Tuesday, October 7, 2014
One question I get a lot ... from people who have never had to hire a lawyer specifically ... is: "How can you defend criminals?"
True ... it is probably not a surprise that many (if not most) of the people I work with are "guilty" of the crimes they are accused of. Or, at least, guilty of something. Honestly, clients often come to me with little or no hope, wondering what (if anything) can be done.
One of the first things that I tell them is that although they may be guilty of something, they may not be guilty of the specific crime they are charged with. An experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney will make sure that the crime is properly charged, and that all the applicable rules and laws are followed throughout the case.
In addition, a lawyer is often able to negotiate a favorable settlement, even in cases of clear guilt. If a lawyer is able to reduce a presumed sentence by even a month or two, the fees paid will have been well worth it. Lawyers are often able to negotiate reduced fines, reduced jail time and probation, etc.
But what about the role of a lawyer as counselor? Those accused of crimes are often in need of something more than merely being represented in court. Sometimes the crime itself is more accurately described as the symptom of a more serious problem, such as drug addiction or mental health issues. Criminals may do bad things, but I firmly believe they are not bad people. Generally speaking, their biggest problem is what could be described as a “lack of foresight.” A lawyer can help counsel their client, advising them to address any underlying issues. This type of advice includes encouraging the client to seek treatment, find a job or start education, and to keep their life happy and stable. Depending on the client, I sometimes encourage them to seek some spiritual guidance as well.
There is a balance that must be struck, however. Those accused of crimes do not need another person to lecture them on their mistakes. Most already acknowledge that they screwed up somehow, and most are ready to make a change. It is the lawyer’s role to encourage them and assist them in making the changes they want to make. One of the very best parts about being a criminal defense attorney is that I have the privilege of finding people at the time in their lives where they are most willing to make changes for the better. Rather than focusing too much on the past, I believe it is best to focus on the future. Despite the obstacles, the future for most criminals can be very bright, especially with the right encouragement and the right counsel.
For help with a legal dilemma, please feel free to call The Rolloff Law Office for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Heroin ... all over the news these days ... is being reported as one of the more addictive drugs & its abuse is once again climbing. Law enforcement, law makers and the courts are not blind to this fact, and they are taking action.
If you or someone you love is accused of heroin possession in the State of Minnesota, there’s a good chance that you are scared - and rightfully so. Fortunately, an experienced
Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to help.
Minnesota is known for being tough on crime ... and Controlled Substance Crimes in particular. Possession of heroin is a serious felony-level charge, no matter how much someone is accused of possessing. This means that a conviction could result in prison time, lengthy probation ... and all of the "crap" that goes along with being charged with a felony.
Having had started out as a prosecutor, I have an insight into how these matters can and should be handled ... working to earn a a positive resolution of your case.
Possession of heroin is a felony charge, no matter the amount one is found to possess. However, the actual amount does factor into the charge you face and the potential consequences. In the State of Minnesota, the law sets-forth these penalties:
- Fifth Degree Possession (Less than 3 grams) - up to 5 years in Prison and $10,000 in fines;
- Third Degree Possession (From 3 - 5.9 grams) - up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines;
- Second Degree Possession (From 6- 24.9 grams) - up to 25 years and $500,000 in fines; and
- First Degree Possession (25 grams or more) - up to 30 years and $1 million in fines.
There are many laws protecting your rights and dictating how the evidence gathered against you must be handled ... and if law enforcement fails to do their job correctly ... there are sometimes opportunities for your Minnesota Controlled Substance Crime Attorney to argue that it should be suppressed.
Example: If it can be shown that your rights were violated in the search or that the evidence was not properly handled, there may be cause to have your case thrown out completely.
In many cases, a plea bargain is the best option for everyone involved. This is true ... if you admit some level of wrongdoing but want to avoid the worst possible penalties. Often, especially if this is your first offense, you can avoid prison time with a plea agreement --- you can even (maybe) keep this off of your record all together. The terms of the agreement will be based on a variety of factors including the facts of your case, the prosecutor working on it, and your prior record.
The best criminal defense strategy for your case depends on a million different things ... all too often. Working with the Rolloff Law Office, to develop this strategy, begins with a FREE CONSULTATION. Call today to discuss your case.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
As as experienced Minnesota Shoplifting Attorney, I get loads and loads of questions, here is one of the ost common:
I recently received a civil demand letter in the mail from attorney Michael Ira Asen P.C stating I must pay $250 in 30 days.
I was caught stealing from Walmart. It was my first time ever stealing and it won't happen again. (The police were called and I was also given a citation.) I was also told I had to stay away from the sore for a year.
What if I am unable to pay the fine in time? Do I even have to pay it at all since there were no police involved?
Retailers are allowed by statute to make the demand. It is not a scam (as often suggested) but a legitimate demand allowed by law. That being said, there is procedure to this ... and if you really want to part with you money, pay it. If not, you (or an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney) can respond to these demands ... and, if my experience is any indication, you WILL NOT have to pay anything. Additionally, paying this demand WILL NOT have any impact on the citation you received. You will still have to go to court to answer for this allegation.
Sure, there is more I can say, so ... if you have any questions/concerns, please fee free to contact the Rolloff Law Office for FREE ANSWERS. Call Today: (612) 234-1165
Thursday, September 4, 2014
If there is one thing I know, personally, is that everyone makes mistakes—especially young ones.
One thing to be careful about: children and teenagers involved in criminal activity are prone to long-lasting penalties that could impact the rest of their lives. As and experienced Minnesota Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney, I can help provide the support - legal and otherwise to your child and your family - and make sure the potential penalties don’t damage the future.
What to Expect
Minnesota law defines a "juvenile" as a person between the ages of 10 and 17. When a juvenile commits a crime, the laws, procedures and the 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 Violations Involving Minors
- Drunk driving - "Not a Drop"
- Speeding, careless/reckless driving, and texting while driving
- Employee theft
- Drug possession
- Obstruction of justice
- Disorderly conduct
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.
How to "Win" the Case
The offender’s age, criminal history, and the circumstances surrounding the crime determine a consequence. However, unlike criminal court, the intention is more focused on rehabilitation. Therefore, if we work together ... getting "help" before the judge makes his order, we can work to keep the ultimate consequences to a minimum ... keeping the individual's future path free of the "clutter" these wrong-doings could cause.
A Minnesota Juvenile Defense Attorney can ensure that a juvenile’s rights are not violated, and that they receive the support they need to grow. Call the Rolloff Law Office today, to set up a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165.
Monday, September 1, 2014
As an experienced Minnesota Traffic Ticket Attorney, I get loads and loads of questions about how much does a lawyer cost --- and is it worth it? No doubt, these are legitimate questions. And with just a few quick facts, you can get the right answers from almost any attorney that handles traffic tickets.
Questions to Ask a Lawyer
How old is the ticket? What's it for? What county and/or city is it in? These are likely to be the questions you will be asked by the Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney you contact, because these questions basically allow for a calculation of the amount of work that's involved.
But when you are asking the questions of the attorney, should price be one of the first questions you ask? Hardly, in fact, it should be the last. Here's why.
To ask a question about price, you are assuming that traffic attorneys are like any other commodity. You are wise to shop around for the lowest price - true; because regardless of what you pay for it, it is pretty much going to look, taste and quench your thirst exactly the same.
However, Minnesota Traffic Lawyers are not just any product. They come in all shapes and sizes (literally and figuratively).
What I mean by that, is some traffic lawyers are small one man/woman operations, and are usually cheaper/less expensive because they have less overhead.
Conversely, some firms are not one man/woman operations and appear to charge more. Often, this goes more toward keeping them in their fancy offices ... profiting off of your misfortune.
Granted, it's important that you not be penny wise and pound foolish ... and you shouldn't just hire a layer to save $10-$20 if doing so could be the difference between hundreds or thousands of dollars in higher court costs or higher insurance increases. But, you only need to pay for what you need.
As a former prosecutor, who has worked thousands of traffic tickets, I can give you a fair assessment of you case ... and I will only charge you for the work I do. You will not be paying for my ego.
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, August 31, 2014
Minnesota law makers have enacted statutes, in recent years, extending the DWI laws to the waterways. Now, if an individual is stopped on a lake or river and suspected of operating a boat in an improper manner, the law enforcement may determine that they have probable cause to believe the person is under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, then the police can request that the driver of the boat submit to a blood, breath or urine test, as they would in a drunk driving case involving a motor vehicle. If you have been arrested for bloating while intoxicated, you should seek out the counsel of a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.
The basis elements that the State must prove to convict someone of boating while intoxicated or BWI:
- Operation of a boat; and
- Having a blood-alcohol content as measured within two hours of operating the boat of .08 or higher; and/or
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The same general procedures are that are required to followed as when a DWI arrest is made on the roadways.
Penalties for BWI are similar to those for operating a car while intoxicated, and the prior offenses for boating and for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated are aggregated together in order to determine how many prior alcohol related offenses the person has.
BWIs, like DWIs, are enhanceable offenses which means that each offense is treated more seriously than the previous one. There is no mandatory penalty for a typical first time DWI or BWI, unless there are aggravating factors, such as: a prior offenses, children present, etc.
Differences From Minnesota DWIs
There is some good news regarding boating DWIs as follows:
In Minnesota, open container laws (ie., open bottles) do not apply to boats. Passengers and boat operators can have an open containers containing alcohol. However, boat operators must operate their boats safely and not in a careless manner, or they risk being stopped and cited.
Don't Wait. Call For Experienced BWI Defense
If you have been cited for a BWI, call and experienced Minnesota BWI Attorney. The Rolloff Law Office can assist you. Call today for a free initial consultation: (612) 234-1165.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
So ... your case has been resolved .... and, as part of the settlement, you've been placed on probation. Things were going good ... and then you slipped --- whether it was a bad UA or maybe a new criminal charge ... now you're facing a probation violation. Now what?
Believe it or not Minnesota has some fairly generous sentencing conditions and first (heck, even second) time probation offenders can often have most or all of their jail time suspended - without going to prison - under certain conditions. Yes, Virginia --- there are 2nd and 3rd chances ... but, you have to earn the, This is where and experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney can be a good resource.
What Should You Do?
Probation violations can come into being fast (and easily.) So, if there is talk - from your agent - that a violation is coming, you should be prepared to act as jail can happen. If you’re on probation, here are some very concrete steps you can take to avoid probation violations, or empower an attorney to beat a probation violation if one is filed. These steps can mean the difference between freedom and jail.
1. Maintain Your Own Record
One of the biggest problems Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyers face when helping someone with a probation violation is a lack of memory and the absence of a timeline. So ... you are best served by keeping track of every call, letter and contact you have with your agent. One thing you might want to consider ... get your agent's email address and communicate that way. Then, keep those emails.
2. Don't Disappear
The easiest way to avoid problems - aside from following the court's orders to a "T" is to (especially is there is an "issue") keep in contact with your agent.Believe it or not, the biggest problem have while on probation ... it is not the occasional "slip," instead ... it is failing to communicate with your minder. DO that ... and HUGE problems can be avoided. TIP: The probation officer has no obligation to track you down. You should immediately inform your probation officer IN WRITING of your new address or phone number.
If you have not heard from your probation officer in a while, don’t assume everything is fine. Be proactive. Contact them out of the blue at least once a month if you haven’t heard from them and ask whether there is anything they need from you. Write it down that you contacted them, and what their response is if any. No news is not always good news. If they can’t find you, they can violate your probation for lack of contact.
Do not miss meetings with your probation officer. You should make meetings with your probation officer an absolute priority, as much as getting to work on time or picking you kids up from school. Missed meetings can result in a violation. If you’re in jail, you can’t work, and you can’t parent. Put your meeting dates into your calendar on your phone and set alarms on it days in advance. Alternatively, write them down on your wall calendar or in a day planner.
3. Know Your Drugs.
Many medications can result in dirty UAs ... so, especially if this is the result of a valid prescribed drug that you are on ... more than you word, your agent is going to want to see proof. Tip: Keep information about your medications.
4. Save a Lawyer's Number on Your Phone
You are not required to admit to your agent that you may have violated your probation. If you even think you’re going to face a violation, call an experienced lawyer before it’s even filed or brought up at a meeting --- and let that person do the talking for you. A good lawyer should be able to give at least preliminary advice for free, but you should be prepared and save money up for the possible need to hire one if you face a probation violation.
Don’t take too many chances, this is your liberty I'm talking about. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Rolloff Law Office for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165