Criminal Vehicular Operation Charges Reduced to DWI
Mike Brandt’s client was charged with Gross Misdemeanor Criminal Vehicular Operation for driving the wrong way on a highway and striking another driver head on. This happened in the city of White Bear Township on January 5, 2018. The accident occurred in Minnesota during the winter when temperatures were double digits below zero. After the accident, Mike’s client left the scene of the accident and hid from the police for a couple of hours. Due to the subzero temperatures, Mike’s client was risking frostbite and eventually revealed himself and was arrested. After the police obtained a search warrant, they obtained a sample of his blood, and his alcohol reading was nearly four times the legal limit.
After the incident, Mike met with his client and put together a plan of attack, which included Mike’s client taking several affirmative steps, such as obtaining a chemical dependency evaluation, attending a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel, and obtaining letters of recommendation and other documents to show that this type of behavior was completely out of character for Mike’s client. Notwithstanding the severity of the case, Mike was able to convince the prosecuting attorney that, because of the age of Mike’s client, because of the proactive steps he had taken, and because he had no prior record, the charge should be reduced to a DWI. The prosecuting attorney agreed, and Mike’s client was placed on probation and required to perform 80 hours of community work service. This negotiation allowed Mike’s client to avoid any conviction for Criminal Vehicular Operation and allowed Mike’s client to avoid any jail time, even though the accident was extremely serious.