Driving under the influence can certainly be dangerous and illegal if one is over the legal limit. With that being said, many drivers are unaware of all the ways they can be charged with a DUI and what the repercussions may be. Some people believe you can only get a DUI if you’re driving an automobile, or that the car has to be moving for you to be charged – neither of which is true!
If you’ve be led to believe these myths, you could be setting yourself up for a DUI charge and a world of hurt. Don’t let yourself fall victim to misinformation; read on to learn about the most common misconceptions Minnesota drivers have when it comes to DUIs.
Myth #1: Field sobriety tests and BAC tests can’t be disputed
You may think that these types of tests are highly scientific and therefore can’t be disputed. In reality, field sobriety tests and BAC tests can both be inaccurate; this has been proven in court numerous times by DUI attorneys. The instruments used to administer the tests can be improperly calibrated, or law enforcement can miss a crucial step of the process when administering the tests.
Myth #2: You can’t be charged with a DUI if you’re not actually driving
In Minnesota, you can be charged with a DUI even if you’re just sitting in your car. Attempting to drive, sitting or sleeping in a vehicle with the engine running, or sitting in the driver’s seat with the car turned off while intoxicated can all be enough to land a DUI charge. The prosecutors only need to prove that you were in control of the vehicle while intoxicated at the time of your arrest. This phrasing is fairly vague and will often be left up to the court’s interpretation.
Myth #3: You can only be charged with a DUI if you’re in a car
Many Minnesotans enjoy recreational vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs, and boats. But before you hop behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, it’s important that you know you can be charged with a DUI if you’ve been drinking. When it comes to your blood alcohol level, the law in Minnesota does not fluctuate at all based on the type of motor vehicle you’re driving. The legal penalties for drinking and driving can be just as severe whether you’re behind the wheel of a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, or all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
Myth #4: It’s not possible to successfully fight a DUI charge
A DUI charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by prosecutors, just like any other criminal charge. Depending on what type of DUI you’re facing and what the actual facts of the case are, this may be very difficult for the prosecutors to do; sometimes the charge just doesn’t match the crime – or lack of crime – committed. In addition, errors made by police officers or flawed BAC tests can mean an innocent person is charged with DUI.
A Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer is important to have on your side because he or she will ensure you receive only the ruling that is fair given your circumstances. In some cases, this will mean that you do successfully fight an inaccurate DUI charge.
Myth #5: A DUI is a minor offense
Some DUIs may be relatively “minor” in that you don’t have to serve significant jail time if convicted, but that doesn’t mean a DUI conviction won’t affect your life negatively. First, it’s expensive to deal with the implications of a DUI conviction. Having one on your record can also affect job prospects and how you’re treated by the law in the future. If this is not your first DUI or there are aggravating factors, the charges may be even more serious. You should always take a DUI charge seriously and contact a Minnesota DUI law firm for assistance.
Myth #6: You don’t need to hire a lawyer to win your DUI case
You may think, “This is my first DUI. I can easily represent myself without paying an attorney.” Or, even if it’s not your first DUI, you’re probably thinking, “Why would I spend money on an attorney? If my case is serious enough, I can just work with a public defender.” While it is true that you may have the option to defend yourself in your DUI case, it’s not recommended to anyone who wants to successfully fight their charges. Without the help of a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney, you face fines, jail time, driver’s license reinstatement fees, and more.
If you’re searching for a Minnesota DUI attorney with a proven track record of achieving favorable case outcomes, look no further than Sieben Edmunds Miller. Our attorneys have helped countless Minnesotans navigate their DUI charges, and we handle DUI cases all across both Minnesota and Wisconsin, too! Contact us to get the representation you or your loved one deserves. Give us a call at 651-323-2464.