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Probation Violation Blaine Case Study

Charges: Probation Violation

In February of 2014 my client was charged with a Driving after Cancellation and Driving with Impounded Plates in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Client was stopped for driving with plates that should have been impounded due to a recent DUI conviction. By getting these offenses he received a probation violation in the City of Blaine in Anoka County.

Facts

Client was stopped by police after the police ran his license plate and it revealed that the plates should have been impounded or turned in after a recent DUI conviction that he was currently on probation. It was determined at that time that his driver’s license was cancelled inimical to public safety due to the same DUI arrest and conviction. His privilege to drive was cancelled due to the DUI and he was prohibited from driving until he complied with reinstatement requirements and got interlock installed in his vehicle. He was taken into custody and released after two days with a pending court date. Client was charged with a Driving after Cancellation and Driving with Impounded Plates. The Driving after Cancellation offense is a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $3000 fine. By getting charged with these offenses he allegedly violated the terms and conditions of his probation in Anoka County where he was convicted of a gross misdemeanor DUI. He had 355 days of jail suspended as a result of that conviction.

Case Review

After reviewing all of the reports in all of the cases and discussing the case fully with my Client it was determined that he was driving his vehicle with a cancelled license due to alcohol offenses and he had failed to get restricted plates (Whiskey Plates) on his vehicle nor had he followed the reinstatement conditions or had interlock installed in his vehicle. Fortunately alcohol was not present in this arrest and he was cooperative with the officers. Cost was the primary reason that he had not become valid, and had interlock installed. I thoroughly explained how important getting his license reinstated and getting on interlock was to his situation and his future. It was determined that he did not have a defense for challenging the offenses and we needed to be proactive with renewing his driver’s license in an effort to resolve the case effectively and the probation violation which resulted from this charge.

Our goals were to minimize jail and try to keep the offenses from further revoking his license. I instructed him to do everything possible to get his license back and get interlock installed in his vehicle. I explained that he had a year in jail as potential exposure and if convicted he would certainly have his license re-revoked and this could impact his probation violation case as well where he had 355 days in jail of exposure. To his credit my client took this advice seriously and worked diligently towards reinstating his license, applying for special series plates and getting interlock installed. These steps did not excuse or provide a defense for the charges but it showed good faith to the prosecutor that he was taking this seriously and wanted to maintain his employment and license.

Resolution

After diligent review of his driving record and some background research I was able to negotiate a successful resolution. I was able to get the Driving with Impounded Plates violation dismissed and was able to get the Driving after Cancellation offense amended to a reduced charge of No Minnesota Driver’s License in Possession. This allowed my Client to keep his recently reinstated license. I was also able to secure no jail time and a reasonable fine. By instructing and encouraging him to go through the arduous steps required to reinstate his driver’s license garnered the good faith needed to persuade the prosecutor to agree to an agreement where we achieved our goals.
This was critical because if convicted his driver’s license would have been revoked again for a long period of time. With this result his license remained intact and he did not get a conviction on his record.
By paying forward and working hard in advance of our court dates allowed for amazing results. We were able to sculpt a resolution to satisfy the concerns of the prosecution and judge while allowing my client to maintain his driver’s license and not serve jail time.

This resolution was important as well because his probation violation case hinged on the outcome of this case. Once the driving after cancellation case was resolved without a conviction that resulted in a license revocation I was able to resolve the case in Anoka County by having my client admit that he failed to remain law abiding as a violation of his terms and conditions of probation which is far less severe than the gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation offense. The resolution furthermore avoided any jail time which was our goal in the case.

Impact

My client was very pleased and thankful. The resolution allowed him to keep his job which was contingent on having a driver’s license and avoid jail time in the underlying case and the probation violation. This was a critical factor because if he would have been convicted for the driving after cancellation it would have triggered a more serious probation violation from his recent DUI conviction. It is important to get to know your client’s employment situation to attempt to lessen the consequences. The prosecution, probation and court are oftentimes willing to be creative when a client shows good faith and has taken positive steps to show that they have made great strides to remedy their dilemma.

Caveat

Most clients don’t realize that by pleading to a driving after revocation, driving after suspension, driving after cancellation or no insurance or no proof of insurance offense your license is revoked. The length of the revocation is based on the number of prior offenses within a certain amount of time. Paying a citation is just like pleading guilty to the charge or charges and the conviction will have the effect of revoking your license with the Department of Public Safety. Clients oftentimes don’t realize that by paying the citation or pleading to an offense it can trigger a probation violation in another case.

It is imperative to contact an attorney immediately upon getting charged with a criminal offense because it could lead to a more serious issue of a probation violation from a previous case.

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