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What are My Rights in a DWI Minnesota and What Responsibilities do I Carry?


If you get charged with a DUI Minnesota, it may seem as though there’s nothing you can do. The penalties can be severe and at first glance, many people think that they have no choice except to abide by whatever punishment is handed to them. But that’s not the case at all! There are many DUI laws and rights in Minnesota, and being aware of them can help you hold onto your license, and not see a day of jail time. And what many people don’t know is that these rights start right at the time that you’re stopped on the road.

The first right all drivers have is to only be stopped if the police officer had reasonable cause to think that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Things such as an anonymous report or weaving on the road without crossing the lines are not considered to be reasonable causes. And, should a person be stopped for this, it will be considered an illegal stop. The DUI law in Minnesota also states that field tests are not admissible in court, nor are they reasonable cause to charge a person. This means that things such as saying the alphabet, touching your nose, or standing on one leg are not valid field tests that can charge a person with the crime of driving under the influence.

Minnesota police stations and police squad cars are also often equipped with video surveillance cameras. These cameras can capture a suspect’s manner and composure on tape and often, this will differ from police testimony, which may have described the suspect as slurring their words, or being imbalanced. Other types of procedure, such as the manner in which samples are obtained or handled, also have very strict guidelines under DUI law and rights in Minnesota. If these are not handled correctly, it could result in the DUI case being dismissed.

Most often, DUI cases are thrown out or settled before it ever reaches a court. However, should the case go to court, there are speedy trial requirements for DUI cases in Minnesota, as well as other rights the accused has when in court. The first right that you will have if you’re charged with a DUI and it goes to court is that you should be granted a speedy trial. This means that a trial date will be set that’s a relatively short time from your initial arrest.

You do have the right to a speedy trial for your DUI charge in Minnesota, but you also have the right to decide on which type of trial you want. A jury trial will mean that twelve people will need to find you guilty of DUI, while a judge trial will be just you in front of a judge for the entire court proceedings. A good DUI attorney will help you decide which type of trial is best for you, and will make sure that you get the speedy trial requirement that’s law in Minnesota.

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