I defended a case recently in Mille Lacs County, Minnesota where my client was charged with a felony DWI offense. This was a 42 month prison commit case upon conviction as he had a prior felony DWI conviction from 13 years ago. The case was weak from a defense standpoint. Our best option was to position the client as a person who was capable of rehabilitation in a probationary setting. Under Minnesota law, you can file a motion for a “dispositional departure” from the presumptive 42 month prison commit by establishing “substantial and compelling circumstances” that this individual was “particularly amenable to treatment in a probationary setting.” In other words, there was no need to send him to prison if he could be rehabilitated while on probation.
What did we need to establish? Treatment. Successful treatment and records to prove it. Employment. Full-time with stellar recommendations from his employer. AA attendance cards from day one. A heart-felt letter from someone who had known him over an extended period of time and could verify his sobriety. We had all of this and more. The prosecutor was on board as the client had a relapse after 13 years of sobriety. We agreed to continue the case for nearly a year to test whether or not he was capable to complying with the conditions of his release which included random testing for alcohol. Public safety was insured as he had the ignition interlock system installed in his car which prevented the car from starting if the monitor detected any alcohol in his system.
This is how you stay out of prison on a felony DWI. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a felony DWI, please give me a call for the “Best Defense” at (612) 339-1024.