Northfield man sentenced on Lakeville gross misdemeanor DWI charge

Last summer, a Lakeville Police officer says that he drove past a Lakeville sports bar several times while on patrol. The officer says that he noticed a man sitting in a green Jeep parked in the bar’s parking lot on three separate occasions as the cop drove past the bar.

Around 11:30 that night, the officer claims that he saw a green Jeep making a slow left-hand turn at an intersection near the bar and pull up to a dead end, where the driver allegedly stopped and turned off the headlights to the Jeep. The Lakeville officer says that driver turned the headlights back on, and the officer pulled his squad behind the stopped vehicle.

The officer approached the car and apparently spoke to the driver. Law enforcement says that the driver said that he pulled over to make a phone call because he did not think that he should be driving. Ultimately, the driver, a 47-year-old Northfield resident, was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired.

The man appeared I Dakota County District Court December 20 and pled guilty to a gross misdemeanor DWI charge. Authorities say that the man had previously been arrested for DWI in 2008. In that case, the driver reportedly entered into a plea deal and pled guilty to careless driving. That DWI incident was apparently used to enhance the current charge to a gross misdemeanor offense.

Generally, Minnesota’s DWI laws allow prosecutors to seek a third-degree, gross misdemeanor charge against a driver under a variety of circumstances. One avenue for the enhanced charge involves a prior DWI conviction, or a prior impaired driving related loss of license event.

In the recent Lakeville case, the Northfield man pled guilty to a gross misdemeanor DWI charge in December. The judge sentenced the man to one year in the county jail. That sentenced reportedly was stayed to two years of supervised probation. The judge ordered the man two serve 10 days on electronic home monitoring. He will be required to serve 240 hours of community service, pay fees and fines and comply with the terms of probation under the DWI sentence.

Source: Lakeville Patch, “UPDATE: Lakeville North Athletic Director Pleads Guilty to DWI,” Betsy Sundquist, Jan. 3, 2013

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.

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