St. Paul DWI Offenses
As Minnesota’s capital and second largest city, St. Paul has hundreds of DWI arrests each year. Jay E. Carey has defended many DWI cases in St. Paul and throughout Ramsey County.
The St. Paul City Attorney’s Office prosecutes all misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWI offenses occurring in St. Paul. These DWI offenses include misdemeanor Fourth Degree DWI and the gross misdemeanor offenses of Third Degree Test Refusal, Third Degree DWI, Second Degree DWI, and Second Degree Test Refusal. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office prosecutes all felony DWI offenses occurring in St. Paul (and throughout the county). A felony DWI constitutes First Degree DWI or First Degree Test Refusal. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office also prosecutes all felony level offenses, including Criminal Vehicular Operation cases (DWI incidents involving death, great bodily harm, and substantial bodily harm).
Law Enforcement Agencies
Law enforcement agencies who arrest drivers in St. Paul for DWI include the St. Paul Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, and Metro Transit Police. Occasionally, suburban police agencies arrest drivers in St. Paul for DWI while traveling to and from the county jail and conducting other official patrol work.
All misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWIs occurring in St. Paul are prosecuted by the St. Paul City Attorney’s Office, regardless which police agency conducted the stop and arrest. All felony DWIs occurring in St. Paul (and throughout Ramsey County) are prosecuted by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Law Enforcement Center and Jail Release
Most people arrested for DWI in St. Paul are booked into the county jail referred to as the Law Enforcement Center or less commonly the Adult Detention Center. People charged with misdemeanor Fourth Degree DWI in St. Paul are booked into the county jail for several hours and released on their own recognizance without bail unless they are an out-of-state resident. Within two weeks of arrest, they will receive a notice of a court date by mail. That court date usually is scheduled approximately three months into the future. Those arrested for gross misdemeanor DWI in St. Paul also are booked into the county jail, but face varying lengths of pretrial detention. Some will be released within several hours on their own recognizance and similarly will receive notice of a future court date within two weeks after release. The court date usually is scheduled approximately three months into the future. Others will be detained for an initial bail hearing in the Law Enforcement Center.
First Court Appearances
All first court appearances for St. Paul DWIs are held in the main Ramsey County Courthouse located in downtown St. Paul, unless the person remains in custody. If in custody, the person will appear in court at the Law Enforcement Center. Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWIs are scheduled for first appearance on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 12:30 p.m., and are prosecuted by the St. Paul Attorney’s Office. First appearances for felony DWIs in Ramsey County typically occur in the Law Enforcement Center.
Subsequent Court Appearances
For St. Paul misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWI cases, the second court appearance known as the “pretrial conference” in misdemeanors and “Omnibus hearing” in gross misdemeanors is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. in the downtown St. Paul Courthouse, within three to six weeks after the first appearance. The district court judge who presides at the pretrial conference/Omnibus hearing ordinarily is “block assigned” the case for trial if the parties do not resolve the matter. In addition, the prosecutor from the St. Paul City Attorney’s Office who handles the case at the pretrial conference/Omnibus hearing generally is assigned the case for trial. Any subsequent trial dates typically are scheduled at 9:00 a.m. in the downtown St. Paul Courthouse.
Sentencing and Chemical Dependency Assessment
If the defense and prosecution reach resolution of a St. Paul misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor DWI case, the court will preside over the plea and sentencing at the same appearance. The court generally does not require a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) with probation prior to sentencing a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor St. Paul DWI case. In rare cases, the court may order a pre-sentence investigation with probation and then schedule sentencing at a later date.
In misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor DWI cases where a defendant is convicted of DWI or a lesser offense, the court typically requires the defendant to complete a chemical dependency assessment and follow its recommendations, along with probation’s recommendations. The court also typically orders a defendant to complete a MADD Victim Impact Panel. If defendants are not deemed chemically dependent, Ramsey County Probation generally requires them to complete a Level I or II “Driving with Care” educational program that is 12 or 24 hours of education, respectively. If a defendant is deemed chemically dependent, probation generally requires completion of inpatient or outpatient treatment and its recommended aftercare. Even where a defendant is not required to complete treatment, the presiding judge or probation may require the defendant to have no-use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs for the entire period of probation and be subject to random testing for alcohol and drugs.
If you have been arrested for DWI in St. Paul, please contact Jay Carey for a free, in-depth consultation. Jay is a highly experienced St. Paul DWI Lawyer and would be glad to discuss your case with you.