The DWI Process in Minnesota
Posted on Aug 20, 2013 11:49am PDT
If you were arrested for drunk driving in Anoka County, then you may be wondering what to expect from the court process. An Anoka County DWI lawyer at Brevik Law can guide you through the process and advise you on how to proceed. Here is a brief overview of what you may anticipate during the DWI process:
Stage One: Release from Custody
After you are arrested, the court will decide when you are to be released from custody. First time offenders who have committed a simple misdemeanor are usually released on their own recognizance, meaning they are released with the assumption that they will appear at the appointed hearing. If you have prior DWI convictions or caused an accident that involved injury or death, then the court may not release you until you appear for your hearing or post a bail for your release. Other factors that can affect the court's willingness to release you include a history of failing to appear for your arraignment hearing or reckless behavior such as excessive speeding, driving with a minor, or extremely high blood alcohol content.
Stage Two: Arraignment
Your first court appearance is known as an arraignment. At this initial hearing, the court will let you know what your charges are and will request that you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Those who plead guilty will then be sentenced, yet those who plead not guilty will proceed to trial.
Stage Three: Pre-Trial Conferences & Motions
If you have plead not-guilty, then your case will then go to a pre-trial conference. At this hearing, you will be given an opportunity to apprise the judge of any new issues and negotiate a plea bargain. You may also request that the prosecution give your attorney any relevant information and evidence. During this period, the prosecution and your DWI lawyer will have a chance to file pre-trial motions. Your legal representative can request that certain evidence be dismissed. Sometimes, if the evidence is important, this can allow the prosecution's case to fall apart! Your lawyer may also have an opportunity to cross-examine any law enforcement officer that dealt with your case.
Stage Four: Trials
Once your case proceeds to trial, you will usually be tried by a jury of 6 people. The prosecution will get the first chance to speak, and then your defense attorney can defend you. If you would like to testify, you will have the opportunity at this point. If you do not want to take the stand; however, the state cannot compel you to do so. The jury will then decide your verdict and the judge will impose your sentence. If you are found guilty, then you will have the chance to appeal to a higher court.
If you have been charged with DWI in Minnesota, then please don't wait to contact Brevik Law! Penalties for drunk driving can include incarceration, fines, license suspensions, and more. Our
Anoka County lawyer can make sure that you have the defense you need.
Call to schedule your free initial consultation!