Wright County deputy accused of CVO after fender bender

A deputy from Wright County is accused of driving while impaired and one count of gross-misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation after he was involved in a car accident in Monticello, Minnesota, on August 5. The Minnesota Highway Patrol claims that the deputy was off-duty when he rear-ended another car. Law enforcement says that a person in the other car suffered a small cut to his ear in the crash. Troopers think that the off-duty deputy was impaired at the evening of the accident.

Typically, gross misdemeanor or felony drunk driving charges refer to allegations where a driver is charged with driving while impaired with prior DWI convictions or impaired driving losses of driving privileges on his or her record (the statute describes several variations that may support a first-degree DWI offense). When a person is accused of an alcohol-related accident involving injury to another, prosecutors may choose to pursue criminal vehicular operation charges, which is separate from the DWI statutes.

Notably, a person can face CVO charges in Minnesota with an alcohol reading that registers below 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration if law enforcement alleges that the driver also was driving negligently.

But, the law allows prosecutors to seek CVO charges without the additional showing of negligence based upon an alleged blood, breath or urine test showing an alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more (different provisions also cover drugged driving accidents).

CVO charges are a serious matter. The potential penalties can range from a maximum sentence of up to a year behind bars to up to a decade in prison if the alleged drunk driving accident caused the death of a person. With the stakes high, seeking the advice and assistance of legal counsel as soon as possible can help a person to protect his or her rights.

Source: KSTP, “Wright County Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with DWI,” Leslie Dyste, Aug. 8, 2013

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

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
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.