You were driving along a Minnesota roadway, on your way home from an office party, when you saw the flashing lights of a police car in your rearview mirror. This type of situation is enough to make anyone feel nervous. This might be especially true in your case, if you had imbibed a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage as part of the celebration.
The police officer who pulled you over may have asked you to take a field sobriety test. If you complied and failed, it may have compelled the officer to take you into custody, resulting in DWI charges against you. The bad news is that your license or even your freedom may be at stake. The good news, however, is that guidance and support are available, and you do not have to go it alone in court.
BAC level has implications on a case
You might pass a Breathalyzer test after an arrest for suspected DWI. If so, it means that you were legally still permitted to operate a motor vehicle when the police officer pulled you over. If this is not the case, there may be automatic repercussions.
For instance, if a person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level more than double the legal limit on a first offense, he or she would be required to install an interlock system on the ignition of his or her car. This device disables the car from starting, unless you breathe into it and test sober.
Navigating the criminal justice system as a first offender
On one hand, it is good to not have a criminal record for DWI in Minnesota, if police take you into police custody for this offense. On the other hand, it can be frightening and stressful when you have no idea what to expect as your case is adjudicated. It’s helpful to have someone nearby who can explain things to you.
You have the right to request support as soon as an arrest has taken place. In fact, you do not have to answer any questions without the benefit of legal representation. Such support is also a means of getting answers to your questions about DWI laws in this state, such as what the possible penalties might be if you face conviction or what constitutes grounds for requesting a case dismissal.
If a personal rights violation took place
A Minnesota police officer is capable of error, just like any other human being. During a traffic stop, police must follow stringent protocol in accordance with your rights, as protected under the U.S. Constitution. If you believe that a police officer acted outside the scope of his or her duties and violated your rights, you can take legal steps to resolve the issue in court.
Always remember that it is less stressful and more effective to do so when you are acting alongside an advocate who is experienced in criminal justice.