Monday, January 30, 2012

Hiring a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney (Explained)

If you've recently been charged with crime - or are the subject of a criminal investigation - you probably have some questions ---- lots and lots of questions.  Here is a little insight into a few things you need to know as you look for an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

Should I Say Anything to the Police Before Hiring a Lawyer?

If you are suspected of a crime or have been arrested, one of the most important things to do - say as little as possible. Be respectful to the authorities, but do not put yourself in at risk by providing information that may be used against you. Contact a criminal defense attorney a soon as possible.

Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Before Seeking Help from a Bail Bondsmen?

After a friend or a loved one has been arrested, often the first thought is to get the person out of custody or jail. Many people turn to a bail-bondsman,. Typically, decisions are made it "in the moment": fear and panic may play a role is the decision making process - but first taking the time to seek criminal defense help from an experienced attorney instead of posting bond immediately has several advantages:

Posting a bond may be a waste of money. An attorney can advise you about the severity of the charge. For some cases, a person who has been arrested may be released on their own recognizance as soon as they get to court (often the morning after an arrest).

An experienced Minnesota Criminal Attorney may be able to negotiate the amount of bond in court. It is possible and often likely that the bond amount can be reduced by the attorney's negotiating skill with the DA and Judge.

What Should I Consider When Calling and Comparing Criminal Defense Attorneys?

Although bondsmen are not allowed to recommend a specific Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, they can have business cards present at their offices - some people call these attorneys. Other people will look at the phone book or search for an attorney online. One of the best ways to find an attorney is by personal connection, such a recommendation from a friend or relative. It is always a good idea, as with any service, to examine your options and speak with at least 3 attorneys prior to selecting representation.

When peaking with a criminal defense attorney of the phone you can get a feel for their:

  • Personality, professionalism, and demeanor
  • Their level of experience, as an attorney and with criminal cases
  • Responsiveness and timing in regards to your call
  • Sincerity (are they just eager to your money?)
  • Level of personal interaction (will other attorneys or staff handle your case?
How Do Pricing and Fees Work?
Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys typically work in flat-fee arrangements and require an upfront payment (retainer) to begin working on your case. Many attorneys take credit cards and offer payment plans. In comparing prices it is important to take into account that there is a wide range of quotes that you may receive on even a simple matter such as a first Drunk Driving citation.
Here in Minnesota, for a first time DWI charge, you can find attorneys that will take you case for as little as $750 or other attorneys that would charge as much as $10,000. Either of those might be a reasonable amount, depending on the skill and reputation of the attorney.

The vast majority would charge between $1500 and $4000 for a first time DWI with $2100 being an average amount. But take note, it doesn't mean you are getting more for your money - the amount of work required for your case will depend on many factors - including the facts and substance of your arrest and the evidence against you.

What Should I Consider When Meeting with A Criminal Defense Attorney?

The first time you meet in with an attorney, whether in court, custody, or at their office. Just as in your phone call, is important that you both ask questions. During the meeting assess your comfort level with the attorney.

The things you want to look for and questions you should ask:

  • Do you and your attorney seem to get along?
  • Do you feel comfortable with this person representing you?
  • If this person walked into court, do you think people in a jury would respect them?
  • Do they speak well?
  • Are they well groomed?
  • Do they seem to a have a knowledge and understanding of the law?
  • Can they easily explain the law as it applies to your case?
  • Do you feel you can trust them?
  • Do they have the level of experience you need?
  • Have they practiced in the court that is handling your case?
  • Do they make promises to you that seem unusual? For example, "I know the prosecutor there". (Relationships such as in the prior example may give you more comfort, but generally in Minnesota courts this will not make a difference in how your case is handled.)
Your lawyer should have many questions for you. Their interest in your case is very important to the final outcome. Without proper information, the most beneficial actions and best possible outcome cannot be achieved.
What Can You Do Now?

You can educate yourself on this process - but a lot of the learning is going to be done in the doing.  To learn how my approach to criminal defense can benefit you, contact the Rolloff Law Office to schedule your free consultation.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Minnesota Expungements (Explained)

In difficult economic times, having a clean criminal record is more important than ever. Someones criminal history may affect their efforts to find employment, rent an apartment, obtain a bank loan, obtain certain licenses, and/or receive government benefits.

Due to changes in technology, information about an individual's criminal history is easily available. These records are no longer necessarily private - stored in some basement filing cabinet.  Rather, they can often be accessed with just a few clicks of one's mouse over the Internet.

What is Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process that permits qualified individuals to have their criminal records sealed or destroyed.  If you have questions about this process - and what you can do to earn an Expungement - your first, best step should be to call an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense and Expungement Attorney

Statutory Criminal Record Expungement in Minnesota

Minnesota law allows individuals to expunge their criminal records in certain, limited circumstances. Essentially there are two types of Minnesota Criminal Expungements: Statutory and Inherent Authority.

Statutory Expungement  

Statutory Expungement is available in very limited circumstances, specifically: (1) When someone has had certain controlled substance offenses dismissed and discharged; (2) for certain juveniles prosecuted as adults; and (3) for certain criminal proceedings not resulting in conviction.  Often, these conditions do not "fit" most individuals circumstances; therefore, there is also the Inherent Authority option.

If you qualify for a Statutory Expungement and want to proceed with the process, you must formally petition the court. If your petition is successful, the court will issue an order sealing the records and prohibiting their disclosure to the public - except in certain limited circumstances. The Expungement order, however, does not destroy the criminal records, and the records are not returned.

Inherent Authority Expungement

As things currently stand, an "inherent authority of the court" Expungement is probably the least attractive option, but (as set forth above) it is often the only remedy available to most people who pled guilty or were convicted of a criminal offense.

The factors that the court uses to decide this type of Expungement includes, but is not limited to, the severity of the crime, how long ago it occurred, whether you have had any other problems with the law, if you have been rehabilitated, and the reasons for seeking the Expungement. Ultimately the court must weight the individuals need for the relief that an Expungement affords versus society's need to maintain accurate records of criminal convictions.

What Can You Do?

The best way to ensure that you are eligible for an Eexpungement is before you plead guilty to a crime. The cornerstone of my practice is the work I do to resolve cases so that my clients are eligible to clear your record in the future.

If you have been charged with a crime and want to obtain a result that will allow for the possibility of future Expungement, or have a previously resolved case and are interested in an Expungement, you need an experienced legal advocate to fight for your rights. To learn more, contact the Rolloff Law Office, today, at (612) 234-1165.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Minnesota DWI - Videos (Explained)

If I told you that you were under arrest for a Minnesota DWI - and that the whole encounter with law enforcement was captured on video - what would you say?

My guess is that most people hearing that news would be pretty anxious or nervous about what was recorded - right?  Well, whenever I learn that there's a video of an arrest, I get kind of pumped.

Why I Love Drunk Driving Videos

In most Minnesota communities, police squad cars are being outfitted with the latest video recording equipment.  (Heck, in one city, officers own bodies are being used to carry such devices.)  And believe it or not, video is great for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that it doesn't have the biased view that law enforcement often carrys with them into almost any arrest situations.  Video cameras can't smell alcohol, they aren't congratulated on their number of Drunk Driving arrests they make and they don't have quotas for stops of vehicles and DWI investigations. They simply record what happens, as it happens.

Guess Who Hates Drunk Driving Videos.

If you might be anxious about how you'd appear on an arrest video - can you imagine how the officer feels?  If my past experience - working with law enforcement - as a prosecutor is any indication, they absolutely hate it.  They're number one complaint - that videos don't catch the little "nuances" of what they see.

Now, I never quite understood this argument because in my humble opinion the video is often as clear as day when it comes to showing someone doing or not doing something - such as: crossing a line, stumbling, or slurring their speech. 

The Truth

In theory, video was supposed to make the work of the DA easier and the work of a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney harder. But it usually works in the other way.

I love having video evidence - it shows me what the police reports never do: What actually happened.

What Should You Do?

If you are charged with Drunk Driving, don't wait to get help. Call the Rolloff Law Office today - (612) 234-1165. We are ready to serve as your Minnesota DWI Attorney, and we'll do whatever we can to get the resolution you want. Call

Monday, January 23, 2012

Minnesota Obstruction of Justice Charges (Explained)

If it's one lesson that's been drilled into most of us since we were kids it is that you do what a police officer tells you to do.  If you don't you're risking any and all manner of consequence - immediate and possibly over the long hall.  (Many of you, I'm sure have seen what can happen to individuals who resist the request/demands of a peace officer.  Often, it isn't pretty.  It can also lead to additional criminal charges.)  If you or someone you love has found him or herself facing this dilemma, you first, best step should be to contact an experience Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

The act of obstructing justice takes on many forms. In Minnesota, the law defines it as --- interference with the work of law enforcement, including peace officers, prosecutors and federal authorities.  Examples include:

  •  Escape;
  •  Fleeing A Police Officer In A Motor Vehicle;
  •  Warning A Subject of Police Investigation;
  •  Witness Tampering; and
  •  Interference With A Dead Body

What Are  You Going To Do?
Have you been charged with obstruction of justice? I can help.  First as a prosecutor, and since as an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I've handled thousands of cases - and I will fight to protect your rights. Contact the Rolloff Law Office today for a free consultation.  Call me (612) 234-1165 or go to and submit your inquiry through our online consultation

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Minnesota Shoplifting - Theft by Swindle (Explained)

Shoplifting, Theft and/or Theft by Swindle are criminal offenses that crosses age groups, socio-economic status and races. Often offenses of this nature constitute either a huge mistake or a significant lapse in judgement that you regret.  Additionally, there are those cases of mistaken intention - where the accused is completely innocent. Either way, to preserve your future (and your clean criminal record) you should talk to a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to discuss how you can fight these charges and/or resolve them without adding a permanent stain on your record.  To those ends, I can help.  .

I say this because in this age of instant background checks being part of almost any employment, housing or bank loan process - a mark as small as a petty Shoplifting offense can utterly destroy your future.

Minnesota Law

Under Minnesota law, Theft offenses are quite varied. An individual may have been accused of walking out of a store without paying for something or he may be accused of deceiving someone for financial gain. As a former prosecutor, I'm quite familiar with the  "ins and outs" of our state's Theft statutes and as such I can work to ensure that you get the outcome you deserve.

This involves looking after your rights (making sure that they're protected at every stage of the process) and to pick apart the government's case so as to earn you the best possible results for you and your future.   on your day in court.

Need More Information?

There are a number of acts that constitute Theft under Minnesota law. Additionally, the level of charge (eg., petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony) your cited for depends on other complex factors including the value of the property or services alleged to have been stolen.  To be certain you know what you are up against when facing Minnesota Theft charges in court, call the Rolloff Law Office today - at (612) 234-1165 - to set up a FREE consultation.

I provide a thorough evaluation of your case and I'll inform you as to all of the possible defense options, and what you might expect to be the most likely outcome in your case.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Minnesota Assault Charges (Explained)

Assault is a very serious charge that can result in substantial jail time and fines depending on the circumstances.In many cases, an Assault charge is the result of a fight where the alleged victim is either the one who called the police, or got the worst of it, regardless of who actually started it.
But when you are facing a serious criminal charge, you need an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to argue on your behalf, and work to get the charged reduced or dismissed.
And you need to act quickly, before you lose your chance to file motions in court on your behalf.

What is Assault?

Under Minnesota criminal law, the crime of Assault is charged at different levels based on the intent of the attack, the level of harm caused, who the victim was, and whether or not a weapon was used.  One's criminal history also comes into play when considering the level of crime - from Misdemeanor to Felony - that is charged.

Due to the fact that such designations are so fact specific, it is important to speak with an attorney about your case to ensure that you're not being overcharged.

How to Beat a Minnesota Assault Charge

There are many different ways to successfully win a criminal assault case in court. To get the charges reduced, I will often contest the intent of the accused, or challenge the degree of the injury.  To get a case dismissed, I will argue that the fight was mutual, or that the other person started it and it was self defense. These cases can be complicated, and how I would actually proceed really depends on the facts of your case.

Your Next Step

As a former DA, I've been on both sides of these cases.  I know how hard they are to prove and what needs to be done to defend my client to ensure that their rights and freedoms are upheld.  Before you decide to go it alone, call The Rolloff Law Office and set up a FREE consultation, and after reviewing the facts I'll tell you exactly what I can do to help you.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Minnesota DWI - FAQs

As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I get a lot of questions about DWIs.  Here are some of most frequent questions I field.

Will I go to jail?

Minnesota law includes jail time in all Drunk Driving convictions. A first-time, misdemeanor DWI, if you're convicted, could lead to a sentence of up to one-year in jail if the judge feels that is what you deserve. If you act quickly and contact the Rolloff Law Office, I can take action to defend you against jail time and other penalties.

Will I lose my driver's license?

A license revocation is automatic without even being charged with a DWI. If you choose to defend against charges, I can represent you at the licewnse revocation hearing to fight the revocation and defend your right to legally drive.

Should I just plead guilty to DWI?

Although many people do do that - what they come to learn is that their case could have been successfully defended.  Know thins the costs involved in a DWI conviction are much more than attorney's fees and fines.  There's the driver's license renewal fee, higher car insurance premiums, and even the loss of potential income because of employment opportunities that you mightbe excluded from.  Even if you decide to go it alone, you should get your case evaluated by a Minnesota DWI Attorney and discuss a defense and review the evidence against you for flaws.

What types of Drunk Driving charges does the Rolloff Law Office defend against?

I represent clients facing all types of DWI charges, including felony DWI, first time DWI, CDL DWI, DWI with injury, multiple DWIs, underage drink and driving, DWI-Drug Induced, leaving the scene of an accident, vehicular manslaughter, BWI, as well as drivers license restoration, and DWI appeals, among others.

How do I choose a DWI lawyer?

Look for training, experience, successful case results and someone that you know will focus on your case and not treat you like just another number. In order to successfully defend a Drunk Driving charge, it takes conviction and a full focus on your case. The Rolloff Law Office takes on cases fully committed to fighting for every possible advantage for our clients. Call today to schedule a free, on obligation consultation - (612) 234-1165.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Do You REALLY Need an Attorney? (Explained)

Ask yourself this --- what do you do if you have been arrested for a crime? If you are like most people, you will probably panic.

At a minimum, what you should do, is contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, regardless of whether the whole situation is a big misunderstanding, regardless of if you have never been arrested before, the next best move you need to make (to avoid any more problems) is to speak to someone who knows what's really going on.

Or - just think of it this way - keep your head up, keep your mouth shut and call a lawyer ASAP.

What Are You Up Against?

In my career I've been party to every type of case - from almost every angle.  I started out as a clerk to a judge, then I moved into the county attorney's office - and now (talking all I've learned) I represent defendant's in criminal court.

What this means for you is that you are getting an experienced, committed and aggressive trial lawyer that is not afraid to go above and beyond the boundaries to get you the best outcome possible. I represent clients facing all criminal offenses including:
  • Criminal sexual conduct, prostitution and other sex crimes;
  • Manslaughter, murder, assault and other violent crimes;
  • DWI and other traffic violations;
  • Probation hearings and orders for protection;
  • Drug crimes including trafficking and possession;
  • Repeat offenders and juvenile offenders;
  • Obstruction of justice; and
  • Fraud, false information, forgery and theft crimes. 
All of these criminal accusations come with serious consequences if you're found guilty. In some instances you could be faced with a lifetime in prison and a fine as hefty as $1,000,000. In other cases you may only lose your license and receive a black mark on your record. However, in the best case scenario, you will be able to walk away with a clean record and a clear name. This is what we strive for when you work with the Rolloff Law Office.
Why and How a Lawyer Helps
One of the biggest things that will impact your case is the evidence gathered by the government.  Fingerprints, DNA, lab results, blood tests and urine samples can all be used against you. However, the thing about this kind of evidence is that there are often a lot of complications. Lab results are not just black and white – there are many gray areas in there that can be used to your advantage. While a proven DNA match may seem like an open and shut case, there could be problems with the retrieval of the sample, with the actual match and with the testing procedure. This is only one of the many examples of how, with in depth research and experience, all cases can be argued.


Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys are a dime a dozen. So how do you know which is the right for your case? Call around, meet with a couple - and then trust your GUT go with the guy who you can trust to earn you the results that you want. Call the Rolloff Law Office today at (612) 234-1165 for a free consultation anytime, anywhere.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Minnesota DWIs - Clean Your Record (Explained)

As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I'm often asked by individuals charged with Drunk Driving how long a conviction will stay on their record, or if the can come back at some future date and have the charged Expunged.

The bad news is that in the State of Minnesota a DWI will stay on a person's record forever, and it can NEVER be erased.


A Minnesota DWI is both a Criminal and Traffic Offense. As such, a conviction for a Drunk Driving goes on both a person's Driving and Criminal Records. Beyond that, a DWI is what's called an enhanceable offense - meaning that prior convictions can be used to elevate/increase the penalties (and designation of) future offenses of a same or similar nature.

Under Minnesota Law, as revised a few years ago, a combination of three prior alcohol-related driving offenses within the previous 10 years can result in a Felony for a fourth such offense (in that same time span.)

The rationale, I presume is that if a DWI is  expunged, a person could avoid being charged with subsequent felonies - avoiding the sorts of Free Passes for DWI's that no politician is ever likely to back.

What Should You Do?

The best way to keep a DWI off of your record (short of not being charged with one in the first place) is to have someone on your side - if you're in fact charged - to ensure that it is fought so that your future is preserved. 

I've defended individuals charged with DWIs - and I've earned them outcomes that preserved their otherwise clean records.  Call the Rolloff Law Office today to ensure that you have someone working for you to hold the government accountable - (612) 619-0262.