Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hennepin County Driving After Suspension (Explained)


The loss of your Minnesota Driver's License can complicate so many things ... and lead to tickets/criminal charges ... that you should know your rights.  

As  a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I have helped hundreds of people with this problem.  Hopefully some of the information that I have offered here helps.  If you need to know more, please feel free to call the Rolloff Law Office: (612) 234-1165.

Driving After Cancellation (DAC), Driving After Revocation (DAR), Driving After Suspension (DAS), and Driving After Disqualification are common additional charges that individuals can end up facing, if their driver’s licenses have been invalidated for a period of time due to a recent Drunk Driving arrest or conviction. 

The Law

These offenses are governed by Minnesota Statute 171.24, which reads:

[A] person is guilty of a misdemeanor if: (1) the person’s driver’s license or driving privilege has been suspended; (2) the person has been given notice of or reasonably should know of the suspension; and (3) the person disobeys the order by operating in this state any motor vehicle, the operation of which requires a driver’s license,” while the person’s license or privilege is suspended, revoked, or canceled. 

If the “person’s driver’s license or driving privilege has been canceled or denied” because “the commissioner has good cause to believe that the operation of a motor vehicle on the highways by the person would be inimical to public safety or welfare,” and “the person has been given notice of or reasonably should know of the cancellation or denial; and… the person disobeys the order by operating in this state any motor vehicle, the operation of which requires a driver’s license, while the person’s license or privilege is canceled or denied.” 


Consequences

If an individual already has a conviction for one of the charges involving driving without a valid license, the penalty for a second offense is much steeper.  


Minnesota Statute 168.041 subdivision 2 states, 

If a person is convicted of violating a law or municipal ordinance, except a parking law or ordinance, regulating the operation of motor vehicles on the streets or highways, and the record of the person so convicted shows a previous conviction for driving after suspension or revocation of the person’s driver’s license or driving privileges, the court may direct the commissioner of public safety to suspend the driver’s license of the person for a period not exceeding one year. The court may also require the registration plates of any self-propelled motor vehicle owned by the violator or registered in the violator’s name to be surrendered to the court.   

Driving without a valid driver’s license can put not only an individual’s future driving privilege in jeopardy, but can also potentially lead to license plate impoundment for the vehicle, even if the vehicle belongs to a third party.  If you want to work to get your privledge back and/or keep the consequences to a minimum, call the Rolloff Law Office to set up a FREE CONSULTATION - today: (612) 234-1165

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hiring a Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer (Explained)


So, you have some questions about whether you might need the services of a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.  Here are a couple of things you should strongly consider.  

Do I a Lawyer?

Anyone acing a criminal charge, no matter how minor, could benefit from speaking with an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Even if you never hire him, a FREE CONSULTATION will help you to understand the nature of the charges you face, possible defenses, what plea bargains are likely to be offered, and what is likely to happen in the event of conviction.

For serious charges, it will be a rare situation where one can "do-it-themselves." When the consequences are huge/serious ... a lawyer can assist with (at the least) the negotiation of a plea bargain, or to prepare a case for trial.  


What Should Your Lawyer Know?

An experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer should also be able to identify important pretrial issues, and to bring appropriate motions which might significantly improve a defendant's situation, or even result in the dismissal of charges.

How Much it Cost?

The cost of a lawyer can vary significantly --- depending upon the nature of the charges which have been filed (or which are expected to be filed) against the defendant --- and what needs to be done - ie., a trial and/or plea bargain.  As a general rule, lawyers will typically require a large fee for a complex case ... less for a simple one.  The amount of a retainer fee will also typically increase with the severity of the charge filed against a defendant.  


Misdemeanors & Felonys

In a misdemeanor case, , it is not unusual for a lawyer to request a retainer of several thousand dollars. For felony cases, retainers often start at $5,000 - $10,000, and can be $25,000 or more for serious or life felonies, such as sexual assault cases or homicide. The anticipated cost of expert witnesses can also significantly increase a retainer.  


Where to Find a Lawyer

It is unfortunately not always easy to find a good criminal defense lawyer. Here are some suggestions:

Professional Organizations - Each state, and some counties/cities, have organizations of criminal defense lawyers. Some of those organizations offer referral services or online directories, which you can use to find a defense lawyer in your area.


Referrals - It may be possible to find a criminal defense lawyer from somebody who is familiar with the lawyer's practice. For example, if you regularly work with a lawyer or law firm, that lawyer may be able to suggest a competent criminal defense lawyer in your area. If your county is served by a public defender's office, sometimes a defender's office will be willing to suggest a competent are defense lawyer. If you have a friend or family member who has been in trouble with the law, that person may be able to make some suggestions.

Directories - There are a number of online directories which include criminal defense lawyers, including LegalMatch.com, Lawyers.com and FindLaw.


After you have located one or more attorneys whom you wish to consult about your case, call them to schedule appointments. Try to speak with the criminal defense lawyer over the phone before scheduling the appointment. Ask about the lawyer's general experience with criminal defense, and any specific experience with cases like yours.  Call the Rolloff Law Office - today - to set up your FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165

Monday, December 1, 2014

Minnesota DWI - Filed Sobriety Tests (Explained)


A Minnesota law enforcement officer, after pulling over a driver for suspected of drunk driving, will usually say something to the effect of “I need to have you step out --- and do a few tests to make sure you are okay to drive."

The sad truth is, the driver is (usually) not told that he/she has the option to refuse those tests.  

Filed Sobriety Tests (The Truth)

Almost always, the purpose for the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) is to gather evidence against you to be used at trial --- not to "prove" that you are not under the influence. 

Here's what you need to know: there are (at least)  two ways to convict a person of DWI: one is to prove that they drove and had a alcohol concentration of .08 or more as tested by a blood, breath or urine test. However, suppose an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney gets the test kicked out? The government can still convict you if they can prove that you drove at a time that you were impaired by alcohol. 

Whether or not you are “impaired” is determined by the officers observations, your conduct and your statements. It is for this reason that police will tell you to do the SFSTs. 

They will later testify in court that your inability to do the test proves you were impaired.

The good news is that you are not required by law to do SFSTs. You have a right to decline. If you decline, do not say you are declining because your are too drunk to do them. Simply say that you invoke your right not to perform those tests. 


If you do not perform the tests ... especially if you decline to offer of a sample of your breath (on the side of the road for the the preliminary breath test (PBT) ... the officer can place you under arrest, transport you back to the police station and ask you give a sample of you blood, breath or urine.  

You have no duty to make the cops case for him. 

If you need help with a DWI arrest, contact the Rolloff Law Office for FREE ANSWERS.  Call today: (612) 234-1165

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Domestic Assault (Explained)



If you have been accused of verbal or physical abuse against your spouse, child, domestic partner or other relative, you need swift, strong Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

A conviction can mean harsh penalties including prison, fines, loss of custody rights or loss of gun rights, and may even affect your job or future job prospects. Don’t risk it. 

Domestic Violence Accusations

Domestic assault charges are becoming more common — and more heavily prosecuted — in the State of Minnesota.  Believe it or not, someone can be charged with domestic abuse under the state’s law if you committed one or more of the following acts against a family or household member:

Physical harm, bodily injury or assault; and/or 
Cause someone to fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault

But in many cases, the charges arise from situations in which both parties  participate in escalating the conflict. 

To get to the bottom of messes like this, you need the immediate support of an experienced Minnesota Domestic Assault Attorney


At the Rolloff Law Office, we have extensive experience (first as a former prosecutor and now) defending both men and women against domestic assault charges that threaten their freedom and their rights. Don’t hesitate to get the protection and tenacious defense you need, especially if the charges arise during divorce, child custody or child support proceedings.  Call now: (612) 234-1165
If you have been accused of verbal or physical abuse against your spouse, child, domestic partner or other relative, you need swift, strong defense. A conviction can mean harsh penalties including prison, fines, loss of custody rights or loss of gun rights, and may even affect your job or future job prospects. Don’t risk it. I am Minnesota assault lawyer Dennis M. Lothspeich, and I will aggressively defend you. I have more than 25 years of experience as a formidable trial attorney and never hesitate to take my clients' defense into the courtroom.

Helping you understand domestic violence accusations

Domestic assault charges are becoming more common — and more heavily prosecuted — in Minnesota. You can be charged with domestic abuse under the state’s Domestic Abuse Act if you committed one or more of the following acts against a family or household member:
  • Physical harm, bodily injury or assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Interference with an emergency call
  • Infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault
But in many cases, the charges arise from situations in which both people participate in escalating the conflict. You need the immediate support of a diligent Minnesota assault attorney if you are accused of:
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Spousal abuse
  • Harassment
  • Violating a restraining order
  • Child abuse
  • Stalking
  • Sexual assault
  • False imprisonment
I have extensive experience defending both men and women against domestic assault charges that threaten their freedom and their rights. Don’t hesitate to get the protection and tenacious defense you need, especially if the charges arise during divorce, child custody or child support proceedings.

Fighting for your best results

When seeking a Minnesota assault attorney, you want one with a solid criminal defense background. I have the resources and knowledge to achieve positive results even in very complicated cases. I review the facts of your situation, gather evidence and meticulously attack the prosecution’s case against you. My goal is to get your charges reduced or seek an acquittal at trial. I stand by you and do my best to see you through one of the toughest experiences you may have to endure.

Get the defense you need from experienced Crow Wing County trial attorney Dennis M. Lothspeich

If you are facing domestic assault charges, I can help. Call me, attorney Dennis M. Lothspeich, at 218.825.0861 for a free initial consultation, or contact the law office of Dennis M. Lothspeich, P.A. online. I accept collect calls from jails and correctional facilities in Crow Wing and nearby counties and can arrange an immediate visit with you onsite if you are in custody and need assistance. I charge a reasonable flat fee, which is set up front. In some cases, my fee can be comfortably spread out into monthly payments during the duration of your case. My office is conveniently located across from the Crow Wing County Court House. I am happy to schedule an evening or weekend appointment if needed.
- See more at: http://www.brainerddwilawyer.com/firm/assault/#sthash.Mkj9aFt9.dpuf

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Minnesota DWI - Field Sobriety Tests (Explained)



As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I get a lot of questions about DWIs.  One common inquiry is about Field Sobriety Tests.  Here's some info that you need to know.

Minnesota Field Sobriety Tests

A police officer, after pulling over a driver for suspected Drunk Driving will usually say something to the driver: 

“I need to have you step out of the car and do a few tests to make sure you are okay to drive."  At the time, the driver is not told that he/she has the option to refuse those tests. 

Here’s the skinny. 

Almost always, the purpose for the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) is to gather evidence against you to be used at trial. 

The Truth

There are two ways to convict a person of DWI: one is to prove that they drove and had a alcohol concentration of .08 or more as tested by a blood, breath or urine test. However, suppose a clever defense attorney gets the test kicked out. They can still convict you if they can prove that you drove at a time that you were impaired by alcohol

Whether or not you are “impaired” is determined by the officers observations, your conduct and your statements. It is for this reason that police will tell you to do the SFST. They will later testify in court that your inability to do the test proves you were impaired.

The good news is that you are not required by law to do SFSTs. You have a right to decline. If you decline, do not say you are declining because your are too drunk to do them. Simply say that you invoke your right not to perform those tests. 

The one exception (sort of) to this is the preliminary breath test (PBT) --- that little box that officers have you blow into on the side of the road. 

If you refuse to blow into the PBT the officer can place you under arrest and ask you to do a blood, breath or urine test. But, the PBT is not admissible in court (except for persons under 21) to show the existence of alcohol or if you later refuse the blood, breath or urine test.


Need help, with a Drunk Driving accustation, feel free to call the Rolloff Law Office to get FREE ANSWERS and set-up a consultation: (612) 234-1165

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Minnesota Criminal Sentencing Options (Explained)


Like with any story, people want to know how it ends.  As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney one questions I get a lot is: What Will My Sentence or Consequences Be?  Listed below are how the majority of cases are resolved in the State of Minnesota.

Case Outcomes

Through a trial or plea bargain negotiations, there are several possible outcomes to any case.  The benefit of a plea bargain is that you know what the sentence will be before admitting to the offense.  The possible outcomes for trial or plea negotiations are as follows:
  • Dismissal - all charges dismissed ... pretty easy to understand, right;
  • Continued Without Prosecution ("CWOP")  or Continued For Dismissal ("CFD"). Here, your case is set aside and p does not go forward for an agreed upon period of time - usually a year. Then, if certain conditions are met by the end of the time period, the case is dismissed;
  • Stay of Adjudication - A plea of guilty is offered to the court, but the court does not accept it. If all conditions are met at the end of the probation period, the case is dismissed --- much like a CWOP or CFD;
  • Stay of Imposition - The court does not impose the full sentence but puts you on probation with terms and conditions. At the end of the probation period, if all conditions are met, the conviction may be determined to be a lower level than charged, or (if negotiated) the case is vacated and dismissed --- often a Felony becomes a Misdemeanor;
  • Stay of Execution - This is when a sentence is imposed, but some or all terms are not imposed, and the defendant is placed on probation. The execution of the sentence will be stayed ... conditioned upon terms that are up to the court --- this usually involves someone serving jail time on the county lock up as opposed to going to prison;
  • Diversion program - Certain crimes or defendants are eligible for a programing that takes the accused out of the court system and puts them into a program designed to rehabilitate the offender. If all conditions are met, the case is dismissed.   
  • Execution of the Sentence - This is when the judge imposes the sentence without any stayed condition.
  

Don't be afraid to get answers to your questions, before you spend your hard earned money.  Call or text the Rolloff Law Office - ANYTIME -  to get answers for ask these questions and any others: (612) 234-1165

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hennepin County Juvenile Defense Attorney (Explained)


As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney ... and as a human-being .. I get that everyone makes mistakes—especially young people.  Children and teenagers involved in criminal activity are susceptible to long-lasting penalties that could impact the rest of their lives. A Minnesota Juvenile Defense Attorney can provide emotional support to a juvenile and their family and make sure the potential penalties don’t damage the child’s future.

What Do You Need to Know?

In the State of Minnesota the law defines a juvenile as a person between the ages of 10 and 17. When an underage person commits a crime, the laws and consequences are different than they are for adult criminals. For example, juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial or bail release.

Some of the most common juvenile crimes in Minnesota are:

  • Alcohol Use
  • Drunk Driving
  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Texting While driving
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Shoplifting
  • Drug possession
  • Disturbing the peace
As with adults, juvenile crimes can range from petty misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crimes. In the most serious cases, the juvenile offender can be charged and punished as an adult.

Consequences

Many children don’t deserve harsh sentences because they are often unaware of the consequences of their actions. Common punishments for juvenile offenders include counseling and detention in a youth facility or juvenile hall. Having a criminal attorney to fight against the prosecution and keep the charges to a minimum is a must.

In the final analysis, an offender’s age, criminal history, and the circumstances surrounding the crime determine the sentence.  With insight into the process, that I gleaned from my former role - as a prosecutor - I have worked to help family's put their juvenile in the best possible position to get the right outcome - ie., one that does not ruin a promising future.  

There are numerous exceptions and defenses to these consequences. Anyone charged with a juvenile offense offense should contact the Rolloff Law Office as soon as possible to discuss possible defense strategies for their case.