A man in Minnesota currently faces felony charges related to drinking and driving. The man is also accused of impersonating a police officer. However, those facing criminal charges for felonies in Minnesota are always presumed innocent until and unless their guilt is proved in court and beyond a reasonable doubt.
A deputy was apparently informed at about 2:23 a.m. on a recent Tuesday that an individual was pretending to be another deputy. Authorities said that according to the complainant, the man impersonating an officer was drunk and was driving along Highway 4. When police found the man, he reportedly tried to evade them. Police said the man ended up driving through the backyards of several homes before stopping near a shed.
When they confronted the man, they saw he was moving slowly and smelled of alcohol. The man also allegedly admitted to pretending to be an officer. A breath test administered at the scene reportedly revealed that the man's blood alcohol level was almost two times the legal driving limit. The man is now charged with first-degree driving while intoxicated (two counts). Each of these carries a penalty of up to seven years behind bars plus a fine of $14,000.
The man charged with DWI-related felonies has the right to proceed to trial to fight the charges. Prosecutors at trial must be able to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before any conviction is possible. This standard exists with the goal of preventing innocent people in Minnesota from being convicted of crimes. Rather than going to trial, however, the man could seek to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors, which might result in a lighter sentence than he would receive if found guilty at trial. In either situation, an attorney will push for the most favorable outcome for the client.