Racial Profiling Can Get Your DWI Charges Dropped [infographic]

When racial profiling is the basis of a DWI or any other type of arrest, charges for that offense may be dropped. Racial profiling is illegal and a violation of a person’s Constitutional rights.

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What is Racial Profiling?

Racial profiling involves stopping, searching, or arresting a person based solely on their race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, or gender. It’s against the law and a violation of an individual’s Constitutional rights. Law enforcement is allowed to describe a crime suspect by his/her race and they can stop a person who matches that description. However, they cannot legally stop, search, detain or arrest a person simply because of his or her race.

DWI offenses often result in racial profiling complaints by drivers who are stopped at DWI checkpoints and roadblocks. African Americans, people of Latino heritage, and people of Middle Eastern descent commonly complain about getting singled out in traffic stops due to racial profiling. They claim they are often stopped, searched, arrested without a warrant, and taken to jail because of their race, while other drivers are quickly waived through checkpoints and roadblocks without getting checked by police officers.

In 2013, an Arizona black man, Jessie Thornton, was arrested and charged with a DWI in Phoenix, even though his breath-alcohol test showed no alcohol consumption. The charges were dismissed by the court two months later based on a blood alcohol reading of 0.00 at the time of the arrest and claims of racial profiling and harassment by local law enforcement. Thornton filed a $500,000 claim against the city for emotional distress and violation of his civil rights. Thornton claimed he had been stopped on 10 previous occasions and ticketed four different times by the same police department for traffic offenses that he did not commit.

A racially motivated DWI arrest can result in charges getting dropped. Police officers are required to have a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime was committed or that someone is in danger to make a traffic stop. If racial profiling is involved, the entire case can be thrown out of court. A DWI attorney can file a motion to suppress the evidence. Racial profiling is illegal and can negate any evidence that is brought to prove guilt. In DWI offenses, if racial profiling is involved, the law is on the side of the driver.

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

One of the questions people facing a criminal charge ask is: How long does a criminal case take? The timeline of your criminal case in Minnesota will depend on the nature and severity of the alleged crime, the speed of the criminal justice system, the duration of the trial, and whether an appeal will be necessary. Delays at any stage of the criminal justice process may impact how long your criminal case will last. Generally, however, misdemeanor cases may resolve within weeks or months, while felony cases may linger in courts for up to a year.
People accused, arrested, or charged with a crime often ask, “How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost in Minneapolis, MN?” It is difficult to accurately determine how much a criminal defense lawyer will cost. The reason is that numerous factors impact the cost of legal representation in criminal matters. These factors include the type and severity of criminal charges, the lawyer’s experience and reputation, required time and effort, and geographical location.
Social media can have legal implications, particularly when it comes to criminal cases. Since its advent, social media has become a powerful tool for communication and self-expression. As of 2023, an estimated 4.9 billion people worldwide use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to share thoughts, experiences, and moments from their lives. However, in this digital age, social media activity can be used as evidence in criminal cases in Minneapolis and elsewhere.