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

Knowing how to choose a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, can help you hire a lawyer who will prepare an effective defense strategy and fight for the best result from your case. One of the crucial tips when selecting a criminal defense lawyer is to vet those with relevant experience in cases like yours. You can only do this when you thoroughly understand the charges you are facing.
People anticipating an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, might ask, “What is the role of a defense attorney during an arrest?” A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options, ensure the police follow the rules, and protect your rights. The attorney will build a solid defense, talk to the prosecutor, and fight for your best interests.
Knowing when to hire a criminal lawyer for your case in Minnesota can help protect your constitutional rights and turn the odds in your favor. You should retain a criminal lawyer immediately after learning you are under investigation, get arrested, or are charged with a crime. Seasoned criminal lawyers understand the criminal justice system, can build a winning defense strategy, and aggressively push for a positive outcome of your case.