Although field sobriety testing on the roadside is voluntary, test refusal at the station is a crime. In fact, test refusal at the station is an automatic gross misdemeanor carrying a possible punishment of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine, even if this is your first DWI ever in your life!
But how can this be? How can something that is voluntary turn into a crime if you don't volunteer?
The reason is because you have given your "implied consent" to such testing when you obtain a driver's license. The moment you renew your license, you give law enforcement in Minnesota permission to conduct a test to see if you are under the influence of drugs, assuming they have probable cause to ask your for a test. Giving your consent, although implied, and then retracting that consent when placed in a testing situation is considered a crime and will result in your license being revoked for a year. It can then transform into a misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI charge of misdemeanor (test failure of below .20), and then a gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI charge. The lack of a warrant for these tests as well as the fact that people are coerced to "consent" by being threat of test refusal, is now under challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case called McNeely v. Missouri. Experienced DWI criminal defense lawyers like Max A. Keller of Keller Law Offices are challenging the legality of Minnesota DWI test failure crimes (testing .08 or more) and test refusal charges, both based on McNeely.
Test Refusal Defense
The law states that, within reason, you can contact an attorney prior to the conducting of any test. An experienced test refusal defense attorney can advise you on what you need to do and what the consequences may be. Even if you refuse to take the required tests, you may be arrested for suspected drunk driving and made to submit to a blood, urine or breath test later. Even if blood and urine tests show that you are not intoxicated, you will still have your license revoked for at least one year because of the test refusal.
If it is shown that you are intoxicated, then you will not only have the test refusal to worry about, but also a DWI charge to contend with. The test refusal can actually result in worse charges, so this is something you need to know before you refuse the test. Test refusal is not a way to get out of a drunk driving arrest.
Nevertheless, your criminal attorney will be able to advise and educate you so that you can make the right decisions in your case. An attorney provides you with information and guidance; make sure you are attentive and ask any questions that you may have. There is no such thing as an unnecessary question. An experienced criminal defense attorney, if consulted before the testing procedures at the police station are over, will also advise you that you have a right to get your own second test, or additional test, of your alcohol concentration to see if the police's test is actually accurate or not.
It is important that you do not wait another minute. Contact Max A. Keller before or after test refusal — you will need an attorney with a proven track record by your side. And if you are charged with DWI, you will need assistance in your DWI or DUI case as well. Remember that you do not have to face a judge on your own. You do have rights, so use them.
Arrested? We're Available 24/7
Only a professional and highly skilled DWI defense lawyer can make sure your case is properly addressed and handled efficiently. Our DWI attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest and the arresting officer, interview any important eyewitnesses, handle all court appearances and documents, and guide you through the criminal justice system to your freedom and peace of mind. If you have questions regarding your DWI charges, potential penalties and risks or strategies for defending your rights, call our law office at 952-466-6926 or use our online contact form. You have rights – we protect them.
Our Minneapolis DWI defense lawyer represents clients charged in criminal matters throughout the Twin Cities metro area and throughout the entire state of Minnesota, including Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Scott County, Dakota County, Washington County and Sherburne County. We also represent clients throughout Anoka, Andover, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Burnsville, Champlin, Chaska, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Edina, Eden Prairie, Lino Lakes, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Roseville, Woodbury and White Bear Lake.