How can I get an OWI case thrown out or use a due diligence defense?

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How can I get an OWI case thrown out or use a due diligence defense?

I was recently arrested on an 18 year old warrant for failure to appear for OWI. I didn’t know I had the warrant. I live in one state and the warrant was in another. However, I have been ticketed for speeding twice n that state in those 18 years and have also posted bond for a friend 2 years ago in the same county that issued the warrant. Why has this not come up before? It has never showed up any where. I am currently in school to be a paralegal and have done a couple background checks on myself and never found it. What is my best defense now and can I get this charge thrown out?

Asked on August 17, 2012 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have a very good argument for violation of your right to speedy trial considering that most of the witnesses to the case are probably gone or have relocated.  You may also have a due diligence argument, but clearly your first best shot is speedy trial.  To help your speedy trial case, you should try to think of the witnesses that you would have called 18 years ago and argue that because they are no longer available, you have been prejudiced by the delay. 

As far as, why hasn't it come up before-- the answer is just depends.  Some agencies are not very good about entering and reporting data, only to find it later with a heck of an oops.... like your case.  Some background checks are also limited to only a state or two.  If your other background checks only contained info from your current state, your out-of-state arrest or warrant would not have appeared.  There is also a possibiity they have the wrong person and someoe arrested you are similar, but not matching identifiers.  You may want to make sure the underlying case is yours before you go much farther.   


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