Fargo First DUI Defense Lawyers
It’s terrifying to be arrested for a DUI – especially if this is your first time. That’s why you’re going to need the help of a Fargo DUI defense attorney with a deep understanding of North Dakota DUI laws as soon as possible. You’re looking at significant fines and a loss of your license, and you might even need to serve jail time.
Contacting a Sand Law attorney should be one of the first things you do after a DUI arrest. We’ll explain everything you can expect and fight to help clear your name entirely or reduce your penalties. Please call 701-609-1510 or contact us online as soon as possible for a free consultation.
Fargo & North Dakota DUI Statistics
There were 4,827 arrests for DUI in North Dakota in 2019. Even though that might not seem like a considerable number, our state is regularly among the highest in the nation in arrests per 100,000 population. In 2018, North Dakota had a DUI arrest rate of 678.4 per 100,000 people, and the U.S. average is only 300 per 100,000.
Analysis of DUI arrests shows that North Dakota ranks No. 2 in the U.S. for drunk driving arrests and is one of only three states that saw an increase in arrest numbers between 2010 and 2019. North Dakota has not only been in the top 10 since 2010 but was also No. 1 from 2012-2015. South Dakota took over the top spot starting in 2016 and has held it ever since.
Reasons DUI Cases are Thrown Out
There are several reasons why a DUI case may be thrown out. Some common reasons include the following:
- Lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop.
- Improper administration of field sobriety tests.
- Incorrect handling or maintenance of breathalyzer or blood-alcohol testing equipment.
- Lack of evidence to support the charge.
- Constitutional rights violations.
What Happens When You’re Pulled Over For Suspected Drunk Driving?
The following steps may occur when an officer pulls you over for suspicion of DUI:
- The officer will explain the reason for the stop and ask for your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
- They’ll then ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. They’ll ask you to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line. The purpose of these tests is to determine if you’re impaired.
- If the officer suspects you’re under the influence, they may ask you to take a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusal to take the test could result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
- If the breathalyzer test shows that your BAC is above the legal limit, you’ll be arrested and taken to the police station.
- An officer may ask you to take a blood test at the police station to confirm your BAC.
- If the officer charges you for drunk driving, you’ll be booked. Once bail is set, you’ll be released after it’s paid.
What Rights Do You Have During and After Your Arrest?
The U.S. Constitution ensures your rights after an arrest. These rights include the following:
- The right to remain silent – You have the right not to incriminate yourself and to not speak to the police without an attorney present. This means you don’t have to answer questions or make any statements to the police.
- The right to an attorney – You have the right to have an attorney present during any questioning and your trial. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you by the court.
- The right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure – You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of your person, property, and belongings.
What are the Penalties for a First DUI in Fargo, North Dakota?
A first DUI in Fargo, North Dakota is a Class B misdemeanor. The potential punishments will depend on your BAC level. If it were below .16, you’d face a fine of $500, and if it were .16 or more, you’d have to serve two days in jail and pay a fine of $750.
You’ll lose your license as well. If your BAC were less than .18, you’d lose your driving privileges for 91 days. If it were .18 or higher, you’d lose it for 180 days. You’ll also have to participate in an addiction evaluation program.
How to Argue Wrongful Arrest
A skilled attorney will put together a detailed strategy to argue your case. Here are just a few of those potential strategies.
- Rising blood alcohol defense – Your attorney may argue that your blood alcohol level was below the legal limit at the time of driving but had risen above the legal limit by the time of testing due to the natural metabolism of alcohol in your body.
- Medications or a medical condition – Your attorney may argue that any symptoms of impairment observed by the officer occurred due to medications or a medical condition rather than alcohol or drugs.
- Entrapment – Your attorney may argue that the police entrapped you into committing the crime. This means they induced you to commit a crime you otherwise would not have committed.
How Can a Fargo DUI Defense Attorney Help You?
An experienced DUI defense attorney will thoroughly review the evidence against you, including the police report, chemical test results, and video or audio recordings of the arrest. They can identify any weaknesses or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case and use this information to build a strong defense on your behalf.
They’ll also investigate the arrest and the circumstances that led up to it. Your lawyer will look for evidence that could clear you, such as proof that someone spiked your drink.
Your DUI defense attorney will also represent you in court if your case goes to trial. They will cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, present evidence and testimony on your behalf, and make powerful closing arguments to the jury.
Contact Sand Law to Speak with a DUI Defense Attorney
Sand Law DUI defense attorneys have a great deal of experience helping clients charged with this crime. Whether this is your first arrest or your third or fourth, we’ll do everything we can to have your case dropped or your penalties reduced.