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.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Minnesota Criminal Defense - Get Free Answers? (Explained)

 


Before you commit to a lawyer ... personally and financially ... you should get information.  As a former prosecutor, and an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I can give you a road map as to the where, what, who and why of your legal dilemma.  To make you feel comfortable, please understand that your first consultation is FREE. 

If you're considering meeting with an attorney, but you don't know if we can help, or if you can afford our high-quality personal service, contact the Rolloff Law Office now. 
  


We handle most criminal cases on a flat fee basis and accept credit cards. Because each case is different, after reviewing your case we will tell you up front if we can take the case and what it will cost. You then have the option of hiring us to deal with the case-at-hand.

I am straightforward and honest about what I can do to help and what it will cost --- only paying for what you need.  Call today: (612) 234-1165

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney (Explained)


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.

Lawyer's Role

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

Hennepin County Drug Charges (Heroin)


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. 

Consider This

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.

Penalties

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.
Evidentary Issues 

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.

Plea Deals

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

Minnesota Shoplifting at Wal-Mart (Attorney)


As as experienced Minnesota Shoplifting Attorney, I get loads and loads of questions, here is one of the ost common:

Mr Rolloff

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? 

Caught
  
The Truth

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