Effective August 1, 2017 in Minnesota, as an innocent owner you will now be able to challenge the forfeiture of your vehicle to the government in court and assert the “innocent owner defense” even where your spouse was the DWI driver of that vehicle
Minnesota DWI Law
What are some potentially effective countermeasures, then? If the window is not open, or open about an inch or so – that is plenty to pass the drivers license and insurance card through, but not enough to expose the odor of alcohol. You can refuse to do lower the window to force the officer to make a forceful command to do so, making it difficult for them to argue you did so voluntarily. When speaking to the police officer through the almost closed window, the driver can avoid eye contact. This prevents the officer from being able to observe the cliché “bloodshot watery eyes” they imagine come only with drinking. It’s a good idea to have the drivers license and insurance card in hand immediately after stopping, well before the police officer walks up to the vehicle to request those. They are in your hands already, which are in plain sight on the steering wheel. If asked “have you been drinking tonight?” you are not required to answer or answer responsively.
The government (police) can take your property at any time if suspicious, even if you are innocent.
The burden is on you, not them, to do something about getting a court to look at it.
If you do nothing, they keep your property, your money; and you lose; without any court or judge ever even seeing the case.
If you want to do something about it, you need cash for a lawyer and court filing fees. The law provides the government a free lawyer and requires them to pay no court filing fees.
The police agency that targeted you and took you down gets to keep 70% commission on the cash, valuables, your vehicle they seize from you. Could this affect their honesty about their investigation; or, the appearance of propriety?
In Minnesota, a person arrested on a police officer’s suspicion of DWI has the legal right to consult a lawyer prior to responding to a request by police to consent to chemical testing. A problem often arises due to the fact that most of these situations happen in the late night or early morning hours when most people – and most lawyers – are asleep. Most people who find themselves in this unwelcome circumstance never believed they would be, and may not know a criminal lawyer or DWI defense lawyer to call.
Sometimes they call any Minnesota lawyer they can think of, even though they might not be a criminal lawyer, or DWI defense attorney. This article is intended to help that lawyer.