Some people have a New Year’s to remember – but not for positive reasons. If you were arrested for a DWI in Minnesota over the holiday season, rest assured you are not alone.
Over the holidays, police step up their enforcement of DWIs. There tend to be more people on the roads drinking, and thus more people breaking the law by operating a motor vehicle under the influence and over the legal limit.
Everyone makes mistakes, but the most important thing is understanding what to do in the wake of a DWI arrest in Minnesota. What can you do to ensure you have the best chance of keeping your license and navigating these charges? Read on to find out.
Find a Good Attorney To Defend Your Rights
The person defending your case should be an experienced DWI attorney. Do not select the first attorney you find. Instead, choose an attorney with the same due diligence you would buying a new car after reviewing features.
Most attorneys provide a consultation for free. Take advantage of that and research potential attorneys. Find out if they have experience in cases like yours and their track record of success in handling those cases. Make some calls, research, and always be bold and ask questions.
Challenge the Loss of Driving Privileges
Under the law in the state of Minnesota, you can have your license suspended within days of being arrested for a DWI. Unlike other criminal penalties, a license suspension does not wait until you are convicted.
Getting notified that you will lose your license in seven days is the first step in the suspension process. Your suspension will depend on your case and criminal history, but an attorney can help you with this detail. You have 30 days to challenge the driver’s license suspension, which you will want to do so you don’t have to suffer through the loss of your license for the time decided by the state.
Fight Vehicle Forfeiture and Reclaim Your Vehicle
Most people don’t realize that getting charged with a DWI in Minnesota can lead to the forfeiture of your vehicle. Cases of first or second-degree DWIs allow law enforcement to take your vehicle. Whether you own it or not, any vehicle you were driving at the time of your arrest can get seized by the police.
Having your vehicle taken can be a huge loss for many people, so you must challenge it if it happens in your case. You and your lawyer have 60 days from the seizure of the vehicle to challenge it. Failing to do so means that you can lose rights to the vehicle.
Understand Your Deadlines
DWI cases have serious consequences, so it’s crucial to stay on top of all deadlines you must abide by, or you can lose your chance to challenge the individual penalties. An experienced attorney will be familiar with these guidelines and help you understand what must get done and when to abide by the deadlines. Understanding your rights and the legal process will help protect you and your interests.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and has been named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.