Felony DUI Dismissed on Keller’s Appeal to Minnesota Supreme Court

Recently, attorney Max A. Keller of Keller Law Offices won the appeal of his client’s felony DUI/felony DWI conviction.  Mr. Keller’s felony DWI client was convicted of a felony DWI in Anoka County.  The County Attorney’s office, or prosecutor, argued that when the driver committed a DWI on May 12, 2007 that it was within 10 years of 3 prior DWI convictions.  In fact, the defendant had prior DWI convictions on March 23, 2004, December 15, 1998, and May 12, 1997.  Since the 2004 and 1998 convictions were obviously less then 10 years before the new offense on May 12, 2007, then the only questions was whether the driver’s new DWI on May 12, 2007 was “within 10 years” of his oldest DWI on May 12, 1997.  This question arises because the Felony DWI Statute defines a felony DWI as, among other things, a fourth offense “within 10 years” of 3 prior DWI convictions.

The prosecutor answered this question by claiming that May 12, 2007 was within 10 years of May 12, 1997, based on not counting the day of May 12, 1997, which would have to be counted since it is the fourth offense which makes the offense a felony DWI/felony DUI!  Mr. Keller did not represent the driver in the trial court until sentencing, and the trial court judge ruled against dismissing the felony and agreed with the State’s convoluted argument.  After his client was sentenced, Mr. Keller appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which agreed with the trial court and refused to throw out his client’s felony.  Mr. Keller then convinced the Minnesota Supreme Court to take the case, and finally justice was done.  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Mr. Keller’s argument was correct and that 10 years and a day was not 10 years.  Because Mr. Keller’s felony DWI client had committed his fourth DWI ten years *and a day* after his first DWI, the felony DWI charge was thrown out.

As a result of the DWI appeal victory, Mr. Keller’s client got the felony DWI off his record and he had no probation whatsoever.  Needless to say, Mr. Keller’s client was extremely happy. Mr. Keller is the only attorney known to have won a felony DWI appeal before the Minnesota Supreme Court.  So, if you are facing a felony DWI, you need experienced legal help that will aggressively push back against the prosecutor’s BS.  Call (952) 913-1421 now to get help before you are stuck with an unjust conviction.

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.