While motorists pulled over by a cop for accusations of driving while impaired have the right to refuse a breath, blood or urine test, few have gotten little benefits out of it. Many Minnesotans have ended up in jail with the chemical test refusal being a part of their conviction despite other states having a more lenient approach to the matter.
However, that could all change thanks to a recent ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court. This ruling could allow those who face or already have DWI convictions to have more freedom in challenging a conviction for refusing the chemical test.
The case that changed it all
The police arrested a Minnesota man twice in the last decade for suspicion of DWI. He refused to take a chemical test to see if there was alcohol in his system in both instances and pleaded guilty for it. He eventually felt he was getting punishment for something that is no longer a crime after a 2016 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling stated that cops need a warrant for blood and urine tests.
He then filed a claim to fight the chemical test refusal convictions because the officers did not have warrants for his arrest in both scenarios. The Minnesota Supreme Court ultimately sided with the man and agreed that his arrests were unconstitutional.
What happens now?
The thousands of people who have convictions for refusing the chemical test within the last 20 years now have the ability to wipe it clean from their records. However, St. Cloud law officials believe the accused should not feel completely confident yet. A local lawyer believes it’s harder to challenge refusing a breathalyzer given that there are lower expectations compared to the other tests.
However, the lawyer also believes it will now be harder for prosecutors to justify cops using exigent circumstances, especially since the police should have easier access to search warrants now with the newer technology.
If you are arrested for refusing a chemical test and suspect that the officer did not have a warrant on them, contact a DWI criminal defense attorney to ensure that you receive no charges for the officer’s mistake. The Minnesota Supreme Court has made it clear that the police have little to no excuse to arrest you for refusing a blood test. Given how troublesome DWI convictions can be in your personal and professional life, you should try to erase as much potential charges as you can.