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3 Steps to Take for Choosing the Right DWI Defense Attorney

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2021 | DUI/DWI |

3 Steps to Take After a DWI Arrest in Minnesota

When you’re arrested for a DWI in Minnesota, you’re entitled to consult with an attorney prior to deciding whether to take the breathalyzer at the police station, and it is among the numerous processes that the police must follow between the time when you are arrested, and the moment you blow into the breathalyzer at the police station — if you choose to do so at all!

However, many of these rights have no effect if you do not request them. That’s why a vigorous attorney who can advise you of what to do at that moment should be your first call. I’ll walk through the steps to take immediately after a DWI arrest Minnesota. Following this advice will ultimately arm you with the best defense.

  1. Choose your first call wisely or call 1-855-GET-SHEK

As I said above, many of your rights have no effect if you do not request them. I know what you need to ask to entitle yourself to your most vigorous defense. I won’t use your first call as a marketing opportunity for later representation.

Other attorneys will answer your call in the middle of the night, but from my experience, many will just collect your information, provide brief advice, and contact you the next day. I do not speak for other attorneys, but from my experience, I felt the phone call was merely a means to advertise full representation after a DWI charge. Without immediate legal analysis and advice, you could be looking at a much more difficult situation.

Fortunately, calling the right attorney can change this. On the phone, I will walk you through all of the processes that the police must follow and make a note of their failure or refusal to comply. If your situation permits, I’ll even meet you at the police station. DWI cases may be dismissed or overturned because these processes are not followed.

Here are some examples of what led to previous dismissals:

  • Police must allow you a reasonable amount of time to get in contact with an attorney, but if you say you are done, your time is up
    • Police must allow you – if requested – to have privacy to speak with your attorney unless doing so would create a security concern
    • You may meet with your attorney in person if he or she arrives in a reasonable amount of time
  1. Request your rights

If you do not request any of these privileges, no violation of your rights occurs. When you call me, I walk through all of the privileges and note these violations. It’s imperative you do not surrender potential violations to the prosecution because of inaction or a lack of knowledge.

I’ve experienced this first-hand — see my bio for more information. Even after consulting with an attorney, I did not know I was entitled to these privileges. Therefore, had I been intoxicated and charged, I would be out of luck because I threw away the opportunity to raise potential constitutional violations by the police.

If police officers do not follow the law during your arrest and chemical test, the state’s case becomes weak, and this can lead to a dismissal. As your attorney, I do not accept the facts as given, and I do not accept they are the only facts. Many defendants are unaware of the impact that these violations may have on their case. While most attorneys can assist in negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor to avoid trial under a set of facts, if more is done, your plea deal will be stronger.

  1. Let me investigate

During this step, I investigate the facts provided to me. Prosecutors will often use police reports to decide whether or not to charge you. If there are discrepancies between the police report and the information you’ve provided, I’ll work to discredit the police report, and thus, the officer who was at the scene. Each DWI in Minnesota is a unique situation. If the officer arresting you is not credible, then the state’s case against you is likely over.

Recently, I noticed identical language among police reports for a prolonged period by the same arresting officer. He noted the same circumstances for probable cause, at the same time, in near every DWI arrest. In the legal community, we call this “impeachment evidence.” More specifically, it is evidence probative for untruthfulness. While the police reports may not prove the officer lied in your specific instance, they can weaken his credibility. Remember, the state must prove objective probable cause for your arrest beyond a reasonable doubt. To prove objective probable cause for your arrest existed with the testimony of a sole witness, the credibility of that witness is essential.  This instance is a prime example of the investigative work I do that many attorneys do not, potentially the lawyers who represented many defendants arrested by this officer in previous cases, who may not have not inquired into the officers report writing patterns.

Trial or not, this information matters. The tactics of plea deal negotiation can only get a defendant such a deal. There is no better bargaining chip than evidence that weakens the case against the state. Of course, the plea-bargaining system is designed to avoid an unnecessary trial, so any attorney can use the threat of trial to lessen penalties against you. However, when the prosecution’s office is not only threatened with a trial but a trial where there are many concerns about their star, sole, and necessary witness or their case in general, the result is a better plea deal and maybe even dismissal.

Final thoughts

Hire an attorney who cares about the details and will find the weaknesses of the state’s case. High volume DWI defense attorneys churn through cases to turn the most significant profit. When you are arrested for a DWI, there’s a great deal at stake, and you need to Get Shek.