In the state of Minnesota, drunk driving is a criminal offense. Officers will watch out for signs of unusual or negligent driving, and pull people over with the assumption of alcohol or substance abuse.
It’s a common enough crime, but still a crime. That means that how you choose to handle the situation could have a long-term bearing on your legal record, not to mention potential fines and jail time.
If you’re facing a possible DUI or DWI situation, here is what you need to know.
A Police Officer Pulled You Over… What Do You Do?
If you get pulled over, the police officer may ask if you have been drinking. You are not legally required to answer that question. You have the option, instead, to politely request to speak to an attorney. You will not be giving that right at the time, but it will be noted by the officer.
What if an Officer Asks You to Do a Sobriety Test?
The law in Minnesota is this: if you are arrested for a DWI under the premise of probable cause, then that means you are giving your legal consent to give samples in order to test your sobriety.
In this case, if you refuse to do a chemical or breath test, then you could face further criminal charges.
What About Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are the ones that test your physical state. These could be walking and turning, standing on one leg, and so forth.
You are not legally required to do a field sobriety test in the state of Minnesota. This means that you have the right to refuse. This, again, does not necessarily apply to a chemical or blood test.
If an Officer Tells You to do a Sobriety Test, Can You Contact an Attorney?
You cannot contact an attorney in Minnesota at the time of being pulled over. You can only contact an attorney whenever you have been officially placed under arrest, and before you are asked to perform a chemical test inside a police station.
If a driver wishes, they can tell an officer immediately upon being pulled over that they request a lawyer, and a police officer must legally note that.
Can You Represent Yourself or Do You Need a DWI Defense Lawyer?
Legally, yes, you can represent yourself in a drunk driving case. It’s not the best option to choose, to ensure that you get the best legal outcome for your case.
Drunk driving convictions can be more complicated than they first appear, and that could have a bearing on how you are tried and convicted without you realizing it on the front end. It’s always best to hire a DWI defense lawyer to help you:
- Check your case for issues.
- Order independent blood samples be taken.
- A motion can be made to suppress evidence.
- They can negotiate for a less severe sentence.
- They can obtain witnesses.
- They can contest the suspension of your driver’s license.
What’s the Penalty for Drunk Driving, Exactly?
This depends on whether or not you have any previous convictions, on your age, and on your blood alcohol concentration level.
Fines can go as high as $1,000 and you could spend up to 90 days in jail. The higher your blood alcohol concentration level, and the higher possibility of receiving a more severe sentence.
Do You Need a Good DWI or DUI Defense Lawyer?
If all of this information has your head spinning, it may be that you need a quality DWI or DUI defense lawyer. You should look out for someone who specializes in DWI/DUI defense, such as Anderson Law Firm, PLLC. Contact them today for a free initial consultation, and let them help you find your way to the best possible outcome for your situation.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.