Harvey Skees Minnesota DUI Defense

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Defenses to DWI & DUI Charges

Possible DUI / DWI Defense Strategies

Fighting your Driving While Impaired charges in Minnesota

There are several possible defenses you can raise to discredit, and in some cases beat, your DWI charges. From the methods used by the police officers to gather evidence against you, to the reasons the police gave for the initial stop, the prosecution has the burden of executing every step of the process flawlessly. Any error they make, whether massive or minor, can result in the dismissal of your case.

If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI in Minnesota, take advantage of a free initial consultation to have an experienced lawyer review the circumstances around your case.

1. Initial Pull-Over
Did the police have the right to pull you over? There is a minimum standard of probable cause that the police must meet for the pull-over to be valid. Regardless of the evidence gathered against you, if it was not gathered following strict police procedure, the validity of the evidence may be diminished.

2. Odor of alcohol does not necessarily indicate intoxication
If the police officer was operating under the assumption that you were intoxicated merely based on the smell of alcohol, their evidence gathering process may be questioned.

3. Unfair sobriety testing
Some of the field tests that you are asked to perform can be called into question, especially when their results are used to justify further testing. These tests include reciting the alphabet backwards, holding your arms straight out and then touching your nose, and being asked to follow a pen with your eyes. None of these tests are conclusive in any way and if they are relied upon too heavily by the police officer, it may be something we can use to build a defense.

4. Blood Alcohol Concentration Testing
The preliminary breath test (PBT) using the hand-held breath test, as well as the test that you are given at the station after being taken into custody can be called into question. The device must be calibrated based on the manufacturer's guidelines, and the test must be administered correctly. In a case where there is a blood or urine test, the evidence needs to be handled correctly and tests must be completed in a timely manner to ensure accuracy. Even the slightest deviation from standard practices can lead to the test result being successfully challenged in court.

5. Test refusal
Under Minnesota's implied consent law, refusing to take the breath, blood or urine test after being pulled over is a crime punishable by a 12 month (1 year) suspension of your Minnesota drivers license. However, there are cases where drivers have been charged with test refusal when they DID actually try to cooperate with the test. This a fairly rare circumstance, but if you are being charged with refusal and did indeed attempt to take the test, contact me immediately.

While there are several potential defenses to a DUI or DWI, they can be difficult to establish, and it takes an experienced and effective attorney to ensure that they are utilized correctly. We do hope that the information on this site is useful, but the only way to really begin establishing a defense for your DUI or DWI charges is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Contact me today for a free initial consultation.