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DWI cases trigger more than simply going through criminal court. Receiving a citation, or formal complaint, listing your DWI charges can be awfully disheartening to read. Worries about your criminal record, jail time, and what might happen can be overwhelming.

Adding further stress to the situation is wondering what is going to happen to your driver’s license. In breath test cases, the police officer is supposed to hand you a Notice and Order of Revocation stating when your license is going to be taken away, if you test at the police department registered at least .08. In blood and urine test cases, the police officer has to wait for the test results to come back from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). Once they return, if a schedule I or II controlled substance is present, they will notify the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS will then in turn mail you a letter stating that your license will be revoked on a certain day, because a controlled substance was present in your blood or urine sample. You then get sixty days to challenge your driver’s license being taken away.

If your DWI case involved a blood or urine sample, then you should make sure law enforcement read all the proper advisories. In any case, you should make sure the police did their job correctly. But issues often arise in blood and urine testing in DWI cases. One such issue is whether the officer told you that refusing to submit to a blood or urine test pursuant to a warrant is a crime. Minnesota law mandates this.

Recently, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed a Pipestone County District Court’s ruling on this very issue in a license hearing case in Jensen v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety. The officer failed to inform the driver that refusing to submit to a blood test pursuant to a warrant is a crime; and the court of appeals directed the district court to rescind the driver’s license revocation. Even though there were other avenues to revoke the driver’s license in this case, DPS did not use them at the time. Additionally, this is not an issue that is likely to be successful in criminal court. The court of appeals addressed this issue in State v. Mike and determined that although this statute applies to criminal cases, it does not justify suppression of the blood test results. Regardless, taking a close look at the procedures in every case is incredibly important. The laws are frequently changing. Not only by the legislature, but by the courts as well.

Robert H. Ambrose is a criminal defense lawyer and DWI lawyer  in Minnesota. Super Lawyers named him a Rising Star for the past four years; and the National Trial Lawyer’s Organization named him a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer the past six years. DWI Lawyer Woodbury; Criminal Defense Attorney Minnesota; and Minnesota Criminal Appeals Attorney.

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