How can a DWI/DUI attorney defend my case?

A DWI arrest gives way to at least two separate court proceedings — a criminal proceeding and a civil proceeding. Everyone knows about the criminal proceeding, but the civil proceeding can come as a surprise to many people. The civil proceeding relates to the status of your driver's license; it is commonly called an Implied Consent hearing. In some circumstances an additional civil proceeding may be initiated if the State seeks to seize and forfeit your vehicle. The Balmer Law Office defends and represents clients in all forms of DWI proceedings.

For both criminal and civil proceedings there are many issues that can result in a case being dismissed. A sample of these issues are as follows:

  • was the defendant either driving, operating, or in physical control of a motor vehicle?
  • was the officer’s stop supported by a reasonable articulable suspicion?
  • was the stop lawfully expanded? (e.g. if you were originally pulled over for speeding, did the officer have a separate, reasonable articulable suspicion that you were impaired?)
  • was the arrest supported by probable cause based on a totality of the circumstances?
  • was the implied consent advisory properly administered?
  • was the defendant’s right to counsel violated (i.e. was the defendant given adequate time to consult with a lawyer prior to implied consent testing)?
  • were testing procedures and protocol properly followed?
  • if implied consent testing was refused, was it reasonable? or was it an actual refusal?
  • was the defendant in custody at the time of his or her unwarned (pre-Miranda) statements?

A competent Minnesota DWI attorney can challenge these issues in a pretrial hearing. A favorable ruling often results in a dismissal of the charges. If the facts of your case are not sufficient to win a favorable issue in a pre-trial hearing, often a borderline issue can be used as a bargaining chip with prosecutors — either for a reduced charge or reduced sentence / fine.