Ethan P. Meaney
Top rated DUI-DWI attorney in Andover, MinnesotaMeaney & Patrin, P.A.
Practice Areas: DUI-DWI, Criminal defense; view more
Licensed in Minnesota since: 1999
Education: The University of South Dakota School of Law
Our office remains open, and in response to COVID-19 we have expanded our options for remote consultations and virtual meetings. Please contact our office to discuss what meeting option best fits your situation. Call 612-509-9182.
As a former prosecutor, Ethan P. Meaney knows what it takes to defend his clients against DWI charges. Defending clients in the Greater Twin Cities area and across Minnesota, Mr. Meaney has the skills and experience it takes to get results for his clients. Since graduating from law school in 1999, Mr. Meaney has litigated hundreds of DWI cases. He is not afraid to take on even the most complex cases. Mr. Meaney has a record for success that includes recent appeals victories in Tracey Ernest Wiberg v. Commissioner of Public Safety and State of Minnesota v. Paul Scott Demars.
Having previously been a prosecutor, Mr. Meaney is well aware of the strict sanctions that Minnesota clients face when facing DWI charges. He uses this experience to provide unique and individualized services to his clients. As the co-founder of Meaney & Patrin, P.A., Mr. Meaney focuses his practice on defending clients against traffic violations, DUI/DWI and other criminal law matters.
Mr. Meaney works diligently to keep his legal skills and knowledge current. He maintains membership with various associations and organizations such as the Hennepin County Bar Association, the Minnesota State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, both the Minnesota and National Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College of DUI Defense. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his outstanding service, including an Avvo rating of 9.4, or "superb."
While Mr. Meaney understands the complexities of Minnesota's DWI laws, he also understands that his clients need their rights protected from the increasingly harsh consequences of DWI conviction. Thanks to his passion and dedication, Mr. Meaney has become a force to be reckoned with in DWI defense.
Practice areasCriminal defense: DUI/DWI, Criminal defense
- 90% Criminal defense: DUI/DWI
- 10% Criminal defense
First Admitted: 1999, Minnesota
Professional Webpage: http://www.dwiguys.com/attorney-ethan-meaney/
- State of Minnesota v. Paul Scott Demars and Tracey Ernest Wiberg v. Commissioner of Public Safety are just examples of Ethan Meaney's commitment to quality DWI representation. Demars involved a case where the driver was sitting in his car out in the parking lot of his apartment complex and the police arrested him because they believed he was suspicious. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's dismissal of the charges finding that the police lacked a basis for arresting Demars. In Wiberg, the driver was denied his opportunity to consult with an attorney and his alcohol revocation was dismissed. While the police stood by and watched, Wiberg called his girlfriend to find his attorney's number. When she couldn't find the number, Wiberg hung up the phone and was asked to take a breath test without the police ever providing him phone books to look for his attorney's phone number. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court's finding that no violation had occurred and dismissed Wiberg's alcohol revocation.
- Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
- Minnesota, 1999
- Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
- Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, B.S. in Criminal Justice & Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, 1996, 1996
- Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota School of Law., 1999
- The level of blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of driving is used as evidence that a person was driving while intoxicated (DUI). It is illegal in all states to drive if your BAC level is 0.08% or higher. If you’re a minor, then the legal limit is 0.02%. Because BAC establishes whether a person is guilty of DUI and also the severity of penalties in some states, getting an accurate reading is imperative. Determining BAC If you’re pulled over by a police officer for a DUI, the officer will likely request that you blow into the breathalyzer to get a BAC reading for you. A breathalyzer attempts to measure the amount of alcohol expelled by the air in your lungs. The alcohol in the air you breathe out is assumed to be at the same concentration as the alcohol in your blood. However, many people have shown that the results of a breathalyzer test are very often inaccurate. Find out more about flaws in breathalyzer testing (http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/dui---dwi-breathalyzer-results-and-how-to-attack-dui---dwi-results-at-trial---dui---dwi-breathalyzer). The other way to gauge BAC is using a blood test. Blood is drawn from the subject (usually at the police station after arrest), which is then tested for the amount of alcohol in it. Blood tests are almost always more accurate than breath tests since the alcohol is measured directly from the subject's blood instead of secondhand from the subject’s breath. This doesn’t mean that blood tests are infallible, however. Read more on blood tests (http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/breath-tests-vs-blood-tests). DUI Penalties In some states, there is only one level of penalty if you register a BAC level of 0.08% or more in a DUI as a first time offender. Penalties will vary depending on which state you’re in, so be sure to check your particular state’s laws. DUI penalties can look something like this for a first conviction: - Possible jail time (max. of 1 year) - Fines: $300 - $2500 - Mandatory substance abuse program attendance - Driver license suspension of 60-90 days Graded DUI Charges/Penalties Based on BAC Other states have graded levels of DUI charges depending on your BAC level, which will determine the specific severity of consequences if you’re convicted. This means that if your BAC level is extremely high, then your penalty will also be much worse than it would be if you had a lower BAC level. These states typically have three tiers of DUI charges. Each state’s laws have variations, so your state may have slightly different penalties or definitions. Keeping that in mind, here’s a typical breakdown of how a state with three tiers of DUI offenses often defines them (for first time convictions). General impairment: BAC between 0.08% and 0.099% A general impairment DUI charge usually counts as a misdemeanor and tends to carry relatively light penalties, such as fines less than $500, probation ranging from six months to a year, and substance abuse program attendance. High rate of BAC: BAC ranges from 0.10% to 0.159% A high rate DUI charge has somewhat more serious penalties associated with it. Penalties in different states can approximate these: driver license suspension for a year, jail time anywhere from 2 days to 6 months, fines ranging from $500 to $5000, and substance abuse program attendance. Highest rate of BAC: BAC is 0.16% or more Penalties for highest rate BAC charges can include driver license suspension for a year, jail time of 3 days to 6 months, fines ranging from $1000 to $5000, and substance abuse program attendance. Always remember that DUI punishments vary state to state, so check your state’s laws regarding definitions and sentencing., Staff Pick , DUI Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), AVVO Legal Information Network, DWI/DUI, 2010
- While a DUI conviction on your record may not exactly ruin your life, it definitely will affect you adversely for a very long time. Anything that requires a background check, like applying for a job, school, or professional licenses, will reveal your DUI conviction. Ideally, you would only be evaluated on your capability of doing your job, but the stigma of a DUI conviction can be difficult to overcome. However, in some states you may be eligible for a DUI expungement (or a DUI vacation), which can be hugely beneficial to you. A DUI expungement seals your DUI conviction legally, which basically makes your criminal record seem like the conviction never happened. How expungement works If you meet the eligibility requirements of your state, then you’ll be allowed to withdraw your original guilty plea and enter a not guilty plea, or if you originally pleaded not guilty the court will set aside your guilty verdict. The court will then dismiss all accusations, and you’ll be released from all penalties. All records for that conviction are isolated and sealed from everyone (most of the public) except legal courts and law enforcement. Records to be sealed include more than just evidence of your conviction; they also include things like your arrest report, complaints, processing records, photographs, and judicial dockets. If your expungement is successful, you’re allowed to deny the existence of that conviction on job, school, and other applications. If that was the only conviction on your record, after expungement you can lawfully state that you haven’t been convicted of any crime. One limitation of expungement is that it doesn't erase convictions that are priors. For example, if you have your first DUI expunged, but you're subsequently convicted of a second DUI, then you will be subject to the full elevated penalties of a second DUI. The first conviction, despite being expunged, still counts as a prior DUI. Expungement eligibility Before you engage the services of an attorney to petition for expungement, you may first want to check whether you even meet your state’s eligibility requirements for it. If you aren’t eligible for expungement, then there’s little an attorney can do for you. States vary on expungement eligibility. In general, here are the most common requirements: - Applicant fulfilled all probation conditions (fines, community service, alcohol education programs, jail time, etc.) - Original sentence did not include time in state prison - Only one conviction on record, Staff Pick, DUI Expungement, AVVO Legal Industry, DWI/DUI, 2010
- KnowledgeYour DWI lawyer should be familiar with the city and county of your offense and should know how that jurisdiction treats DWI cases like yours. Your DWI lawyer should also know the current DWI statutes and case law, which changes all the time. Finally, your DWI lawyer should take the time to know about your situation so the goals of your case suit your individual needs.StrategyDWI cases are not easy to win, and the justice system is not about to do any favors for DWI offenders in today's anti-DWI society. An effective strategy is one that preserves every possible opportunity to impact the various penalties you will be facing. That is the key to superior DWI Defense Strategy: preserving and taking advantage of opportunities. Whether it is for purposes of arguing the issues of your case, negotiating a settlement, or controlling the timing of the penalties you will be facing, a solid strategy will help you come out of this with as little damage as possible.DedicationYour DWI lawyer needs to devote an adequate amount of time and resources to your defense. You do not want to hire an attorney that you are comfortable with and then have your case handled by someone else. You do not want an attorney that does not take the time to explain the ins and outs of your case to you every step of the way. You DO want a DWI lawyer who is passionate about defending DWI cases, not one who handles a few DWI cases as part of a hodgepodge case load., DWI Defense Strategy, AVVO Legal Industry, DWI/DUI, 2009
- What is igntion interlock?The ignition interlock device sits under the console or dashboard of your car and is connected to a blow tube that looks very much like a cell phone. To start the car equipped with an ignition interlock device, the driver must blow into the tube and hum for a certain period of time. If there is no alcohol detected from the driver's breath, the car's ignition will start and is ready for use. However, the driver is not done blowing. As the car is being driven, the device prompts the driver to blow into the tube every 15 minutes. These repeated blows are commonly known as "rolling tests" which make it harder for the driver to cheat the device. Minnesota devices require a camera to take pictures of the driver blowing into the device at these 15 minute intervals. While not perfect, these devices are certainly here to stay and preliminary research indicates that recidivism is less than 10 percent.HOW MUCH DOES THE IGNITION INTERLOCK COST?The ignition interlock device requires a minimum $90 installation fee plus a $3-5 per day fee while in use, depending on which vendor is used., Ignition Interlock, AVVO Legal Industry, DWI/DUI, 2011
- Phase I- The Criminal SideMost DWI offenders in Minnesota are first time violators with a blood alcohol range between .08 and .19. If you find yourself in this situation then you are looking at a misdemeanor offense. The penalty for a misdemeanor ranges from 0-90 days in jail and $0-$1000 fine, or both. If you are convicted of a first time misdemeanor DWI it is highly unlikely that you will do any jail time. Community service and a relatively minimal fine of $300 is the norm. Now if you have more than one DWI offense within a 10 year period, then you will be looking at a gross misdemeanor offense. The penalty for a second time offender ranges between 30 to 365 days in jail and a $900 to $3000 fine, or both. For a third time violator, the range is 90 to 365 days in jail, and the fine is usually the same. For those who receive 4 DWIs within ten years, it is a felony with the potential for prison time but at a minimum 180 to 365 days in jail and a fine between $300 to $14,000, or both.Phase II- The Civil SIdeIf you are a first time DWI offender with a blood alcohol range between .08 and .19, you will receive an alcohol license revocation on your driving record and lose your driving privileges for 90 days. You can receive a work permit after 15 days. If you have 2 DWIs within a 10 year period and your blood alcohol range is between a .08 and .19, your license revocation will be for 180 days and a work permit after 90 days. If your blood alcohol range is .20 or higher, then the time frame doubles. If you have 3 DWIs within a 10 year period, or 4 within a lifetime, your license will be canceled for a minimum of one year and you will be placed on a B-Card (no use of alcohol restriction) if and when you obtain driving privileges again. If you refuse testing, you automatically lose your driving privileges for one year regardless of the number of offenses you have. With a first offense that is a refusal the work permit can be had in 15 days, if it is a second offense then it is 180 days., DWI Made Simple, AVVO Legal Industry, DWI/DUI, 2009
- Mr. Meaney is involved in the AVVO legal community and frequently (daily) volunteers his time to answer questions for those faced with DWI/Criminal defense quetions. It is very time consumming but an important component of his practice. He believes everyone should have access and the opportunity to speak with an experienced DWI/criminal defense attorneys in their time of need. , 2013
- Recognized by the AVVO legal network for contributions to those in need in the area of DWI criminal defense. , Top Contributor, AVVO Legal Network, 2013
- The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers in an invitation-only national organization composed of America’s Top Trial Lawyers. Membership is extended solely to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and profile as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyers. It is the mission of The National Trial Lawyers to provide networking opportunities, advocacy training, and the highest quality educational programs for trial lawyers., Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, 2013
- Recognized by the AVVO Legal network for being recognized by his clients in the area of DWI criminal defense., Client's Choice Award, AVVO Legal Network, 2013
- Selection to America’s Top 100 Attorneys® is by invitation only and is comprised of the nation’s most exceptional attorneys whose accomplishments merit a lifetime achievement recognition. Lifetime Achievement recognition among America’s Top 100 Attorneys® is meant to identify and promote the most outstanding and impactful legal talent currently serving throughout the nation. Only 100 attorneys in each state* will receive this honor and be selected for Lifetime Achievement Membership among America’s Top 100 Attorneys®. Selection is not achieved based on a single accomplishment or a single great year of success, but rather on a lifetime of hard work, ethical standards, and community enriching accomplishments that are inspiring among the legal profession. This honor is not given every year, or every 10 years; it is given but once-in-a-lifetime. To help ensure that all attorneys selected for membership meet the very high standards expected for selection, candidates for lifetime membership are carefully screened through third-party research and statistical analysis based on a broad array of criteria, including the candidate’s professional experience, lifetime achievements, significant case results, peer reputation, and community impact. While selection for any award, honor, or exclusive membership organization is always subjective in nature, we developed our comprehensive multi-phase selection process in an effort to help ensure that only the attorneys whose lifetime achievements extol the legal profession are chosen. With these extremely high standards for selection to America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States will receive this honor — truly the most exclusive and elite level of attorneys in the community., Top 100 Attorney's Lifetime Achievement, Top 100 Attorney's Lifetime Achievement, 2017
- MINNEAPOLIS, MN, June 26, 2013, Ethan P. Meaney, Managing Partner of Meaney & Patrin, P.A., better known as “The DWI Guys” was recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in legal services., Excellence in Legal Service, World Wide Who's Who, 2013
- A well recognized organization comprised of the nation's most skilled lawyers. It's purpose is to identify and promote only the most outstanding legal talent throughout the country. This award recognizes those lawyers with stellar legal credentials with proven commitment to community engagement, leadership, and the highest proffesional standards. Less than 1.5% of lawyers nationally receive this prestigious recognition. , Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers in Minnesota, The American Society of Legal Advocates, 2014
- Recognized for outstanding legal acheivement in DWI criminal defense by Worldwide Who's Who Legal., 2013
Office location for Ethan P. Meaney
4024 151st Avenue NW
Andover, MN 55304
- Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2023
- Rising Stars: 2007, 2010 - 2012