Criminal Sentencing in Minnesota courts is more an art than it is a science. Courts and judges have a ton of tools at their disposal when it comes to meting out a criminal sentence. The options include: probation, jail, jail plus probation, prison, house arrest/monitoring, a SCRAM bracelet, monitored sobriety, community work service, sentence to serve, drug & alcohol treatment, sex offender treatment, therapy, mental health counseling, letters of apology, and remedial driving classes. One or a combination of these tools, are present in most cases.
Generally speaking, Minnesota law lets judges order a sentence for most anything as long as it is "reasonably related" to the defendant's rehabilitation. That is a broad way of saying that --- if it will make it less likely the defendant will re-offend, then the court can order it.
To most of us, jail or prison is the worst possible sentence one could get - right? Personally, I don't want to go to jail or prison because it would limit my contact with my family and make it impossible for me to pay my bills. Therefore, financial ruin is almost a certainty. One way I have argued against this outcome for my clients is to appeal to the courts broader perspective about our community -- and specifically to a judge's interest in children and family. If I have a client facing a jail or prison sentence - I going to argue any and all points necessary to see how essential he/she is to their family ... and to their future.
What Should You Do?
Experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys should know their client's background, their criminal history, their work status, their family status, their unhealthy lifestyle, and the facts of the case, for a creative approach with a judge at sentencing.
I've sat through thousands of these things - both as an ex-DA and as a criminal defense attorney. What I've learned - through all of that experience - are the things that a judge likes to hear and what they are repulsed by. I've learned how to teach my clients what to say and what not to say. This is an important component to any lawyer - client relationship. In fact, it is one of the most important.
If a case is not dismissed, criminal sentencing is where most cases end up. I work with DAs, probation officers, treatment providers, family members, and even victims, to make sure my clients receive the best sentence possible. Therefore, if you have a criminal case on the horizon, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165. Together, we can protect your future.