Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Minnesota Criminal Defense (is the Best Offense)


In basketball, there are offensive plays and defensive plays, and a good team understands that it’s succeeding in a combination of these two types of plays that helps them win the game.

In a criminal case, the State is usually on the offense: they bring the complaint, and carrying the burden of proof throughout the case.  And the defendant is usually on the defense: Defending his constitutional and procedural rights, ensuring that the police didn’t overstep the rules and that there is sufficient evidence being presented by the State for it to meet its hefty burden.

However, there are times the defendant also gets to play offense. This happens when their experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney utilizes an Affirmative Defenses. Bringing an affirmative defense has the same effect as when the home team manages to get the ball just about all the way to the visitor’s goal line before they let the visiting team get the ball back, so the visitors have to go the whole length of the field all over again to try to score.

The best Affirmative Defenses can set the State back substantially and sometimes, they can also act as a complete bar to an element of the State’s case, effectively stopping the State from proceeding.

Common Affirmative Defenses

1. Self-defense, and Defense of Others.   True self defense or defense of another requires that an individual acted out of fear for his/her safety or the safety of another against the imminent use of unlawful force against him/herself or another. Factors that affect a claim of self defense are things such as the extent of the right to self defense in the situation, the force used, against whom it was used, and for what reason.

2. Entrapment. When someone is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officials to commit a crime that the person had no previous intent to commit, he or she has been entrapped.

3. Mental illness or Deficiency. This defense asserts that at the time the acts constituting the offense were committed, the defendant was not capable of comprehending that what he or she was doing was a crime due to mental illness or deficiency.

4. Duress. If a defendant participated in a crime only because he or she believed or had reason to believe that he or she would be seriously harmed if he of she did not participate, the defendant may be able to use the defense of duress.

5. Intoxication. Involuntary intoxication, or involuntarily being under the influence of a drug or substance – can be an affirmative defense. Voluntary intoxication is only potentially a defense against the intent element of a crime; it can be used to prove an act was committed recklessly instead of with intent to cause serious harm.


Whether an Affirmative Defense applies in your case or not is a decision that you and your attorney need to make together.  The next right step, contact The Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 and find out if there's a good defense to defend you offense. 

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