Man stopped for DWI now faces nine felony assault charges

Police claim a 26-year-old man from Akeley, Minnesota, resisted arrest during a DWI stop early Saturday morning. The incident allegedly occurred at roughly 1:30 a.m. in Hubbard County. News reports do not indicate why a state trooper originally decided to pull the man over. However, law enforcement claims the traffic stop grew more serious after the suspect did poorly on field sobriety tests.

Prosecutors say in a criminal complaint that the driver resisted arrest after the field sobriety tests. The complaint alleges the trooper attempted to place the driver in handcuffs on suspicion of DWI charges when he reached for the trooper’s Taser. Law enforcement claims the man then hit the trooper over the head several times with the Taser. The trooper says the driver pulled the Taser trigger, but the safety on the device was engaged so it did not fire.

The driver then tried to reach for the trooper’s handgun, according to the criminal complaint. Backup officers reportedly arrived and the driver reportedly fled the scene. Law enforcement claims the man tried to ram two squads with his car during a police chase, but the driver then crashed his vehicle. Officers say they used mace as they attempted to place the driver into a squad car after he was apprehended. Police claim the man kicked one of the officers in the chest during the incident.

The man reportedly had a prior DWI, dating from 2008. Minnesota law looks back ten years for prior convictions. Any prior DWI convictions entered within ten years of current allegations can be used to enhance a current DWI charge.

The Akeley man, however, now faces more serious charges than only the DWI allegations. Based upon the police reports, prosecutors are seeking nine counts of assault, including first-degree assault related to the alleged events surrounding the DWI investigation.

Source: CBS News, “Trooper making DWI arrest in Minn. is beaten with her own Taser,” Barry Leibowitz, Oct. 26, 2011

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.