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Minneapolis Felony DUI Case Study

Felony Drving Under the Influence (DUI-DWI) in Hennepin County (Minneapolis)

In May of 2015 my client was charged with Felony DUI and Felony driving with an alcohol content of .08 or more. He was approached by police for not proceeding when a light turned green and then for failing to signal a turn. He was cooperative during the stop, failed the field sobriety testing and was placed under arrest. He was brought to the station where he was read the Implied Consent Advisory and then submitted to breath testing. He tested .17 to a Datamaster breath test.


Client was approached by police for failure to signal. He failed field sobriety testing and was placed under arrest. He was brought to the station where he was read the Implied Consent Advisory and then submitted to breath testing. He tested .17 to a Datamaster breath test. This was his fourth DUI in ten years which enhanced the offense to a felony. He was held in jail for two days and ordered to post bail or be on the alco-sensor program which monitors alcohol intake and restrict the person from drinking. If the client violates the terms of the alco-sensor a warrant is executed for their arrest.

After completing approximately 1 ½ months of alco-sensor Client requested to go into in-patient treatment. We successfully motioned the court to modify his conditional release and allow him to enter treatment. Upon completion of his primary in-patient program Client desired to remain in a residential aftercare environment pending his court dates. Client was charged with Felony DUI punishable by a maximum of 7 years in jail and/or a $14,000.00 fine plus a five year conditional release term. Client assisted in this case by being pro-active regarding his sobriety and treatment.

Case Review

After review of all of the reports it became apparent that the reason for the stop was just and my Client was very committed to his sobriety. It is imperative to diligently search for defenses in an effort to get the case dismissed, reduce the charge or develop a strategy that allows for a positive resolution. Unfortunately, legitimate offenses were not present and we were forced to move ahead in an effort to obtain an excellent resolution.

My client was proactive and had a chemical dependency evaluation which I was able to disclose to the prosecutor. It was apparent that he had a substantial alcohol issue that he was addressing head on. His diligence and commitment to sobriety and respect for his alcohol program afforded me an opportunity to delay the proceeding until a favorable resolution could be obtained. This did not excuse or provide a defense for her charge but it showed good faith to the prosecutor and the judge


After diligent review of the case it became clear that timing was the key to my client’s case. Due to his commitment to sobriety he desperately wanted to maintain his connection with his treatment program hence his sentencing needed to be delayed so he could continue to complete the program or he would have to start over again if it was disrupted by a jail consequence. We were able to agree to a resolution where my client would be able to complete and graduate from his treatment program while he was beginning his electronic home monitoring. This was a win-win situation that could only have been accomplished by diligent and thoughtful communication between the prosecutor, judge and myself and the continued commitment of my client of sobriety.

This resolution was critical because it allowed my client to graduate from a program that he was thriving in which allowed him to continue his commitment to sobriety and recovery. By being proactive and creative we gained an amazing result. He was ordered to serve his electronic home monitoring jail time of 88 days before the 30 day in custody consequence. This allowed him to maintain his status in his alcohol dependence program, begin the transition of getting a job and recapture his life.


My client was very happy with the outcome and extremely appreciative of the opportunity to maintain his attendance in the program and welcome the chance to prove his sobriety. He was also very pleased with the minimal amount of jail consequence and his fine was reduced to $50.00 due to his commitment to his alcohol program. He is now currently seeking employment in the chemical dependency field since he now feels a connection to others that have suffered from similar issues. The resolution (s) allowed a young man to maintain his commitment to his sobriety.

It is critical to get to know your client’s background and personal issues to best assist your client. The prosecution and court are oftentimes willing to be creative when a client shows good faith and has taken proactive steps to show that they have attempted to remedy their problem(s). Most everyone in the judicial process wants the person to be successful and lead a productive life. It is very satisfying to be involved in the criminal defense process and to see the amazing growth and development in your client during the course of the case.

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