A Burnsville woman who pled guilty to felony DWI test refusal and drug possession charges has been sentenced to just over four years in prison after pleading guilty to two of three charged felonies. One count of felony DWI was dismissed. In March, this blog discussed the case against the woman who was accused of drugged driving after a December 2010 traffic stop.
The woman reportedly had refused to submit a blood sample under Minnesota’s implied consent law on the night of her arrest and was charged with DWI. The woman’s charges were enhanced to the felony DWI charges based upon a Felony criminal vehicular operation conviction from 2005.
In the recent case, police claimed that they could smell marijuana in the car during the traffic stop, and that prescription pills were found during a search of the car. She was charged with felony driving under the influence of a controlled substance, felony DWI test refusal and felony possession of a controlled substance after her arrest.
In March, as this blog reported, the woman sought to take her case to a jury. The Dakota County prosecutor reportedly had said in March that he intended to seek a 10-year prison sentence against the woman. That 10-year sentence reportedly would have been what is known as an upward departure.
Experienced DWI defense lawyers know that Minnesota sentencing laws are complex, and sentences can vary greatly in individual cases based upon a variety of factors and arguments before the sentencing judge.
The lengthy prison sentence that Dakota County prosecutors planned to pursue would have been double the presumptive recommended sentence under Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, according to a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The woman faced sentencing at a hearing earlier this week and the judge imposed a sentence of four-years-three months in prison for the woman, significantly less than the prosecutor had wanted.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Burnsville woman gets prison for second DWI,” Maricella Miranda, May 2, 2012