Test Refusal Thrown Out For Client

Max Keller of Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys’ motion to dismiss a 3rd degree DUI Refusal in violation of Minnesota Statute 169A.20 Subdivision 2 was granted in Cottonwood County. A cottonwood county district court judge dismissed the refusal charge last month. Our client was charged with 3rd Degree DUI refusal and 4th Degree driving under the influence. The United States constitution and Minnesota Constitution holds that people have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, paper and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Minnesota Constitution also holds that warrantless searches and seizures are per se unreasonable, subject to recognized exceptions such as a search conducted pursuant to consent.

Our client did not consent to a urine or blood test. He was asked whether he would like to take a blood test and he said no. He was then asked whether he would agree to take a urine test and he also said no. The State was unable to provide the court with an exception to the request for the warrantless draw of blood. The state tried to argue the search incident to arrest exception to the search warrant requirement. The criminal defense attorneys at Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys pointed out and argued that the Trahan and Thompson Cases held that the request for a warrantless blood or urine test was unconstitutional. Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys was successful in their argument.

The Trahan case involved a driver who got pulled over and was arrested for a DUI. He was offered a blood or urine test and he agreed to provide a urine sample. The officer believed that his sample was tampered with an asked him to take a blood test which he refused. He was charged with refusal and appealed. Trahan argued that the test-refusal statute violated his right to due process by criminalizing his refusal to submit to a warrantless test of his blood. The appellate court held that the test refusal statute violated his right to substantive due process by criminalizing his refusal of an unconstitutional search. The court held that a warrantless blood test would not be allowed under the search incident to arrest exception and that there was nothing preventing the police from seeking a warrant before obtaining a blood sample.

In Thompson the driver was pulled over and arrested. The driver refused a blood and urine test and also argued to the appellate court that the test refusal statute violated his substantive due process rights under the constitution by criminalizing his refusal to submit to a warrantless blood and urine test. The court held that a warrantless urine test cannot be justified under the search incident to arrest exception. The court held that a urine test is more intrusive than a breath test.

Both the Trahan and Thompson decisions will be heard in the Minnesota Supreme Court in the first week of June this year. Stay tuned for updates on what the Minnesota Supreme Court will decide. If you have been charged with DUI test refusal, contact Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately. Contact Keller Law Office’s website at www.kellerlawoffices.com or call 952-913-1421 for a free consultation.

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.