Misdemeanor DUI Case Study
Charge: 4th Degree DUI
My client was charged with a 4th Degree Misdemeanor DUI in Maple Grove, Minnesota. She was approached by police when she was visiting from out of town and had driven to a park area to walk her dogs and someone called to report that she was in the park after hours. The officer came to the scene and smelled alcohol and asked her to do field sobriety tests which she ultimately failed.
Client was approached by police after she was illegally in a park area after hours. Client admitted to drinking, failed a portable breath test and was arrested and transported to jail. At the station the officers read her the implied consent advisory and she complied and tested over .08 with an actual test of .11. She was transported downtown and held overnight and then released on her own recognizance since this was her first DUI offense and she 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.
After reviewing all of the reports it was determined that she was driving her vehicle within two hours of testing, she 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 she did not have a defense that warranted challenging the implied consent revocation of her license particularly since she was not a licensed Minnesota driver. Based on the facts it was clear that the officer had a reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle and to request alcohol testing and her test result was over .08.
After careful review of the situation and my persistence I was able to get the charge amended to Careless Driving and upon completion of an alcohol assessment, one year probation and no jail time or community service. This was critical to my client because her license was never revoked in her home state and hence never had license consequences.
By having a credible relationship with the prosecutor and sculpting the resolution to satisfy the concerns of the prosecution and judge but allowing my client to keep her license a win-win scenario was created.
Impact (Amended to Careless Driving)
My client was extremely satisfied and appreciative with the resolution. This resolution (careless driving) allowed her to keep her driver’s license in her home state and minimized the consequences of her actions. Asking questions and getting to know the needs of your clients is critical to craft a resolution where the consequences don’t negatively impact your lives and they become manageable. Good people make mistakes. Fortunately I am almost always able to right the ship quickly and avert consequences that could damage my client’s life, employment, etc.