Careless Driving is a misdemeanor in Minnesota. DWI and Careless Driving defense lawyer Christopher Keyser routinely handles DWI charges throughout Minnesota resulting in amended or “reduced” Careless Driving charges. Contact us at (612) 338-5007 for a free DWI and Careless Driving case evaluation.
It is a misconception that Careless Driving is a “reduced” or “lesser” charge that Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Drivers facing a Fourth Degree DWI charge can often negotiate (also called “plea bargaining”) with a prosecutor to change or amend the charge to a misdemeanor Careless Driving.
Technically, this agreement is not a “reduced” charge because a Careless Driving charge is still a misdemeanor-level offense, just like a Fourth Degree DWI. However, there is often a social stigma attached to any DWI charge and drivers simply do not want a DWI conviction on record.
While a Careless Driving conviction is still a misdemeanor offense, a driver can avoid having a DWI conviction on record that may save his or her job, certain licensing requirements, and keep insurance premiums from increasing. The maximum penalty for Careless Driving is 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine. However, it is rare for a person to receive a maximum sentence. Minnesota does not have a mandatory minimum sentence requirement for Careless Driving.
There are several strategies a Minneapolis DWI lawyer can use to amend a Fourth Degree DWI charge to a Careless Driving charge. DWI defense lawyers will analyze the initial interaction between a driver and the police, in particular the reasons for stopping the driver’s vehicle.
Other aspects considered for DWI challenges include the manner and method of the chemical testing, the reliability of the testing, and the observations of the police officer during any roadside interaction with the driver as well as during investigation at the police station.
The police reports, witness statements, police officer dashboard video camera evidence, and testing reports are all scrutinized for accuracy, flaws, and inconsistencies to build a strong defense for every DWI charge. Most prosecutors are open to negotiating for a Careless Driving disposition when a driver’s blood-alcohol concentration tests at 0.08, 0.09, or 0.10 and is charged with Fourth Degree DWI. Prosecutors are less likely to amend a Fourth Degree DWI charge to Careless Driving when a test result is higher than 0.10. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a skilled DWI defense attorney can secure a Careless Driving disposition even when test results are higher than 0.10.
Contact Minneapolis Careless Driving Lawyer
Any DWI charge can be stressful, especialMinneapolis Careless Driving Defense Lawyer | Keyser Lawly for someone with no criminal record. If you face a Careless Driving charge or are interested in having a DWI charge amended to a Careless Driving charge, speak with Minneapolis Careless Driving Defense Lawyer Christopher Keyser by calling our office at 612-338-5007.