Bussa Law

Main Menu

Minnesota Legal Blog

Even a first-offense DWI has significant consequences

Minnesota is notoriously hard on drunk drivers, but many people still choose to drive while intoxicated every day. As someone who tries to wait until you sober up before driving home, you know the risks that come with drinking and driving. You don't want to get a DWI or to face trouble from the police. Your goal is to get from one place to another safely.

Unfortunately, if you've had anything to drink at all, you could face DWI charges even if you're under the legal limit. If you happen to be over .08%, it just means that the police need no further evidence. If you are below that percentage and were perceived as driving recklessly, you could still face charges.

What's the point of entering a guilty plea?

In your case, it may be likely that you'll be convicted. Your attorney may even tell you that the prosecution has a strong case against you.

That doesn't mean that you should give up. One possible solution that can still help you is to turn to plea bargaining. Plea bargaining generally helps people enter a guilty plea in exchange for lesser penalties. For example, if you plead guilty, one or more charges may be dropped or penalties could be significantly reduced.

Homicide, murder charges for drug overdoses becoming more common

As the opioid epidemic continues to surge out of control across the country, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are getting tough on those whose alleged actions contribute to opioid use, addiction and fatalities. In some cases, that has meant homicide and murder charges against those accused of providing drugs to someone who ultimately died from an overdose.

Here in Minnesota, a 21-year-old woman was charged with third-degree murder last month for providing the drugs that led to a 23-year-old man's death. She's also been charged with third-degree drug sales. According to authorities, three people overdosed in an apartment in Mankato this May. Two of them survived.

Here is what you should know about DWI sanctions in Minnesota

In Minnesota, getting a DWI can have an extremely negative effect on your life. The financial impact of a DWI could be up to $20,000, even as a first offender. Costs may include legal fees, increased insurance premiums, court costs and others.

In the past, Minnesota determined that its laws and penalties were not strong enough, so it passed DWI sanctions with ignition interlock systems. The goal was to improve safety on the roads while also giving convicted DWI offenders a chance to drive despite their convictions.

What is a mistrial? Is it good to have a mistrial?

You're accused of a crime, and you want to know that your defense is going to be strong. It's always in your best interest to work with a team that knows the law and how to watch out for violations of your rights. If errors take place during the trial's proceedings, your attorney may ask the judge to declare a mistrial.

A mistrial ends a trial before it concludes with a verdict. A mistrial can happen for one of many reasons such as:

  • Statements that were made by a witness that were not allowed
  • Procedural errors
  • Deadlock by a jury (a hung jury)
  • A prejudiced jury
  • Failing to complete the trial within the set time frame

Driving for a ride share? Be careful about drugs in your vehicle

Throughout the state, drug busts happen often. The authorities take pride in being able to track drugs and finding those who would sell or distribute them.

You were just driving for a ride-sharing service when an officer pulled you over. You knew that your passenger seemed odd, but you knew there would be trouble when the officer said they recognized them. What started out as a traffic stop for speeding has now become a drug investigation.

Mayor pleads guilty to DWI after crashing in snow bank

It's not too often that you hear about the city's mayor getting drunk and driving, but that's what happened in this case out of Minnesota. According to a report from May 7, Minnesota Mayor Mike Maguire admitted that he had been drinking while watching the Vikings place in January. Then, he went on to drive.

The mayor pleaded guilty in his case, stating that he accepted responsibility for the consequences of the errors he had made. On that day in January, he had crashed with a blood-alcohol concentration of approximately 0.19%, which is over twice the state's legal limit. He faced two counts for third-degree driving while impaired.

The collateral consequences of being branded a federal felon

There are long-term penalties associated with federal convictions that go way beyond fines and prison sentences. Many government officials argue that "collateral consequences" are imposed on ex-convicts for public safety reasons. Policy reformists cite this as the reason for high recidivism rates among these individuals. If you're facing federal charges, then you need to know what the long-term implications of being branded a felon are.

Researchers with the Heritage Foundation found that there are more than 46,000 federal, state or local laws on the books that currently restrict the rights of ex-convicts post-conviction. Their research shows that whether a defendant was incarcerated or not has little to no impact on the collateral consequences that they face. The authors of the study note that defendants must fight an uphill battle simply based on having been branded a felon.

Facing drug charges? You deserve a solid defense

You were just trying to have a unique experience when you decided to buy drugs. You probably should have been more cautious, though. It turns out that the first person you tried to buy from had connections to the authorities.

It wasn't much after that when an officer approached you and arrested you for buying drugs. Now, you're facing drug charges with a possibility of heavy fines and imprisonment. You just want to go back to how things were before; you only made a single mistake.

Can you fail the horizontal gaze nystagmus test when sober?

You were stopped by an officer for weaving in and out of traffic. He felt like you weren't being safe, and he asked you if you'd been drinking. You didn't want to lie, so you admitted you'd had a beer before heading out. That was a mistake. He asked you to get out of your vehicle to take a field sobriety test.

You did well on all parts of the test except for the horizontal gaze nystagmus assessment, or HGN. While your balance wasn't as good as you would have liked and you didn't turn and walk as well as you might have without so much stress, the real influence in the arrest was the HGN. When the officer asked you to look to the side, he looked concerned. Your eyes jerked involuntarily, which is a potential sign of intoxication. Along with your admission that you were drinking, he decided to make the arrest. Your blood alcohol content was only .04%.

  • What Should You Do If You Get Stopped By A Cop?

    You should not be hostile. Simply stop and allow the cop to do the cop’s job. If you are ticketed or arrested, immediately...

  • What Should You Say If You Get Stopped By A Cop?

    You have constitutional rights that you can invoke. This means that you do not have to say anything to cops, which is...

  • Can A Cop Search Your Person And/Or Your Stuff?

    A cop can search you and/or your car if a cop has probable cause to believe you pose a violent threat to the cop and/or that you...

  • What Is The Standard To Arrest You?

    A cop must have probable cause to arrest you for a crime. A cop can use the cop’s training and experience as well as his...

  • What Should You Do If You Get Served With A Search Warrant?

    The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution mandates that a cop present...

  • If Arrested, How Long Can You Be Held In Jail?

    No matter what crime you are charged with, you have 36 hours to have a bail hearing if you are in jail. This time requirement...

  • If Arrested, How Long Do You Have To Wait To Be Formally Charged?

    If you are in custody, the prosecution has 48 hours from the time of your demand to file...

  • Are All Of Your Privacy Rights Protected?

    No, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution only protects your person, your home, your papers, and your...

  • What Are The Differences Between The United States And The Minnesota Constitutions?

  • After You Are Charged, What Does The Process Entail?

    Vigorously defending your rights demands a marathon, not a sprint, mentality. Every stone must be overturned.

Learn More About Your Rights Call For A Free Consultation 218-303-5497

Free Consultations

Client Reviews

More Reviews