One in seven licensed Minnesota drivers has at least one DWI. Many of these people simply hired the wrong lawyer. THE RIGHT LAWYER has current knowledge of this complicated law, the resources to fight the police, experience with trials, and more. No criminal law in Minnesota is more complicated. Here’s how to choose the right DWI lawyer.
THE RIGHT LAWYER Knows the Civil Consequences of DWI Arrest . . .
A DWI arrest has serious implications, some of which can last a lifetime and many of which have to be fought outside of the criminal court (in civil court or in administrative agencies).
Civil consequences happen before conviction and don’t go away even if charges are dropped or the case is won at trial.
A DWI arrest in Minnesota, even if there’s no conviction, can result in the following civil sanctions and penalties:
- driver’s license revocation
- license plate revocation
- vehicle forfeiture
- thousands of dollars of costs not including the lawyer and insurance rates (license reinstatement, ignition interlock, towing and storage of vehicle)
- life-time legal consequences of being arrested for DWI, which counts as a prior offense (even without a conviction)
These consequences happen before conviction and don’t go away even if charges are dropped or the case is won at trial. A good DWI lawyer knows how to beat these and has an established record of doing it.
THE RIGHT LAWYER Knows the Most Recent Changes in the Law . . .
DWI law is constantly changing. Major changes have been made in each of the last five years. Even if the lawyer knew the law last year, DWI laws change so often that unless the lawyer studies the changes on a weekly basis the lawyer’s knowledge is out-of-date. Each of these has changed significantly in just the last two months!
DWI law is constantly changing.
- The deadline for filing an Implied Consent Challenge
- The changes in how pre-conviction license revocations are to be handled
- The mid-August ruling that certain portions of the forfeiture law is unconstitutional
- The statutory changes in the forfeiture application to an “innocent owner”
DWI law changes with each legislative session and changes weekly when new court orders are published. Your lawyer must be up-to-date every week.
THE RIGHT LAWYER Questions Everything . . .
Really great DWI lawyers know each step of the stop-arrest-charge process, and examine everything along the way to make sure your rights are protected.
Was the stop performed correctly? How about the field sobriety test? What’s the chain of custody on the blood alcohol test, and what lab processed it? Where did the arresting officer train and using what materials? Your lawyer needs to interrogate all of these and more.
Go to Part II for a DWI Lawyer Checklist