Alleged Minnesota ice fishing mishap leads to ATV DWI charges

It certainly has been an unusual year in terms of weather in Minnesota. The recent precipitation has provided many parts of the state with at least a dusting of snow, or more. It is important for Minnesotans to remember that Minnesota’s laws prohibiting driving while impaired extend beyond allegations involving cars, SUVs and other traditional vehicles.

Earlier this winter season, this blog reported a story of a snowmobile DWI arrest in Farmington that involved a man and a sled. Minnesota DWI laws essentially include any type of motor vehicle anywhere in the state. The laws do not necessarily only apply to cars on the state’s roads. The November story involved a snowmobile. More recently, an apparent mishap on a Minnesota lake has now resulted in ATV-related DWI charges for a man in Meeker County.

Authorities say they received a report of unsafe conditions on a lake near Litchfield, a community approximately 75 miles west of Minneapolis. The Meeker County Sheriff’s office says that law enforcement officers, including a conservation officer from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, were dispatched to Greenleaf Lake where an all terrain vehicle and an ice house apparently broke through thin ice. Greenleaf Lake is located between Litchfield and Hutchinson.

Authorities claim the ATV had broken through the ice, and plummeted to the bottom of the lake, while the fish house had sunk approximately 25 percent into the semi-frozen lake. After investigating the ice fishing incident, authorities arrested a 45-year-old Hutchinson man on suspicion of DWI, apparently related to his alleged use of the ATV.

Source: West Central Tribune, “Man arrested for DWI after ATV falls through ice on Greenleaf Lake,” Jan. 17, 2012

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.