DWI Prior Convictions and License Revocations
In Minnesota if you have a prior conviction for a DWI or related offense in the past ten years it makes your new offense much more serious. This is referred to as “enhancing” the conviction. Although that may make sense Minnesota also treats prior Implied Consent revocations the same as a prior conviction. In other words, if you had a prior arrest for DWI that was reduced to a careless driving but your license was still revoked you will be treated just like the prior incident was a DWI. This is even true for people who went to court and had the entire criminal incident dismissed but did not successfully fight the loss of their driver’s license. There are people then, who are treated as second, third or fourth offenses who may have never been convicted of a DWI.
An experienced Minnesota DWI Lawyer should be able to tell you that a collateral attack on a prior DWI conviction or revocation is a strategy to reduce the impact of the prior convictions or revocations on the penalties of the present DWI case. A knowledgeable defense attorney, through aggressive representation, can attack the earlier convictions or revocations and reduce the severity of the charges in the present case.
Prior Incidents- the initial steps
A defense attorney dealing with a DWI case with prior convictions or revocations should ideally begin by retrieving a copy of the driving record. If your prior incident was a revocation without a DWI conviction there is a good likelihood that a successful attack can be made. If there was a conviction for DWI but it was from a state other than Minnesota there is also a possibility of keeping that prior conviction from enhancing your current offense. It is even possible for a person who has a prior DWI conviction within the past 10 years from Minnesota to stop that conviction from being used to enhance the current DWI.
In order to keep the prior incident from being used against you in the new case your attorney must show that the prior conviction or revocation was not constitutionally received. The state must show a valid waiver in order to use the conviction or revocation. This is easier with prior revocations because many people did not make a knowing waiver of their right to contest the prior revocation and there is no court record of the waiver because it is waived merely by the passage of time. In the context of a prior conviction the state must show a valid waiver of the right to counsel or that the person had counsel. In some states there is no right to counsel and therefore the necessary waiver does not exist. The state must also show a proper waiver of the rights to trial for a guilty plea. If the prior conviction was from Minnesota and there was no attorney representing you on the prior conviction the state may not be able to prove the proper waiver.
Minneapolis DWI Lawyer That Can Help You
Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm has significant experience successfully arguing against enhancement for many of its clients. Several Felony DWI cases have been reduced to less serious Gross Misdemeanor DWI convictions due to successful attacks on the prior revocations and convictions. Numerous Gross Misdemeanors have been reduced to less serious Gross Misdemeanors carrying a much less sever sentence, while other have been reduced all the way to misdemeanor convictions. In fact, the lawyers at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm routinely field calls from attorneys at other law firms asking us questions about the intricacies of the arguments we make attacking enhancement. Do not hire a lawyer who will need to call us to find out how to effectively defend you. The attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm have triumphantly disputed prior convictions in a number of criminal cases. The attorneys at the Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm are extremely knowledgeable and experienced and effectively handle negotiations and litigation with or without prior convictions.
To find a competent, honest and communicative defense attorney is the first step in achieving the desirable results in a case. A sincere DWI attorney can guide you through the various steps of the case with ease, and hence can provide you with the best possible options. Especially if you have been convicted previously or had your license revoked under the implied consent law, do not hesitate to engage the services of the our Minneapolis DWI Lawyers. We can help you, so call us now at 612-564-4372 !