If you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI you will have an important decision to make, whether or not to consent to testing in a DWI case. In short, it is usually best to take the test. Here is why. Under Minnesota’s DWI laws, refusing to submit to the test in itself is a gross misdemeanor. If it is your first DWI and there are no aggravating factors, the underlying DWI is considered a misdemeanor. As its own crime, refusing to take the test is often very easy for a prosecutor to prove at trial. In addition to the consequences of the criminal DWI case, your license will be revoked for a period of one year.
When you are arrested in Minnesota for DWI, you will be given an opportunity to contact a DWI attorney for a consultation. But, because refusal is a crime, a Minnesota DWI attorney is not permitted to instruct clients to refuse the test. In other words, criminal defense attorneys are not allowed to counsel a client to commit a crime. However, it is still best to take advantage of the opportunity to contact a Minnesota DWI lawyer. A DWI attorney can advise you on what possible consequences you are facing and what steps you can take to ensure the reliability of the blood alcohol test. For instance, an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney might recommend privately obtaining a separate test at your own expense.
Our Minneapolis and St. Paul DWI lawyers understand that being arrested for DWI can be scary and the criminal justice system is complex. Use the time you are given to contact an criminal defense attorney for advice one how to conduct yourself, how long you can expect to be held, and what steps you should take once released from jail.
Minnesota’s Laws on Refusing to Submit to DWI Testing
Under the law in Minnesota, each driver is required to submit to a chemical test, whether a blood, breath or urine test, when they are pulled over for DWI. This law is called, “implied consent.” If you are driving in a motor vehicle or boat, you automatically consent to taking a chemical test to determine your level of blood alcohol content (BAC). Another circumstance where you are required to submit to a chemical test is if you are involved in an motor vehicle accident that resulted in either property damage, injury, or death.
This test must be taken within a period of two hours of when you were last driving or operating the boat. Another thing you should be aware of is that the officer has the right to choose which test or tests you take.
Another possible requirement is that of the preliminary breath test. This works in a similar way to a field sobriety test. You are not required to take this test, but refusal could result in another set of penalties.
If an officer has requested that you take one of these tests, he or she will need to inform you that based on the state’s laws, you are required to take the test and that a refusal could result in a criminal charge.
Call a Minnesota DWI Lawyer
Minnesota DWI laws are constantly changing. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DWI in Minnesota, contact a Minnesota DWI attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. The Minneapolis, MN criminal defense attorneys at Brockton D. Hunter, P.A. are available to for a free consultation 24 hours a day 365 days a year.