What am I looking at with a second DWI? 1 Answers as of November 17, 2010

What am I looking at with a second DWI?

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Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
If you had a Blood Alcohol Content over .20, or if you have a second DWI within 10 years of a first, you were charged with a third degree offense. This is very serious and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of one year in jail and a $3000 fine. If convicted there are also mandatory minimum penalties of $1000 and 30 days in jail. Different Judges give different sentences. As a result, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process.

There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a third degree offense, you may be revoked for up to six months. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge you license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense.

There are also additional consequences to a conviction including skyrocketing insurance rates, plate impoundments and sometimes vehicle forfeitures.

Other points of a defense analysis include:

Reasonable Suspicion. The officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe a specific crime has been committed in order to stop a person. If that reasonable suspicion is lacking the stop and the ticket may be invalid;

Probable Cause to arrest and charge. The officer must make sufficient observations to form a basis for probable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Oftentimes, officers perform field sobriety tests incorrectly making the arrest invalid;

Procedures at the Station. The officer must follow very specific procedures at the station including reading and recording an Implied Consent Advisory that informs you that you have a right to a lawyer. If any of the steps are omitted, the charges may be dismissed;

Test Procedures. Testing methods to determine blood alcohol concentrations are imperfect at best. Like any scientific method, any test result has a margin of error. If the machinery is not properly maintained and even if it is properly maintained, the test results may vary from true Blood Alcohol Concentration. A sufficient variation may result in a reduce charge or no charge.

I have more than 17 years of experience in defending against DWI charges. We have affordable legal fees and provide aggressive representation.

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Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/17/2010
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