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Supreme Court Concludes State Cannot Forfeit Vehicles When Drivers Aren’t Convicted of DWI
The Supreme Court recently issued a decision regarding the legality of forfeiting drivers’ vehicles when they are not convicted of DWI. It determined that the state did not have the right to forfeit a vehicle for DWI without a conviction.
An amici curiae is someone who provides information to assist a court in deciding a matter that it is currently reviewing, this person if often times an attorney who is well-versed in the matter at hand. The information provided in the legal opinion is assembled in the form of a brief which is called the amici curiae brief. The phrase amici curiae is legal Latin and means “friend of the court.”
In the Patino case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Patino, thus concluding that the state does not have the right to forfeit a driver’s vehicle for a DWI offense unless the driver is in fact convicted of DWI. Although the state attempted to argue that it had the right to keep these vehicles even in the absence of a conviction, the argument wasn’t substantiated by Minnesota’s DWI forfeiture law. Ultimately, the state’s argument was disregarded by the Supreme Court.
The ruling in the Patino case was a great stride forward towards correcting some of the unjust consequences of the current DWI forfeiture laws, and attorney Dan Koewler of the Ramsay Law Firm is credited for writing the impressive amicus brief, and so is attorney Kirk M. Anderson, for successfully serving as counsel for Laura Patino.
The Ramsay Law Firm is a DWI law firm that has proudly served the Minneapolis and St. Paul communities for over 15 years. Over the firm’s tenure, its attorneys have handled dozens of jury trials and successful handled numerous appeals, and even appeared before the Minnesota Supreme Court. The attorneys at the firm are educated in the science behind the Gas Chromatograph, as well as the Intoxilyer 5000, both of which are used to register blood alcohol concentration and secure evidence against those accused of DWI. With the attorneys’ education and training, as well as certification as trained operators of the Intoxilyzer 5000, they are well qualified to challenge the evidence in Minnesota DWI cases, which they have successfully accomplished on numerous occasions.
The firm’s founder, Charles Ramsay is a proud member of the prestigious Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice (MSCJ), which is a group that is limited to the top 50 lawyers in Minnesota. He was included in the selection of Minnesota’s Super Lawyers®, which is an honor that not more than 5 percent of attorneys in the state attain. He was also named among the top 40 criminal defense attorneys in Minnesota for the last two years in a row, and Charles Ramsay was named as one of the Attorneys of the Year in 2000 by Minnesota Lawyer. He was also named a Super Lawyer by Minnesota Law & Politics, Twin Cities Business Monthly, and by St. Paul Magazine – only 5 percent of lawyers in the state are given this honor and they are selected by their peers. If you’re facing DWI charges, contact the firm at (888) 266-4940 or visit the firm’s website online at http://www.MinneapolisDWIDefenseLawyer.com.