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Presently, in Minnesota if you are stopped for DUI in Minnesota there are two and sometimes three separate legal issues that you will deal with. First, there are the criminal charges for the offense which involves the fine, jail time and probation issues. Second, there are the civil issues which involve the driver license revocation and sometimes the revocation of your license plates and forfeiture of your vehicle.

There are time limits of as little as 30 days to judicially appeal the civil claims. Some time ago the double jeopardy of the separate parts was OKed by the Minnesota appellate courts. The courts found that the right to drive is a privilege and simply being charged with a crime is enough take someone’s license. People who don’t have a criminal hearing until the 30 days has past, may not even have considered the judicial review of their civil claim.

The Minnesota legislature has a bill that will eliminate the separate systems. Instead there is one criminal route with the civil penalties arising out of the consequence of being convicted. This is a system like many other states have.

Critics argue that it will set back law enforcement of these charges. But, it does seem odd that even the most severe crimes really only come with consequences after a conviction. It make sense that uniformity exist in the DUI system also.

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