Prosecutors formally charge Mankato anchor with DWI

Alcohol testing under Minnesota’s implied consent law has seen a number of challenges in recent years. This blog has reported the issues challenging the Intoxilyzer machines that are currently under review in the Minnesota Supreme Court. Last year, this blog discussed the issue of whether police can request a urine sample without a warrant under the implied consent laws and use the test results in the criminal case involving driving while impaired charges.

Last month, a Mankato news anchor was arrested on suspicion of DWI in Minnesota. The woman has now been formally charged after the test results of a urine test were returned. Prosecutors claim that the urine test revealed the news anchor had an alcohol reading of 0.31 percent.

Whether that urine sample fairly reflects the level of alcohol in the woman’s system may be an area of dispute for experts. However, due to the high alcohol level in the sample, prosecutors are seeking a gross misdemeanor level DWI charge, among the three separate counts filed against the woman.

Minnesota law allows prosecutors to seek a gross misdemeanor charge based upon allegations that a breath, blood or urine test taken within two hours of driving shows a result of 0.20 percent or more on a first-time DWI arrest. In addition to the enhanced charge, a person faces more strict consequences under Minnesota’s implied consent laws for elevated alcohol levels.

This blog discussed last summer the change in Minnesota law, making a 0.16 percent BAC reading a friction point under the implied consent law. The 0.16 percent reading may expose a driver to a lengthier implied consent loss of license, and may also lead to the need for a person to install an ignition interlock device on his or her car.

It is important to speak with an experienced DWI and implied consent attorney as soon as possible after a DWI arrest. Minnesota law allows prosecutors to delay a criminal complaint after an arrest and the criminal case may not be placed on the court calendar for some time after the charges are filed.

Meanwhile, a driver has a limited amount of time to challenge the implied consent license revocation, and that timeline may run out before a person first appears for arraignment in the DWI case.

Source: KARE 11, “Mankato news anchor charged with DWI,” Jan. 31, 2012

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and 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. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.