Being pulled over by the police is a fact of life. Most of the time, it never turns into anything; a warning, or a speeding ticket. But if you have been drinking, even if you are not intoxicated, a normal traffic stop can turn into something much worse. Know and exercise your rights, so that you know what to do (and what not to do) when dealing with police.
Thirty thousand Minnesotans are arrested for drunk driving every year, and even for first-time offenders, the consequences can be staggering. In addition to criminal DWI/DUI charges, you might face the loss of your license, the forfeiture of your vehicle in some circumstances, as well as serious financial consequences. If you do not act quickly, you may lose your right to challenge some of the consequences of an arrest. The best way to make sure your rights are protected is to contact a DWI/DUI attorney as soon as you can if you have been arrested, even if you have not yet been charged.
Minnesota is in "Implied Consent" state, meaning that by driving on the roads in Minnesota, you are giving your consent for police to give you a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) to see if you are intoxicated. If you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI/DUI, you have already consented to allow police to test to see if you are intoxicated. However, before police test you they are supposed to give you an "Implied Consent Advisory" informing you of your rights. You have the right to call a DWI/DUI attorney before deciding to take a test. However, if you refuse to take a breath test, or refuse to take both a blood or urine test, you can be charged with the crime of Test Refusal. This is almost always a worse crime than DWI/DUI, and can subject you to other penalties such as the loss of your license or forfeiture of your vehicle. If you have been charged with the crime of Test Refusal, you are facing a year or more in jail.
In addition to the possible criminal DWI/DUI charges, being arrested for DWI/DUI almost always results in a revocation of your driver's license. This is separate from any criminal DWI/DUI charges, and you need to challenge the revocation within 30 days to avoid problems later on. See more on challenging an Implied Consent revocation.
If you are arrested for certain DWI/DUI or Test Refusal crimes, the you may lose your vehicle unless you challenge the forfeiture. You have a limited time to bring a petition to get your vehicle back and ask a court to decide. If you do not, you lose your rights to challenge the forfeiture. Learn more about forfeiture here. Call a DWI/DUI attorney today to help protect your rights.
Information is power. Be heard.
Copyright (c)2009 MET Law Group, PLLC
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Attorneys at MET Law Group practice throughout Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the greater metro area in Ramsey, Hennepin, Dakota, Anoka, Carver, Washington, Scott, and Wright Counties.