Our experienced attorneys provide criminal defense representation to clients accused of all type of criminal matters, misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and felonies. Our areas of representation include:
If you have been accused of a crime, you may face serious penalties, including license suspension, probation, mandatory community service, substantial fines, work squad or imprisonment. The severity of your penalty depends on such issues as whether the crime you are accused of is a misdemeanor or felony, whether you are a repeat or first-time offender, and whether there are other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Depending on what is in your best interest given the circumstances of your case, we can negotiate a plea bargain to reduce the charges against you, or aggressively advocate on your behalf in trial. In addition, in certain cases, we may be able to assist you in obtaining an expungement of your criminal record, meaning we may be able to have your record sealed, destroyed, or returned to you.
Q. If I am called by a police officer or other law enforcement officer and asked to meet to discuss something that is being investigated but for which I have not been charged, do I have to talk to the officer?
A. No. Even after a person has been charged with a crime, that person has no legal obligation to talk to a police officer or investigator about the alleged crime and should be very cautious in doing so because statements voluntarily made can be used against a person in court. If you believe you are under suspicion for having committed a crime or having helped commit or conceal a crime, consult an attorney immediately.
Q. If I am stopped in my vehicle by a law enforcement officer, do I have to answer the officer’s questions?
A. No. As with non-traffic offenses, statements voluntarily made (i.e., made when a person has not actually been arrested) can be used against that person in court.
Q. If I have been stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, do I have to take a breath (urine, blood) test?
A. Yes and no. Because driver’s licenses are considered a “privilege” and not a “right,” states are generally free to create legal requirements for obtaining and retaining a driver’s license. Minnesota, as well as most states, have laws which result in termination of a driver’s license for varying periods of time for refusal to take a test designed to determine whether the driver has illegal levels of alcohol or non-prescription drugs in him/her. In Minnesota, the license loss period is one year for refusal to take such a test so the decision to take or not to take such a test is a grave decision. Most attorneys advise taking the test, however, in light of the serious consequences for refusal and in light of various defenses which may exist to a test result which appears to violate the law.
Q. I was arrested a few years ago and pled guilty to a charge of assault. Since then I have been denied a job and also denied a lease for an apartment. Is there anything I can do?
A. You may be able to have the arrest and conviction removed from all public records through judicial expungement. To qualify for expungement of a criminal conviction you must be able to show that the benefit to you from removal of the conviction is at least equal to the disadvantages to the public from the elimination of the records and the burden of issuing, enforcing, and monitoring the expungement order. We can also pursue a Governor’s pardon for a client who does not qualify for an expungement. Please call us if you would like us to represent you in an expungement proceeding.