2nd Degree Gross Misdemeanor DUI Case Study - Maple Grove
Charges: 2nd Degree DUI, Over .16
In October of 2019, my client was charged with a 2nd Degree Gross Misdemeanor DUI in Maple Grove, Minnesota. She called me from jail and I advised her of her rights before she ultimately decided to take the DataMaster alcohol test. Despite her statement to me that she believed she would test under the legal limit of .08 she tested over .16 and had one prior DUI offense.
Client was stopped by police after striking a pole. The police responded to the accident and determined that she had signs of impairment and determined she was the driver of the vehicle. Client was visibly intoxicated and swaying back and forth. The officers placed her under arrest and read her the implied consent advisory. She was given time to consult with and attorney and she contacted me and we discussed her case in a discreet yes/no fashion. She decided to take a breath test in which she tested considerably over .16. She had one prior offense inside the ten year window for enhancement and since her test was over .16 her charge was enhanced to a 2nd Degree Gross Misdemeanor offense. The maximum penalty for my client was a year in jail and/or a $3000 fine. Additionally, her vehicle was forfeited due to the offense being a 2nd Degree Over. 08.
After reviewing the report (Narrative, Photos, Etc.) it was determined that she was driving her vehicle, showed signs of impairment and a careful review of the police report did not provide any meaningful defenses. Based on the accident it was clear that the officer had a reasonable suspicion to approach the vehicle, assess any injuries and to request alcohol testing.
In an effort to get a favorable resolution, it was my recommendation that she obtain an alcohol assessment as soon as possible and immediately start following the recommendations, in an effort to proactively show how serious he was taking the case in an effort to mitigate the consequences. She was also suffering from anxiety and an eating disorder that I felt needed to be addressed in the assessment. It was also clear that she was suffering emotionally as a result of these issues.
Based on my negotiations with the prosecutor my client was not required to any additional jail time in the workhouse. She was permitted to serve her 30 days sentence on Home Monitoring. This was a successful outcome because she was involved in an accident, tested over .16 and had a prior offense. Her sentence could have been a year of incarceration with a likely sentence of 90 days of some form of incarceration. She was also assessed a commensurate fine plus surcharges and law library fees. She was ordered to follow the recommendations of his chemical dependency assessment which addressed her mental health issues and have no same or similar conduct in the next three years.
By being proactive with her chemical assessment and having my client prepared for her court date I was able to persuade the prosecutor and the judge that additional workhouse time was not required and her excessive drinking was brought on by her other mental health concerns.
Fortunately, I was able to work out a civil resolution with the prosecutor to buy back the vehicle for a reasonable fee. Hence, my client had her car returned to her that had financial value and personal sentimental value.
My client was very pleased with the resolution. This result was extremely positive since it is not unusual to serve 90 days (30 in the workhouse) when your alcohol test result is over .16. if there is an accident and you have a prior offense. No matter how bad the facts of the case appear there is nearly always a way to present the case in a manner that allows your client to successfully manage the consequences of the incident. By being proactive in addressing your alcohol and mental health issues prior to court your chances of a favorable outcome are greatly increased.