Questions and Answers About Criminal Defense

What type of crime have I been charged with?

There are four different levels of offenses in Minnesota: the Petty Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor, and Felony. They are defined by the possible sentence you could receive if you were convicted of the offense.

– A Petty Misdemeanor is a non-criminal offense punishable by a maximum $300 fine. You cannot go to jail for a petty misdemeanor.

– A Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and/or a $1000 fine.

– A Gross Misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $3000 fine.

– A Felony is punishable by over one year in prison and/or more than a $3000 fine.

It is beneficial to find an attorney or lawyer that are experienced in defending people charged with all levels of offenses.

I have been charged with a crime. What are my rights?

You have an absolute right to have an attorney represent you.

You do not have to talk to police about the crime you have been charged with. If you choose to talk to police you have a right to have an attorney with you when you do so. A lawyer or attorneys can assist you in making that decision.

You have a right to a trial by either a judge or a jury depending on the charges.

– At the trial, the State would have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you choose to have a jury trial, all members of the jury would have to agree that you are guilty.

– The State must bring their witnesses against you into court and you have a right to question those witnesses.

– You have the right to subpoena witnesses to come into court and testify on your behalf.

– You have the right to either testify at your trial or remain silent. If you choose to remain silent, neither the prosecuting attorney nor the judge may comment to the jury on your decision.

You have a right to a pre-trial hearing where you can contest the evidence that the State wants to use against you at the trial.

These are very important decisions that a lawyer or attorney can assist you with.

What will happen if I am convicted?

If you are convicted of a crime the court will impose a sentence that may include any of the following:

– Jail or prison time
– Fines
– Community Service
– Electronic Home Monitoring
– Probation conditions, such as:
– No-contact orders
– Education requirements (Anger Management, DWI Education, Victim Impact Panel Attendance, etc.)
– Abstinence from chemical use (alcohol and drugs)

In addition to jail time and fines, there are other possible consequences (collateral consequences) if you plead guilty or are found guilty at a trial.

– Traffic offenses and DWI offenses may result in your driver’s license being suspended or revoked.
– If you are convicted of a felony, you will not be allowed to possess a firearm under state and federal law.
– Conviction of certain offenses can require you to register with the State as a predatory offender.
– Conviction of certain offenses may result in suspension or revocation of certain professional licenses.

If your decision is ultimately to plead guilty, lawyers or attorneys can negotiate the best possible outcome for you and can help you understand or avoid the collateral consequences of a conviction.

What can a criminal defense attorney do for me?

The legal system is complicated and confusing. A criminal defense attorney or lawyer can:

– Represent you while your case is being investigated and try to prevent criminal charges

– Challenge evidence against you and make sure illegally obtained evidence or inadmissible evidence is not used at your trial

– Determine whether you have any legal defenses to the crime you have been charged with that could result in the charges being dismissed or an acquittal at trial.

– Negotiate with the prosecutor to get you the best outcome possible if you decide to plead guilty to the charges.

The information you obtain from this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Criminal defense lawyer or attorney in Minneapolis MN

Who Decides On Non Criminal Responsibility

Every day we can read in the press about compensation claims for all manner of injuries or affronts. It has led us to what has now been dubbed the ‘compensation culture’ where people hire injury lawyers to extract money from anyone and everyone in any case, instead of taking responsibility for their own behaviour. The ‘where there ‘s blame, there ‘s a claim’ phrase has been used to exhaustion because it seems, everyone can blame someone else for any slight mis-hap.

Some claim that the only people making any real money from this are the injury lawyers themselves. This can be true in some cases. Some injury lawyers charge such extortionate fees for their services that there is very little compensation left to give the injured party. This has become such a problem that injury lawyers are now claiming to do this work for free although you will probably find it means that extra charges are put on the claim which they then take as their fee.

But where is the uniform policy for working out what compensation is deserved and what is received? One day we can open a paper and see that a court has awarded someone millions for the loss of a finger whereas a life has been lost and a family have been awarded 14.50 pounds for the trouble. A little exaggerated but you get my drift – there is no set policy for making the decisions over what a person is worth in the way of finances or what their damages are and how much the so-called responsible party should pay.

This is because the laws governing personal injury, deliberate or accidental, negligence and defamation are different to current criminal laws. It is all decided by what is called ‘Tort Law’. This law is used to determine who is responsible for an issue that does not arise from a neglect of contractual duty. It defines who is legally responsible for a legal injury, whether that be to the person, to the person ‘s reputation and character or to their property. It will cover intentional and accidental acts.

If an intention cannot be proved then negligence has to be established. Negligence is defined as not carrying through a proper duty of care which brings about an accident or injury to another party. And this is where it all gets messy. There is no definition of what a proper duty of care should entail and it is left open to interpretation by injury lawyers and judges. To prove a case on principle alone is notoriously difficult as everybody is entitled to their own interpretation of what are and are not acceptable principles.

Thus we have court cases where injuries are deemed as being more significant in one case than they are in another. It all hinges on one man ‘s personal principles. We also have issues arise where a judge has to decide whether a person has made their own choices that have led to a problem, whether they were led into a bad decision, whether that be a deliberate mis-leading or an mis-understanding.

Only this week the press reports of a woman who became dangerously ill following a dieticians advice on a very strict detox diet. After complications, the woman was left with brain injuries and epilepsy and was awarded 800,000 pounds in damages by a court who ruled she had been mis-informed and that the care was possibly negligent. Maybe if a different judge had been residing, he may have decided the woman was solely responsible for her own eating habits and it was her choice to follow the diet. Who knows what could happen on the day and until some definite legislation is put in place, injustices will still seem to be happening.

Compensation expert Catherine Harvey looks at the use of Torts Law when injury lawyers are deciding on compensation claims.

I Was Charged With a Dwi With a Suspended License – What Sentence Will I Expect?

If you have been charged with a DWI with a suspended license, you can generally expect a stiff sentence. In most states this means a mandatory jail sentence, and certainly needs the skills of a dedicated DWI lawyer.

The fact that you will be charged in any case due to your driving (with or without drink) with a suspended license is immaterial: the DWI charge compounds the problem, and you could even be charged under two codes. You could be jailed, face a heavy fine and lose your license for an even longer time. The sentencing here is up to the court. If you are fortunate, then part of the jail time could be traded for a period of probation, though ten years probation with this type of deal is not unusual.

Now, perhaps, you are beginning to understand the gravity of this offense, and to face this without the services of the best DWI attorney experienced in this kind of charge would be tantamount to suicide. You probably feel suicidal in any case, but don’t despair. A good DWI lawyer can help you more than you think, and help to reduce the sentencing by presenting you as being a bit foolish and unaware of your suspended license.

Whether your license has been suspended or not is immaterial: the prosecution still have to prove their case, and you have the same chance of this failing as the thousands of others who have either been found not guilty after a jury trial or have had their cases thrown out through improper procedure.

The latter is more common than you might believe – check it out online. Last year one cop got around 50 cases thrown out because of improper procedure. It might be rare for 50 to occur, but you only need one! A good DUI or DWI lawyer can sniff these out like a bloodhound! It ‘s a thought that can help you sleep at night.

However, the reality of the situation is that if your license was suspended for a previous DWI or DUI conviction, you are in real trouble. There ‘s no use in pussyfooting over it: sentencing can be grim. You have problems, and you need really a good DWI lawyer. A lawyer who can use his or her knowledge of the law and make the prosecution prove that you were the driver, and not merely a passenger, and that you were aware of the fact that your license had been suspended: can they prove that you actually received notification of the fact? Finally, was your license actually suspended or revoked.

That requires copies of court records, and if your DWI attorney demands to see them in court, then they must be provided there and then along with proof that you had signed for any communication to indicate that you had actually received the notification. The more time that has elapsed in the ten years to the ‘washout’ of your conviction, then the more difficult that will be for them to produce.

If the notice of conviction and sentencing of a suspended license was posted to you through the normal mailing system, and you hadn’t signed for it, then it will be difficult to prove that you actually received it. It is not up to you to request this of the court after your conviction, and it is not unusual for such cases to be dismissed because the prosecution cannot prove “Beyond Reasonable Doubt” that you had been informed that your license had been revoked or suspended.

What happens then depends on the charge being made. If it is driving under the influence of alcohol while suspended from driving, then the case is dismissed, and you go free. If it is a simple DUI charge, with your suspended license to be taken into account during sentencing, then you might still be guilty, but the suspension can’t be taken into account. However even the guilt could be in doubt with a good DWI attorney.

As to the expecting sentencing if you are found guilty of knowingly driving under the influence of alcohol while banned from driving, you will likely be jailed if found guilty. The term will depend upon the judge, and also the alcohol content of your blood. Don’t expect any understanding or sympathy from the bench, and if your previous ban was also for a DWI offence, then you had better be prepared for a long time in prison, unless you have chose your DWI lawyer wisely.

Such cases can be won, and it is best to fight them, but only if your legal team knows its stuff. Search the internet and ask around your family and friends: this is not the time to be ashamed to talk to them since it could make a world of difference to your sentence. It is possible to win with right DWI lawyer.

More information is available on Dui and Dwi Legal help

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal, or Penal, Law, refers to the body of rules that govern punishments for a number of legal offenses, usually enforced by the government. Each state has its own set of procedures to deal with the offenses committed, but for all states, punishment is occurring for a person’s failure to comply with a set of rules or laws. These punishments can range from very simple, such as a small fine, to quite severe, such as execution.

During a trial of this type of Law, a criminal lawyer has the task of defending his or her client. It is almost never recommended that an accused person should try to represent him or herself in a criminal case. Criminal law can be difficult to understand and it takes years to become an expert. When defending yourself, you want someone who understands the situation you are in, knows what options are available, and knows the best way to proceed. Hiring a criminal lawyer is the most effective way to find this type of person.

When hiring a criminal defense lawyer, there are a number of aspects about the lawyer that one should examine. One of the most important aspects is experience, not just as a defense lawyer, but experience with the specific type of case that is being dealt with. Experience spread over a number of years is also important, not just in number of cases seen. Having been successful over a long period shows that the lawyer can adapt to changing moods and views that society goes through, and that he or she has seen a wider variety of outcomes, therefore possessing more knowledge of how to resolve a case. A long winning record is ideal, as this will make the proceedings go much more smoothly. The lawyer will be able to bring ideas and viewpoints that less experienced lawyers may not have seen or heard of yet.

If one is able to find a defense lawyer with this type of experience, it is most likely that he or she will have two other very important attributes, confidence and respect. A lawyer who is confident in the courtroom and in his or her abilities will be able to present ideas more effectively. One who has earned the respect of the community and judges will also be more effective. He or she will be able to negotiate easier, win crucial motions, and get more favorable rulings.

In addition to the courtroom side of things, a good criminal defense lawyer should also be one that cares about the client and makes an effort to understand the situation. A lawyer who is interested in the well being of his or her clients and spends the time to get to know them will be fighting harder in the courtroom than one who does not do this. These lawyers will understand what the various outcomes of a case may mean for the client. Large fines, jail time, or even just a small criminal charge can have enormous repercussions for some people, particularly those that require a license to perform their job. It is important to realize this and to fight hard to reduce those effects as much as possible.

There is no substitute for experience, and ideally, one should try to find the best lawyer available that one can afford. One who has experience and knowledge, but still possesses a passion for what they do, with a genuine concern for the client and his or her well being. Criminal cases can have devastating effects on a person’s life, and a good criminal defense lawyer is a valuable tool that should not be wasted.

The information you obtain from this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
A Criminal Defense attorney and lawyer in Rochester MN at a local law firm can provide legal assistance related to criminal law.

Legal Alcohol Limit and Driving – Are All Countries the Same?

The legal alcohol limit when driving is based on the blood alcohol content of one’s blood. The blood alcohol content (BAC) is a measure of how much alcohol is in the blood. When it exceeds a certain percentage, then it is not deemed safe to drive. There are many different factors that conclude what one’s BAC is, so it can sometimes be confusing. But with such devices as breathalyzers that can be utilized on site when a person is pulled over, figuring it becomes considerably easier.

However, it is figured mathematically but is nowhere as near to accurate as the breathalyzers. If these details are known, the easiest way to figure BAC is by taking the amount of alcohol that was consumed and dividing that by the total amount of water in the body. Alcohol dehydrates the body, so if one takes into consideration that a 150 pound woman has 73.5 pounds of water in her body and uses that number to divide into the amount of alcohol consumed, one could successfully calculate their BAC and also figure out how much water their body is lacking due to alcohol consumption.

A BAC of .20% means a person is extremely intoxicated. In fact, they are so intoxicated that if they were drinking for the first time in their life, they would have never made it to a BAC of .20% because they would’ve passed out by .15%. A person this intoxicated is in a state in which they can, under no circumstances, operate a motor vehicle. Even at .01% a person may not pass all sobriety tests despite the fact that they look normal. However in various places around the world, the legal alcohol limit for driving varies. Some have absolutely no tolerance for it while others do to a certain extent. Sometimes the tolerance extends to just a couple of drinks to no more than the standard dose of cough syrup. That is why it is important to be vigilant about the legal alcohol limit in the area in which you are drinking, especially if you intend on driving. If you exceed the limit, then you probably need to get a cab.

The legal alcohol limit for driving throughout the world:

– The standard BAC for the United States is .08% but can vary from state to state. Operators of busses and other such carriers are allowed a BAC of .01% and pilots are allowed a BAC of .04% within 8 hours of consuming alcohol.

– United Kingdom: .08%

– France: .05%

– Germany: .05%

– Australia: .05%

– Canada has a standard BAC of .08%, but has a legal limit of .04% in Manitoba. However, drivers in Ontario with G1 and G2 licenses have a limit of zero.

– Japan: .015%

– Mexico: .08%

– Norway: .02%

– Russia: .02%

How much alcohol is left in a person’s system depends on how quickly they metabolize or excrete it. Two people who have had the same amount of alcohol may not display the same reading on a BAC test. Their size and weight as well as how fast their body processes it has a huge influence. So even if a person feels fine, they may not be fine.

People have different tolerances, so it is good to always be safe rather than be sorry and risk arrest for being over the legal alcohol limit while operating a motor vehicle. Doing so can also be very hazardous. Many have been killed by others who have gone out to have a good time and not arranged a designated driver or took a cab. It is fair to say that legal alcohol limits are in place in order to keep people alive.

Discount car hire has several branches servicing all the various locations throughout Sydney and Australia. Offering a wide range of car rentals and truck rentals for all of your traveling and business needs.

Death Row Release

After 22 years on death row, Paul House will appear in court on Friday for a bail hearing that could set him free. Paul House was convicted back in 1986 for the murder of a young mother. The young mother, Carolyn Muncey was brutally murdered in 1986 in Union County, Tennessee.

In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that Paul House would have not been convicted based upon new evidence found years after the case was tried. A Federal Judge has ruled if the case is not retried by June 17, Paul House will be released.

Paul Phillips, District Attorney has stated that he will retry the case however he won’t seek the death penalty.

Under criminal law a person whom has been convicted of a crime has the right to appeal the case. After a conviction. the House has the right to reverse their decision and retry the case. If the District Attorney decides not to retry the case the defendant can be released without further charges.

Car Accident & Investigation

This morning a man was driving in Washington County, Maryland and was involved in a car accident that resulted in serious injury. The driver was allegedly driving on a no pass zone during this mornings commute. While trying to pass several cars the driver was met by oncoming traffic.

Trying to avoid the oncoming traffic the man tried to swerve back into the lane when he lost control of the vehicle. His car immediately went airborne and rolled into a nearby yard. Somehow the man was ejected out of his seat and landed underneath of his vehicle. The witnesses of the accident had to lift the vehicle up and get the man out from underneath the vehicle. Immediately the man was sent to shock trauma where his injuries are still unknown.

The unfortunate circumstance is that the man probably will be faced with reckless driving amongst other charges. In Maryland reckless driving is considered one of the more severe traffic violations within the state and more most likely the driver will be facing misdemeanor charges that could result in a jail sentence.

Maryland Transportation Code for reckless driving states:

§ 21-901.1.

(a) A person is guilty of reckless driving if he drives a motor vehicle:

(1) In wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property; or

(2) In a manner that indicates a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.

(b) A person is guilty of negligent driving if he drives a motor vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life or person of any individual.

The owner of the property could have the right to seek compensation for any damages to his or her property. The accident is still under investigation.

Additional Personal Injury Information for Consumers

Hit & Run in Hartford

a 78 year old man was hit by a car today in Hartford, Connecticut. The man was crossing a street and an upcoming car struck the man and tossed him up in the air. The car that hit the man decided to proceed and did not stop at the scene of the accident. A hit and run is considered a violent crime and if the driver is caught he or she will be charged with a felony.

The scene was captured on video and while there wasn’t a positive description of the vehicle, the video showed pedestrians doing nothing. While the victim lay in the middle of the road, nine cars were reported passing him and not stopping to help out the victim.

Unfortunately, there was no positive identification of the vehicle however news sources have been reporting the accident in hopes that someone will come forward with a positive description of the car and the driver.

This is the second violent crime in the city of Hartford this week. Earlier this week Deputy Mayor Nicholas Carbone was beaten and then robed while walking to breakfast.

Additional Personal Injury Information for Consumers

Rezko Convicted

Antoin Rezko long time friend of Barrack Obama and partner was convicted Wednesday, June 4th of a series of white collar crimes. Mr. Rezko was being charge of money laundering, fraud and aiding and abetting. Mr. Rezko was ultimately convicted of six counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud, two counts of aiding and abetting bribery and two counts of money laundering.

This is a huge development considering the negative consequence to Barrack Obama’s campaign for presidency. Barrack Obama put out a statement Wednesday afternoon stating that he was sadden by the verdict. Once again Barrack Obama tried to distance himself yet again from past associations with controversial figures. Barrack Obama’s problems continue to snowball in the wrong direction. His relationships with Rezko, William Ayers, Reverend Jeremiah Wright and “father” Pflegler all will be dissected by the republican party during the general election. These associations will be huge hurdles for Senator Obama over the next 6 months.

Senator Obama will also have to figure a way to distance himself with the negative comments made towards middle class voters in Pennsylvania in which he said they cling to their guns and religion during trying times.

While Obama is fighting to keep the little reputation he has intact amongst white working class voters and women, Mr. Rezko will be sentenced as a white collar criminal. The platform that Mr. Obama stands upon of changing America could be considered as political jargon for some. Mr. Obama supported and has been supported by Mr. Rezko in the past. According to the FBI, while collar crimes cost the United States over $300 billion annually. The question that some voters may have at the polls is of the $300 billion dollars we spend annually, how much money have we spend investigating Barrack Obama past associations?

Content provided by Frank M.

Ride With A Drunk Driver And You May Be Legally Responsible For Your Own Injuries Or Death

A case decided last October by the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s decision to hold a passenger 35% responsible for her own injuries after accepting a ride from a driver she knew to have consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.

With the holidays approaching soon, I expect that there will be many more opportunities for people to drive after consuming alcohol. Of course, most people know that a drunk driver who causes injury or death can be sued for this unlawful conduct. But, did you know that a passenger who knowingly rides with an intoxicated person can be held responsible for the passenger’s own injuries or death arising from a drunk driving accident?

Yes, it’s true. A case decided last October by the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s decision to hold a passenger 35% responsible for her own injuries after accepting a ride from a driver she knew to have consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.

In the case of Hickly v. Bare, 135 Wn. App. 676 (October 2006), the driver admitted to consuming at least 6 beers earlier that evening. The passenger (Hickly) admitted to consuming 3 drinks before the accident but testified at trial that she was not intoxicated when she got into the vehicle. Another passenger (the drunk driver’s brother) testified that the driver appeared too intoxicated to drive, but he decided to get into the vehicle anyway. All 3 occupants had been at a tavern earlier in the evening where they consumed alcohol. The testimony established that all three were at the tavern for more than four (4) hours.

Shortly before they left the bar, Hickly spoke with the driver about whether he was able to drive. According to Hickly, the driver appeared fine to drive. She testified that he “walked fine, was able to handle his keys and functions of the vehicle, and did not slur his speech.” The driver’s brother however, disagreed with Hickly’s observations of the driver. He testified that his brother was too drunk to drive. Shortly after Hickly got into the car, the driver lost control of the vehicle and nearly hit a telephone pole. He went off the roadway where the car flipped at least 3 or 4 times. A passerby who stopped to render aid testified that the driver appeared intoxicated. Hickly filed suit against the driver and alleged that she suffered permanent neck and back injuries due to the accident.

The driver admitted that he was intoxicated and that he caused the accident. But he also claimed that Hickly had also negligently caused or contributed to her own injuries by agreeing to ride with a driver that was intoxicated. Thus, the only issue before the jury was apportionment of fault and damages.

At trial the jury was instructed by the judge that Hickly could be held negligent for causing her own injuries if they found that she rode in a vehicle operated by a person known to be intoxicated. Apparently the jury agreed with the drunk driver’s attorney by holding Hickly 35% responsible for her injuries when she accepted a ride from a person she knew, or should have known was intoxicated. Hickly’s damages were then reduced by 35% to account for her own negligence.

The appeals court also said that if the jury had found that Hickly was intoxicated when she was injured, then her intoxication might have operated as a COMPLETE DEFENSE precluding recovery of damages altogether. But only if the drunk driver had established that (1) Hickly’s intoxication proximately caused her own injuries; and (2) Hickly was more than 50 percent comparatively at fault in causing her injuries. Hickly was fortunate in this case because the jury did not believe that she was intoxicated even though she had consumed alcohol earlier in the evening.

The lesson from this case should be clear. Even if you don’t consume alcohol, if you knowlingly get into a vehicle with a person whom you knew, or should have known, was intoxicated you could be held responsible for causing your own injuries if there is an accident. You can bet the insurance company will defend such a case vigorously by arguing this new case. Don’t ever knowingly accept a ride from someone who has consumed alcohol.