A ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court last month means some individuals convicted of DUI in Minnesota may be able to have their case reexamined and even dismissed.
In Minnesota, individuals can be charged with a crime if they refuse a breath, blood or urine chemical test if they are suspected of driving under the influence. However, in the case of Johnson v. State of Minnesota, the state Supreme Court ruled that due to the intrusive nature of a blood or urine test, police must get a warrant or permission from the suspect before forcing them to submit to one of these tests.
Individuals who pleaded guilty to refusing a urine or blood test can now challenge their conviction and related convictions based on the new findings.
Getting A Conviction Reversed
Avery Appelman said the change won’t impact the majority of DUI or test refusal convictions, but there are still plenty of people who should consider having their case reexamined.
“It is still going to be difficult to have a conviction overturned even in light of the new holdings by the Minnesota Supreme Court, but some cases should definitely be reexamined,” said Appelman. “If you were charged for not taking a blood or urine test, consider giving us a call and we’ll see what we can do for you.”
Although the change won’t affect all that many past cases, Appelman says the state Supreme Court got it right in helping to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.
“Overall this is a good change moving forward,” said Appelman. “It ensures that police need to get a warrant in order to force a person to take this intrusive test, which is what was intended when the 4th Amendment was adopted.”
The new law is more likely to affect individuals who are suspected to have something other than alcohol in their system, because you can still be charged with a crime for refusing a breath test. The court does not feel that these tests are intrusive in nature, and thus a warrant is not required by police when asking for a breath sample, so refusal of this test is still a crime. However, if a breath test came up empty and police demanded a urine or blood test without obtaining a warrant, you may be able to contest the conviction.
If you need help challenging an old DUI or fighting a recent traffic citation, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Appelman Law Firm.