Misdemeanor DUI Case Study - Champlin, MN
Charge: 4th Degree DUI
In January of 2016 my client was charged with a 4th Degree Misdemeanor DUI and Misdemeanor DUI with a test result over .08 with testing performed within two hours of driving in Champlin, Minnesota. He was approached by police when his vehicle struck a fence causing property damage and his vehicle was stuck in a snowbank. The officers believed he was drinking and asked him to do field sobriety tests.
Client was approached by police after he was stuck in the snow and they responded to see if anyone needed assistance. My Client admitted to drinking. The officer had him perform some field sobriety tests and after failing the portable breath test he was arrested and transported to jail. At the station the officers read him the implied consent advisory and he complied and tested over .08 with an actual test of .11. He was transported downtown and held in jail and ultimately released on his own recognizance since this was his first DUI offense and he had been cooperative with the officers.
Client was charged with a 4th Degree Misdemeanor offense which is punishable by a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine. DUI offenses are enhanceable offenses in Minnesota. Should you receive two DUI’s or alcohol related license revocations within ten years the 2nd offense is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. Three offenses in ten years is also a gross misdemeanor but your vehicle can be forfeited. Four DUI convictions in ten years is a felony.
After reviewing all of the reports it was determined that he was driving his vehicle, had slid off the road and damaged a fence, admitted to drinking, had been read the implied consent advisory, consented to a breath test and provided a sample of .11 which is over the legal limit of .08. It was determined that he did not have a defense that warranted challenging the implied consent revocation of his license. Based on the facts it was clear that the officer had a reasonable suspicion to approach the vehicle (since it was stuck in the ditch and damaged property. The officer had a reasonable suspicion to believe the Client had been drinking due to his own admission and field testing including a portable breath test.
My client was currently in the process of applying for employment that may require a positive driving record and he would have difficulty being employed in his chosen field if he was convicted of a DUI. It was my goal to work out a resolution where he was not convicted of a DUI.
After researching his issues and carefully reviewing the police report I was able to get the charge amended to Careless Driving pursuant to 169.13 Subdivision 2. My client was required to complete an alcohol education class and pay a small fine. He did not serve any jail time or have to perform any community service. It was critical to amend the charge to Careless Driving in an effort to have my client obtain a job that required driving.
It was a win-win scenario. By having a credible relationship with the prosecutor and sculpting the resolution to satisfy the concerns of the prosecution and judge for public safety the resolution allowed my client to maintain a driving record without a conviction for DUI.
My client was extremely satisfied and appreciative. This resolution (careless driving) allowed a young man to continue with his lifelong goals. Travel and employment are the most important reasons to attempt to get DUI charges reduced to Careless Driving. It is imperative to get to know your clients in order to satisfy their needs and their hope for their future.