A Burnsville woman reportedly is taking her Minnesota felony DWI case before a jury in April. Anyone facing DWI charges, whether the accused is facing a first-time misdemeanor offense or the person is charged with a higher level of DWI, has the right to take the state’s case before a jury. The right to a jury trial is but one of many vital constitutional rights that defendants have to protect all of our rights under our system of justice.
The current Dakota County case against the Burnsville woman includes allegations that the woman was driving while impaired. Reports suggest that the woman refused to submit to a blood or urine test on the night of her arrest, which was Dec. 24, 2010.
Police claim that the woman had run through a stop sign, swerved and then stopped in the intersection before continuing forward. A police officer pulled the woman over, apparently for rolling too far into the controlled intersection before stopping.
The officer claims that he could smell marijuana in the car. He also says that he found two prescription bottles, with the labels scratched off, containing oxycodone in the center console. The woman reportedly told the officer she had a prescription for the medication. The woman was arrested and refused to submit to the chemical test.
As this blog has previously discussed, test refusal under Minnesota’s DWI and implied consent laws is itself considered a crime. However, the woman is facing a felony level offense based upon allegations that she has a prior felony DWI conviction on her record, dating from 2005 based upon allegations arising in Inver Grove Heights. As this blog has explained, a Minnesota law allows prosecutors to seek felony DWI charges against a person who has a prior felony DWI conviction on his or her record.
The current felony charges against the woman also include fifth-degree controlled substance crime allegations for alleged unlawful drug possession.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Burnsville woman convicted in 2005 fatalities is again accused of DWI,” Maricella Miranda, Mar. 14, 2012