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

UPDATED: Aug 17, 2012

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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


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

Answered 10 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.   

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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