Can I Get My DWI Reduced To Careless Driving In Minnesota?

Derek A. Patrin

Answered by:
Derek A. Patrin

Located in Champlin, MN
Meaney & Patrin, P.A.

Derek A. Patrin - Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Derek A. Patrin

Meaney & Patrin, P.A.
Champlin, MN
Phone: 612-351-6116
Fax: 763-753-6952

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Prosecutors have a vested interest in convicting you of DWI if you took a test that showed an alcohol concentration at or above 0.08. The biggest reason they want the DWI conviction on your record is to have it available to enhance a future DWI offense to a higher charge if you commit one. When they reduce your charge from DWI to Careless or Reckless Driving, the conviction can no longer be used for enhancement purposes in the future. (However, your related license revocation for testing at 0.08 or more can still be used for this purpose regardless of the outcome of the criminal case.)

With that being said, some prosecutors will consider reducing a DWI charge to Careless or Reckless Driving under certain circumstances. The lack of prior offenses, having a test result under 0.10, and the lack of bad driving conduct can all help to convince the prosecutor to do this. Being cooperative with law enforcement on the night of your arrest can also be helpful. It also helps to be proactive before you go to court by getting an alcohol assessment and complying with its recommendations of classes or treatment. However, even with all of these factors in your favor there are many prosecutors who still will not consider reducing your charge. Having an experienced DWI defense attorney with a reputation for litigating good issues can be a big boost to the chances of getting this reduction.

As for the judge, he or she has no power to reduce your charges. Only the prosecutor has that power, so having a good working relationship with the prosecutor is the biggest key to getting a DWI charge reduced to Careless Driving. Of course, as mentioned earlier, the enhanceability of the related license revocation on your driving record should also cause you concern. The prosecutor has no power over that part of the case, and neither does the judge. The only way to have that mark removed is to file a separate civil challenge to it in court within 30 days of your arrest. This is best done with a lawyer who specializes in DWI defense to make sure every opportunity is preserved and challenged to keep that mark off your driving record.

Meaney & Patrin, The DWI Guys

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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