Felony Drug Charge Dropped Against Minnesotan in DWI Plea Deal

A 22-year-old man from Northwestern Minnesota recently entered a plea deal to resolve criminal charges. The young man was charged with two counts of misdemeanor driving while impaired and one count of felony drug possession. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he may be able to avoid time behind bars.

The allegations arose on the Fourth of July in Detroit Lakes. Authorities claim that the Moorhead, Minnesota man accelerated toward a crosswalk in Detroit Lakes around 7:30 in the evening. An officer claims that pedestrians were present and had to stop at the intersection to avoid being struck.

Generally, Minnesota law requires drivers to “stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian” at an intersection or in a marked crosswalk. However the same statute does not allow pedestrians to enter the road when it is too late for a driver to make the stop.

In the Detroit Lakes incident, the police officer made a traffic stop and says that the driver showed signs of impairment. The driver later measured 0.19 percent blood alcohol content when tested for alcohol, according to police. The man’s car was impounded at the time of the DWI arrest. Police reportedly searched the vehicle and claim to have found small amounts of pot and cocaine in the vehicle.

The man pled guilty last week to a misdemeanor DWI charge. Prosecutors reportedly dropped the felony drug possession charge and the second count of DWI in exchange for the guilty plea.

The Moorhead man was placed on supervised probation for up to two years and ordered to pay fines and fees. At sentencing, the judge stayed a 90 day jail sentence. That means– if the man is able to successfully follow the terms and conditions of his probation, he will not be required to serve any of the 90 day jail sentence.


  • Detroit Lakes Online, “Woman gets probation for DWI charge,” Nov. 2, 2012
  • Minnesota Revisor of Statutes, Minn. Stat. Section 169.21, 2012

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-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. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.