Golden Valley man pulled over for speeding faces DWI and drug charges

A Minnesota State trooper says that he clocked a car driving six miles over the speed limit on 394 near Penn Avenue November 26. The driver reportedly took the Penn Avenue North exit, but the trooper claims that the driver failed to use a turn signal before exiting the freeway. The alleged minor traffic infractions pale in comparison to the gross misdemeanor DWI and the felony drug charges that the driver now faces after the so-called routine traffic stop.

The trooper claims that he could smell alcohol during the stop. Bloodshot, watery eyes reportedly also were among the trooper’s alleged observations. The trooper says that the driver did poorly on field sobriety tests and the 55-year-old Golden Valley, Minnesota man was arrested on suspicion of DWI. Hennepin County authorities have charged the man with a gross misdemeanor DWI charge.

However, while at the Hennepin County Jail, prosecutors claim that the Golden Valley man emptied his pockets as he was being checked into the jail. As he turned over his personal belongings during the booking process, authorities claim that the man pulled out a plastic bag containing 0.15 grams of crack cocaine. Hennepin County officials charged the man with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

The drug charge carries a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Gross misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $3,000 fine. The Golden Valley man was later released on $30,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Hennepin County District Court in late January.

Source: Golden Valley Patch, “Golden Valley Man, 55, Charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine,” Betsy Sundquist, Dec. 11, 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

People facing criminal charges in Minnesota often ask, “Can you defend yourself in court?” You can represent yourself in court when charged with a crime. Self-representation, however, is not typically in the accused's best interests, even if courts allow it.
Parents whose children have been arrested or accused of committing a heinous crime might wonder, “Can a minor be charged with a felony?” A minor aged 14 years or older but below 18 years may face felony charges in Minnesota.
People accused of or under investigation for assault might ask, “What are the charges for assault?” Minnesota has five levels of assault charges. First-degree assault is the most serious offense, and a conviction often results in the most severe penalties, like long prison time and hefty fines.