from the criminal matter. Nothing in the criminal matter will change the license revocation which occurs automatically unless you seek a judicial review of that revocation. This MUST occur within 30 days after you were ticketed. Any failure to seek a judicial review results in the license revocation and a record that indicates a new alcohol related offense that can be used to make any subsequent DWI a greater crime. In that judicial review, the challenges are the same as those made in the criminal case. The revocation periods and procedures for reinstatement have become much more difficult in the last decade. A first offense within 10 years and a blood alcohol concentration below .16 has a revocation period of 30 to 90 days .

Strong Defenses on a DWI Case

There are many challenges to a DWI. The defenses depend on the particular set of facts in each case. That means a detailed review of all evidence, including police reports, police videos, audio recordings and testing records related to blood alcohol levels is imperative. Often, hidden defenses are found through a thorough review of all evidence.

Additionally, as part of any DWI arrest, the 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.

You must retain experienced counsel.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this email message creates an attorney client relationship absent a retainer agreement with this office. Any response to email inquiries should be considered general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer in your state regarding your specific legal matter.


Yes, you normally would have a good chance of getting the charge reduced. Unless there are some aggravating factors such as an accident or injury. Most of the time you need a lawyer. One of the MOST expensive things people often do is not get an attorney. A DUI can be very expensive. Getting the charges reduced or dropped should be your first priority. The old saying is true, people who represent themselves have a fool for a client. Good Luck.


Having prosecuted hundreds of cases just like yours in my former work, I can tell you that it's possible to obtain a deal for a lesser charge or even something better. The key though is bringing on an experienced DWI attorney to represent you. At the same time as we challenge the evidence against you and fight the charges, we would also have you take some proactive steps that will make receiving a good deal much more likely. I agree with my colleagues. Talk to a few different lawyers and then hire the one that you're most comfortable with. Good luck.

Do not rely on this information. My office accepts clients from Avvo, but this initial impression is not protected by any privilege and is not attorney-client communication. You should consult a lawyer promptly about your legal matter.

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