If a Minnesota police officer takes you into custody on suspicion of drunk driving, it activates a series of unpleasant events. Especially if this is the first time you’ve ever encountered legal problems, it’s understandable that you might feel worried or afraid. The more you understand ahead of time about what to expect as the criminal court adjudicates your DWI case, the less stressful the process might be.
It’s also helpful to know what type of options are available to present a defense and where you can seek support if a specific issue arises that you don’t feel equipped to handle on your own. Facing DWI charges can have both immediate and long-term implications in your life. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to navigate proceedings.
You case is public
The mere act of stepping inside a courtroom to stand before a judge can feel quite intimidating. Having time to review your options before heading to court enables you to think about what you want to say and what might be the best course of action in your particular case to help mitigate your circumstances.
A courtroom is a public place. Having to face a judge for DWI charges can be embarrassing. If you plead not guilty after having failed sobriety tests, it’s possible that a video of the tests will be shown in court. Any member of the public who happens to be there would see it.
Did you refuse a Breathalyzer?
When you obtained a driver’s license in Minnesota, you agreed to implied consent laws. Such laws state that you’re obligated to take a Breathalyzer if you’ve been arrested for DWI. If you refuse to take such a test, you will automatically undergo a license revocation and face criminal charges.
A preliminary alcohol breath test (known as a PBT), on the other hand, is not an obligation. There are no penalties for refusing. It’s helpful to speak with someone who is well-versed in DWI laws in this state so that you understand the difference between a roadside breath test and a Breathalyzer test that occurs after an arrest.
Reaching out for support after a drunk driving arrest
Your family and close friends can provide emotional and practical support to you if you are facing DWI charges in Minnesota. You might need a ride to appointments or court hearings. You might just want someone to go along with you for emotional support.
It’s also helpful to have legal representation, especially because you won’t have to do all the talking in court. An experienced advocate can act on your behalf. Forming this type of alliance as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested is usually the best means for keeping stress to a minimum and of having the best chance to obtain a positive outcome in court.