Wednesday we began a discussion of a recent arrest in Rosemount, Minnesota, where Dakota County officials are accusing an off-duty South Saint Paul police officer of several charges, including driving while impaired. The ordeal began with a motorist reporting an alleged erratic driver on Highway 3. An officer responded to the area and apparently found a car matching the description of the car and rammed the car at least twice in Rosemount. Police say that the driver was an off-duty cop.
Ultimately, the man was arrested on suspicion of felony fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle, criminal damage to property charges and misdemeanor drunk driving. Authorities claim that the man measured above the legal limit to drive in an evidentiary breath test at the Rosemount police station after he was taken into custody.
The man was processed at the jail and released later Tuesday on $30,000 bond.
From time-to-time, a person accused of driving while impaired in Minnesota may face a slate of other charges based upon events surrounding the driving conduct. Fleeing police in a motor vehicle is a felony level offense, which carries a maximum statutory sentence of three years in prison.
The law concerning fleeing in a car is rather broad, and may even include allegations that a driver had reason to know that a police officer was attempting to make a traffic stop and the driver turned off the lights on the car trying to hide from police, according to the statute.
Criminal damage to property charges may vary greatly depending on the cost of the alleged damage and the nature of the allegations. A first-degree criminal damage to property charge, for instance, is a felony-level charge carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Any person accused of DWI may wish to speak with a Minneapolis-St. Paul DWI defense lawyer. But, when the stakes get higher with other charges tacked on, it is important for a person to consult with legal counsel to protect rights in the face of a string of criminal charges.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, “South St. Paul officer charged with DWI while off duty,” Nick Ferraro, June 14, 2013; Minnesota Statutes section 609.487, Minnesota Statutes section 609.595