Protection of home defends Hennepin County man from DWI charge

During the month of December, the holidays are upon us. It is not uncommon for there to be holiday parties with holiday drinks. Along with the holiday festivities, however, comes an increased presence of law enforcement on Minnesota streets. It is important to never forget that a person has invaluable rights to protect himself from the personal and professional damage of a drunk driving charge.

A man who is well-known as a result of serving his community in Rogers, MN is an example of someone whose professional reputation could have been significantly affected by a reckless DWI conviction. He was arrested by Hennepin County police last December but recently got some good news regarding his case.

According to a local news report, the Rogers fire official was followed home by a woman last winter. The woman reportedly believed that the suspect was driving drunk, though any evidence she had to go on was merely what she saw. Nevertheless, she called police to report to the suspect’s home out of suspicion that he was driving while drunk.

By the time police had arrived to the DWI suspect’s house, he wasn’t in his car anymore. He wasn’t driving. He was inside the privacy of his own home. Law enforcement went to the door and reportedly got a child in the house to let them in to investigate. The police did not have a warrant or the DWI suspect’s permission to enter the house.

As with a standard drunk driving investigation, the police in this case subjected the suspect to sobriety tests. The difference in this Minnesota case, however, is that the investigation took place in the man’s home – a point that proved effective in defending the respected Rogers official from the possible criminal charge.

Last Tuesday, a Hennepin County judge reportedly ruled that any evidence that officials collected from the defendant after they entered his home invalid. Minnesota courts protect a person’s home vigilantly, as they should, and the judge, therefore, found that the police didn’t have authority to go inside the suspect’s home.

They had no warrant; they weren’t in pursuit of him before they arrived to the home. There were no exigent, dangerous circumstances that needed emergency attention inside the home. In this case, Minnesota law defended not only a person’s privacy in their home, but it defended a man and his family from the effects of a possible DWI conviction.

Source “DWI Charge Against Rogers Fire Official Dismissed” Gail Brown, 26 Jul. 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.