Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Minnesota Criminal Defense Questions (Answered)

As an expereinced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I get questions - lots and lots of questions.  Here are some of the most common ones.

How do I choose an attorney?

When you are facing criminal charges, the quality and commitment of your defense attorney is a crucial issue. Will the attorney take the time to focus on your case? Will you be "just another number"? At The Rolloff Law Office, we provide personal legal services on a one-on-one basis, and our results-oriented approach to defending charges and our reasonable rates can allow you to have the quality defender you need, as well as the personal attention to your case that is actually necessary if you are hoping to avoid a conviction.

Will I go to jail for a Minnesota DWI charge?

Any DWI offense carries the potential of jail time. Under Minnesota Statues, chapter 169A, even a first time DWI conviction can mean up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. This is in a simple DWI offense, without any aggravating factors or a breath test refusal. If you have a prior conviction of DWI within the last 10 years, including a test refusal or other aggravating factor, you could face third degree charges, which are punishable by up to 1 year in jail as well as a fine of $3,000. Felony DWI charges, when convicted can lead to up to 7 years in prison and a $14,000 fine. These cases involve 3 prior convictions, or one prior felony DWI conviction. Any DWI or DUI charge is serious and should be aggressively defended.

What if I discover I am under investigation for a violent crime?

If you are under investigation and not yet arrested, you can assume that an arrest will take place in the near future. It is crucial that you exercise your right to remain silent and do not engage in any interviews with law enforcement or other investigatory units without first retaining the services of an attorney. Protecting your rights in any questions can be a pivotal factor in defending against the charges when they are filed.

What criminal charges does your office defend?

The Rolloff Law Office is committed to providing an aggressive defense against all types of criminal charges, from any Drunk Driving arrest, through to probation violations or charges of Assault, Drug Charges, Disorderly Conduct to any manner of Theft crimes --- from Misdemeanors to Felonys.  Expereince criminal defense representation unlike any youve ever known before - that's a promise.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Minnesota Domestic Assault Attorney

Troubled relationships can be some of the most complex and difficult situations people face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a notable number of individuals end up facing Minnesota Domestic Assault charges every year. If you have found yourself in the unfortunate position of having been charged with Domestic Assault or you must make certain that you waste no time in obtaining appropriate representation from an experienced, Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney who is knowledgeable and compassionate. 

Why Is This Important?

Domestic violence cases represent one of the most challenging areas of the law. Not only are these cases complex from a legal standpoint, the level of emotions associated with these by definition are highly charged. Therefore, it is crucial that if you have found yourself facing a domestic abuse, assault or violence case that you promptly obtain skilled representation from an experienced Minneapolis domestic assault attorney.

J. Rolloff has devoted a considerable portion of his professional career to assisting people in resolving domestic violence cases. Not only does he fully understand the "ins" and "outs" of the law, not only does he understand how to present a strong defense in court, he thoroughly appreciates the painful emotions that you are experiencing and that are at the heart of a domestic assault case.

What Now?

The Rolloff Law Office has represented men and women from all walks of life who have faced charges of Domestic Assault. As a consequence, he understands what must be done in order to protect your rights and interests in light of these types of charges. Additionally, he realizes what steps need to be taken to ensure that you are able to have reasonable access to your children should a No Contact or Restraining Order have been entered by the court in light of your spouse or significant other filing a complaint against you.  if you need help - call now: (612) 619-0262.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Minnesota Traffic Tickets & Insurance (Explained)

The number one reason I hear - over and over again - when it comes to people seeking assistance with Minnesota Traffic Tickets is because they don't want it to impact their insurance premiums. 

Well, believe it or not ... your insurance company is thinking the same thing --- if a recent call I had with an insurance agent is any indication. 

The Call

I often tell individuals I've heard it all - and time after time I'm surprised.  The same goes for this recent call --- an insurance agent wanting to talk with a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to help their clients to get out of their speeding tickets?

Here's what I learned ... the philosophy that this company takes toward their clients is truly one of partnership. People are required to have car insurance to drive, but this particular company doesn't feel like it is responsible to hold it's clients hostage for a minor traffic ticket, nor do they feel like it's good business to encourage their clients to hide their driving from them in hopes of keeping their premiums lower.This company, which specializes in low risk drivers, has found that their customers are more satisfied with their service and actually drive better knowing they can turn to their insurer if anything should happen.

After the Call

This whole interaction got me to thinking about what, exactly, a car insurance company should do for you. Are they in the business just to make money off of your premiums and then make it as difficult as possible for you if you ever get into an accident? Or, are they a trusted part of your team trusted to help you if and when the need arises? And, if it's the latter, is the best way to create that relationship by encouraging an open dialogue with the client?

Should You Tell Your Insurance Company About Your Traffic Ticket?

One thing I learned from this call was that not everyone should tell their insurance company about their speeding ticket. Some companies are required, as part of their policy, to flag your account for that. Most of those companies are nationally known (I don't know which ones specifically do that, I just know that some do). By calling them, you are setting yourself up for higher premiums, even after you hire a traffic attorney to beat your ticket.

All of the above being said, there is a lesson to be learned for all of us. The company I met with is locally owned and operated. They don't have thousands and thousands of employees. They aren't publicly traded. Making money is important to them, but it's not the only thing. There's something to be said for that. Remember that when you're looking around for help. Test out the local options. You might pay slightly more, but what you get in return could be well worth the price.

What Next?

This isn't an insurance company and I don't talk to your insurance companies about my client traffic tickets. But, like this insurance company, I value my relationships with them and I want to keep in touch with everyone of them during those times they need me - and when they don't.  If you want to know that your attorney has your best interest at heart - when your case is going on and after --- then call the Rolloff Law Office today - (612) 234-1165. And, if you need a kick-ass Minnesota Traffic Lawyer, call me --- I'll do whatever I can to beat your traffic ticket, saving you money on the fine and increased insurance premiums.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What to Expect From Your MN DWI Attorney (Explained)

If you find yourself at the mercy of the criminal justice system, charged with Drunk Driving, you probably already know you are in some pretty serious trouble. It’s not just the (all too often) mandatory jail that should scare you, but the mandatory fines and fees (typically approaching $1500) and the loss of driving privileges (up to 90 day driver’s license suspension on a first-time (misdemeanor) offense) that really adds insult to injury. If you find yourself charged with a Minnesota DWI you need to get a great Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney – but what should you expect from them? Hopefully after you read this post you’ll have a better idea of what we can do for you.

A Minnesota Drunk Driving Lawyer is Not a Miracle Worker
If you are hiring The Rolloff Law Office (or any --- ANY --- lawyer) to come in and represent you on your Drunk Driving arrest and you’re expecting to walk away, and you’re going to be disappointed if you don’t, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I hate to say that, but it’s impossible to guarantee a victory when you are charged with a DWI. There are bunch of reasons why, but the first and foremost reason is that the deck is stacked against us from the get go.

Any experienced Minnesota DWI Lawyer that you talk to that tells you he’s won more cases than he has lost is either lying to you or he hasn’t had that many cases. These things are hard to win. The laws are set up against you. If you want a great outcome, you’ve got to be willing to fight.

Your DWI Lawyer Should Fight Hard for You
If I would ever find myself charged with a Minnesota DWI (and trust me when I say one never knows when something like this could happen – even if you’ve had nothing to drink) there is one thing I would want to from my lawyer – when the case is over, I want to feel like we gave it everything we had, that we tried our best to win.

Fighting a Minnesota Drunk Driving arrest is a lot like playing a game of basketball against a team that is allowed to play with 7 players to your 5 and has the rules set up so that every time you try anything it’s a foul and any time the other team throws up a shot it goes in the basket. Those are the kind of odds we’re facing. The only way to win in a situation like that is to put your head down and outwork and out hustle the other team. Having that kind of advantage makes you lazy and prone to mistakes. By fighting hard you can create and take advantage of some of those mistakes.

(Maybe you're asking how I know these things - well --- if you've read my bio you know that I cut my teeth on the other side of the aisle.  Yes --- you go with me, and you're hiring a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney who learned the game from the inside - as a former prosecutor.) 

Who You Going to Call?

If you or someone you love needs help with a legal issue - like a Minnesota DWI - if you work with the Rolloff Law Office you'll be guaranteed unparalleled access to us, unparallelled effort, and unparalleled excellence. We fight the good fight. We go down swinging. We leave everything on the floor. If you need a Minnesota DWI attorney, please give us a call: (612) 234-1165

Friday, May 18, 2012

Minnesota Field Sobriety Tests (Don't Do 'Em?)

Believe it or not, Minnesota's Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are NOT a valid method for determining impairment --- due to drug or alcohol use.  Shocking - but true.  Ask any self-respecting Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney - like me.

If you hold "other" beliefs - after examining the following questions - tell me if you have even the slightest change of heat.

Field Sobriety tests Are Meaningless 

Here are some simple questions that should demonstrate to any right thinking individual why those road-side calisthenics the cops have drivers go through are all pointless.

  • Have you ever stumbled while walking?
  • Did that stumbling mean you were drunk?
  • If you can stumble while walking normally, what about when asked to perform the difficult and awkward task of walking heel-to-toe?
  • (As a side note, does anybody actually walk this way?)
  • What about standing on one leg?
  • Is this something you practice often?
  • If you stumbled does that automatically mean you are drunk?

The fact of the matter is that "not passing" these very difficult Field Sobriety Tests can be attributed to a number of factors. such as:

  • Age
  • Body weight/size
  • Medical History - including any lingering leg or back injuries
  • The type of shoes one has on
  • Innate Clumsiness
  • Nervousness

Despite everything set-forth above, the government (and judges) continue to place a lot of weight on these tests to determine intoxication.  As a result, many innocent people have been found guilty of M9innesota DWIs (especially DWI- where drug use is implied.

Think About it

Considering was been laid out here, this is why I suggest that (if you have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI) that consider hiring an attorney who is willing to fight the good fight - especially when it comes to is an Field Sobriety Testing - sop you can defend yourself against this "junk science" in court.  Protect your rights - contact the Rolloff Law Office today to get answers to your legal dilemmas.  Call:  (612) 234-1165.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Minnesota Driving While Texting (Explained)

One of the most disturbing things about being a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney is seeing people charged with crimes when all they've really done is fail to use a turn signal, or speed - when there are other idiots out there driving like maniacs, distracted by other things that are equally or even more dangerous than Drunk Driving.

After Sunday's expose in the StarTribune (link to article) about the perils of driving while Texting, I got to thinking about what other "distracted driving" issue were out there.

What is Distracted Driving?

Would you believe that eating food while at the wheel of a vehicle could be more dangerous than drinking or texting while driving? According to a study by the University of Leeds called “Two Hands Better than One,” this is exactly what researchers found based on observation of test subjects operating driving simulators.

The UK researchers measured reaction time while drivers negotiated virtual vehicles, and as it turns out, eating increased response times by 44 percent. In contrast, texting increased reaction time by 37 percent, and drinking a non-alcoholic beverage from a can or bottle increased reaction time by 22 percent.

And what about the one driving no-no that that nearly everyone agrees is undesirable – drinking alcohol and operating a vehicle? Drivers asked to operate the simulator who were at the U.S. “legal limit” of .08 percent blood alcohol content increased reaction time by 12.5 percent…

Common sense dictates that drivers can compound their chances for an accident if they do not self-govern and recognize their limits. And as the study indicates, a distraction can come in several forms – even ones that have been considered benign…

Much more could be said about this subject which the U.S. Department of Transportation has been up in arms about in recent years, labeling distracted driving an “epidemic.”

Now, I get it that Drunk Driving is dangerous. I'm not advocating that people do that. But what are our options when it comes to these other areas of distracted driving?

At the end of the day, nothing will come of it. The reason? There are no special interest groups formed by empathetic groups to lobby Congress to change all the rules. Not until someone is killed by someone texting or someone eating will someone stand up for harsher penalties - and even that won't change things (that's my guess - too many "upstanding" people would become criminals, much like the criminalization of Drunk Driving has done).

In the State of Washington texting while driving is a $124 ticket, and it doesn't even count as a moving violation. Talking on a cell phone is the same way. Eating while driving isn't illegal at all. Yet all of these activities are more dangerous than driving with a blood alcohol level above .08.

If you have questions about ANY legal dilemma - call the Rolloff Law Office today at (612) 234-1165.

Friday, May 11, 2012

MN Criminal Defense Lawyers (Affordable vs. Cheap)

How many of us can agree that  just because something is more expensive does not make it inherently better.  On the flip side ... then isn't it true that: something that is cheaper than a similar product is likely just as good, and therefore a better value?  Not always.

When I was in school, as you can imagine, I lived on a tight budget.  These restriction forced me to cut corners and to do without.  But, what I came to learn - especially as it concerned my love for a certain chocolate ice cream - the bargain basement/generic brand just couldn't/wouldn't cut it. This experience taught me a hard lesson about value vs. cost.

Now, I did eventually find a suitable substitute and often (still) purchase it instead of my favorite - earning me an nice little savings each time I pick up a pint at the grocery store.  So, it isn't that all generic ice creams are disgusting, but the first one I tried sure was. 

How does this relate to hiring an attorney?  Just like with cheap ice cream, it's all about finding a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney that both fits your budget and your taste.

What Should You Pay?

In a perfect world, money would be no object for people when choosing a Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer and they would be able to meet with many prospects - determining which one is the best fit for them, and then happily write a check for whatever the agreed upon amount for representation ends up being.  Unfortunately, that's not the way the world works.  Most people need to shop for bargains for everything from ice cream to shoelaces.  Picking a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys should be no different.

However, that is easier said than done when you future's on the line - right?  Seriously, how do you avoid getting the sh*thead attorney and having to learn your lesson the hard way?  There are a few things you can do to "test" lawyers when you meet with them that can help you figure out whether they're inexpensive because they're bad or just because they're economical.

What to Consider

First, don't bring up price with a lawyer before you talk about anything else.  The last thing I want to hear from a potential client as soon as I answer the phone is "I'm just looking for a price for..."  What this tells me is that their plan is to call a ton of lawyers to find out which one will agree to do it for the least money.  I don't want those clients.  I believe that my rates are exceptionally reasonable, and I have even been known to cut folks a deal in certain situations, but a client that cares more about getting a good price than they do about getting good representation isn't one that I want to work with. 


Clients like that are often less interested in participating in their defense and are less likely to ever pay the reduced fee they are looking for.  Don't be that kind of client.  If for no other reason, bring up cost at the beginning of a consultation is not effective because most lawyers will want to hear what they're dealing with before they'll give you a quote.  Minnesota Criminal Defense attorneys know their services are expensive and cost prohibitive for a lot of people.  If your case is interesting enough, some lawyers may be willing to meet you in the middle on fees.  You'll never find out if they are open to that if you offend them by complaining about money right away.

Second, have good questions ready when you call or meet with an attorney.  Most lawyers won't have all the answers for you during an initial consultation.  That's what legal research is for.  They should, however, be able to answer your basic questions regarding the type of punishment you could face, potential defense strategies, and your case's strengths and weaknesses.  If you meet with a lawyer that doesn't seem to know much about your charge, that's a red flag.  All attorneys will say things like "I'll have to look this up" or "this is somewhat unique, so I'll have to look at some cases," but those shouldn't be the only answers they offer.  Look for an attorney who appears to be up on current laws, precedents, and techniques in the field.  Attorney's who aren't will spend a lot of time looking up basic questions, which in the end will end up costing you money in billable hours.

Third, be extremely leery of any lawyer who's quote is significantly lower than other lawyers you meet with.  If four lawyers quoted you between $2500 and $3000 for a certain case, be careful of the attorney who says he can do it for $1000.  Rates that low can be indicators of three things:

1) This lawyer is so new to the game that he or she has no idea what their time is worth.  While I don't think experience is all it's cracked up to be (experience is something older attorneys highlight, while younger attorneys highlight how hard they work and the attention they'll give you), you don't want someone handling your case who clearly has no idea what they're getting into;
2) This lawyer, for whatever reason, has so much trouble finding clients that when someone calls them with a case, they will agree to pretty much any fee arrangement just to sign the client.  Aggressiveness is a good quality in a lawyer; desperation is not.  An attorney that is so desperate to sign you to an agreement that they're willing to charge 40% of what everyone else charges for your case is an attorney you'll want to steer clear of; and
3) This lawyer charges so little because he or she takes any and every case that comes across his desk and deals with a HUGE volume of work.  I call this the Costco theory of lawyering.  Costco can sell goods at reduced costs because they buy and sell so damn much of everything.  Their profit margin on each item might be a little less than a smaller store, but the sheer volume of transactions make them on of the most profitable companies in the world.  The issue with Costco is that their products and service aren't always top notch.  The same goes for attorneys who overextend themselves.

What Should You Do?

Basically, you need to use common sense when hiring a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, just the same as you need to when purchasing a car, house, or ice cream.  If you feel comfortable with a lawyer and they meet your budget, your search is over.  If you feel comfortable with someone but they charge more than you're really prepared to spend, you need to decide whether it's worth the extended cost to get representation you'll be comfortable with.  If someone is in your price range but doesn't exactly instill you with confidence in their ability to handle your case efficiently and effectively, you're probably better off continuing your search.

There's no doubt that finding the right attorney can be an arduous process.  Whether you've been charged with Drunk Driving, a felony, a misdemeanor, a traffic violation, or a juvenile crime, contact the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 to get a FREE consultation and see what it's like to have someone on your journey with you. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two Common Minnesota DWI Mistakes To Avoid

If you've already made the mistake of possibly drinking too much before driving - the least you can do is try to avoid making these all to common errors when charged with a DWI.

Being charged for Drunk Driving can be scary for anyone, but even more so if it is your first ever drinking-related charge. Simply talking to the police and trying to understand your rights can cause stress and anxiety, which is why many people panic when they find themselves in a similar situation.

However, this can be very dangerous for yourself and your  case. When many people are scared and anxious after being pulled over for a DWI, they often end up making accidental mistakes than can do more harm than good to their DWI case.

Luckily, hiring a properly trained, experienced DWI lawyer to handle your charge can help  to dramatically increase an acceptable result in your case case. However, it is still important to understand the most common mistakes that people make when charged with a DWI, that way you can avoid them or inform your lawyer of them so that they can take necessary next steps.

Here are just three common DWI mistakes commonly made by someone who is accused of driving while intoxicated:

1. Assuming That You Are Guilty
People often think that just because they have careful about handling your case. Therefore, ignoring your charge or trying to solve it yourself without any legal training can have horrible, long-lasting effects on your record.

There are many difficult factors and tasks that must be done in order to properly represent yourself in court for a DWI charge, including getting proper information from the police, obtaining proper evidence, and dozens of other complicated tasks. These are not risks that you should take when such a serious charge is on the line.

2. Not Hiring A Knowledgeable, Experienced DWI Lawyer
DWI laws and charges are different in every single state, including Minnesota. Therefore, it is important to find a professional lawyer that is familiar with the laws in your area and knows how to work with them most effectively. An experienced Minnesota DWI Lawyer also knows how to challenge the different types of evidence that are completely unique to Drunk Driving law.

What To Do

As an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney, I can work to ensure that your rights are preserved and that all of the proper challenges to the criminal and civil penalties are filed in a timely manner - and fought against in court. If you or someone you love is facing a DWI or Drunk Driving charge, call the Rolloff Law Office - at (612) 234-1165 - today to set up a free consultation to learn about your options.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Minnesota Expungements & Attorneys (Explained)

If you have a past criminal record that is haunting you, possibly making it difficult to find a job, somewhere to live or obtain a loan, you may be eligible to have your record expunged (sealed or cleared). There is a rather involved process that has to be followed, making sure all the “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed. 

So You know, the procedure is set up so that you can do it yourself; however, many people choose to employ a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to assist them.  

What Can an Attorney Do for You?

Even before you spend one-penny, I will evaluate your record to determine whether you are eligible to file a petition for Expungement. Once we determine a petition might be in order - I'll draft it and appear with you in court to argue that the judge grant it.  

Specifically, I'll help you to craft an argument around three (3) specific criteria:

  1. The seriousness of the offense (the less serious, the better chance of having the petition granted;)
  2. Time that has elapsed since the offense (the more time, the better chance of having the petition granted;) and
  3. The rehabilitative measures you have taken (such as community service, counseling, stable employment, etc.) since the incident.

Call Today

If you have any questions about your record and the possibility of having it expunged, just contact The Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165. We will provide a FREE CONSULTATION. I will meet with you at a time and place most convenient to YOU to discuss your situation.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Why You Should Seek a Minnesota Expungement (Explained)

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the State of Minnesota, you need to be aware of the serious ramifications that a conviction can have on the rest of your life.

A criminal record can leave a negative mark on your future that will affect your opportunities for housing, work and more. Many companies will refrain from hiring convicts because they do not want to be charged with negligent recruitment and they want to provide a safe working environment to existing employees.

If you have a criminal record, you may also have a tough time finding a job in an organization that requires security clearances (i.e. banks, financial institutions). Being dishonest about your criminal record is never a good idea, as most companies will run a background check for criminal records regardless. If you have been convicted of a felony, you may also be unable to vote, serve on a jury or hold elective office.

A criminal record can also affect your ability to travel to other countries. Most visa applications will ask about any convictions and some countries will deny anyone with prior convictions. Other countries will deny entry only to those convicted of specific crimes, and some countries have no restrictions to criminal records. Regardless of whether you want to travel in the future or if you want the liberty to apply for any job, having your criminal record vacated is beneficial to your future in every way.

Who Are You Going to Call?

Clearing your criminal record can be difficult and extremely complicated without the help of a knowledgeable Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney. There are certain circumstances that must be present in order to remove a criminal charge from a person's record, and you need the assistance of a legal expert who can guide you through the entire legal process. Contact The Rolloff Law Office today to start the process. Call or Text: (612) 619-0262.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Minnesota Implied Consent Law (Explained)

Believe it or not - any individual who chooses to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle is assumed to have already consented to a breath, urine, or blood test to determine the presence of alcohol or hazardous or controlled substance in the body.  (See ... the things you probably didn't know that you didn't know --- this is why you need to speak to a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.)  This chemical test is administered only after a police officer has established that there is probable cause to believe a Drunk Driving violation has occurred and that the person has been subsequently placed under arrest.

When is Probable Cause Established?
Probable cause exists only after a police officer reasonably suspects an impaired driving violation by observing impaired driving behavior.  This is usually accomplished when the officer observes any erratic driving conduct prior to the traffic stop. It can also be effectuated after the officer stops a driver - in their subsequent interaction.  (Here, the cop is looking for slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes and the accused's overall appearance.) The officer will also critique the driver’s performance on some Field Sobriety Tests. Generally, after these tests a thorough officer will ask the driver to perform a preliminary breath test ("PBT") test to confirm his belief of impairment.

If an officer believes that probable has been established, the officer may then place the driver under arrest and (only) after reading the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory, request an evidentiary breath, urine, or blood sample.

The officer is required to read the advisory - explaining that the test is mandatory, refusal to take the test is a crime, and the driver has the right to consult or speak with an attorney before agreeing to take the test. The individual is given a “reasonable period” of time under the “totality of circumstances” standard to contact an attorney.

Blood or Urine?

It is the officer that decides whether to administer a breath, urine or blood test. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) analyzes blood and urine samples and forwards the results to Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

If a driver is asked to take a blood test - the individual can refuse - and the officer has to be afforded him or the chance to take breath or urine test.  That right to refuse also extends to urine - meaning that you can say "no" and the officer has to offer blood or breath.  (The rational is that some individuals are adverse to needles and they shouldn’t be charged with the crime of refusal simply because of this fact. The same rational applies to those who are offered a urine test, but for some reason are not able to physically urinate at the time.) However, if you're offered a breath test - you are required to do as much - or you do subject yourself to possible legal consequences.

What Should You Do?

My suggestion to anyone facing a legal dilemma is "talk to a lawyer."  Honestly, you only get one chance (all too often) to take on these things.  Get the answers you need to make the next right decision - your future could depend on it.  Call the Rolloff Law Office today at (612) 234-1165 to set up a FREE Consultation. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Minnesota Criminal Defense - FAQs

When it comes to your future - especially when you're facing criminla charges - there are no dumb questions.  As a former prosecutor - and as an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I get many, many questions - about the ins and outs of the crminal justice system.  Here are some of the most important tips, questions, and examples that I can impart to you.


The most common question I receive is “What do you charge?” The answer to that question is based in large part on my approach.  Generally speaking, I have fairly standard fees for every type of case I handle, and I offer favorable payment options for my clients.  However, I can't just shoot out an exact fee until I determine what it is you wish to obtain out of our relationship.

For example, often times an individual charged with a Minnesota DWI will want me to merely show up and help him plead.  As such, I charge a different fee if that same individual would like me to fight to have the evidence suppressed, or have a full blown trial.

Upon your arrest you need to know that…
  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • It is critical to your defense that you exercise that right.
  • Whatever you say will be used against you in ways that are not now apparent.
  • You must identify yourself.
  • Deny crimes you are falsly accused of.
  • Request the presence of your attorney.
  • State clearly that wish to exercise your right to remain silent.
  • You would be happy to cooperate and provide whatever information is appropriate – but only after consulting your attorney.
  • FRIENDS/PARENTS/SIGNFICANT OTHERS: It is vitally important that if you call a loved one while they are incarcerated that you DO NOT speak about the specifics of their case. All of these phone calls are recorded and commonly result in your loved one being convicted on an otherwise strong case.
  • Call me immediately at (612) 234-1165.  
Common Questions
Question: Do I have to answer every question the Police ask me?

Answer: You have the right to remain silent except that you are required to tell the police your name and identify yourself.

Question: How important is it that I invoke my right to remain silent?

Answer: Along with the rights to trial by jury and to have counsel defend you, the right to remain silent is critically important because anything that you say can and will be used against you even before you hire an attorney or you have a trial. Sometimes people maybe guilty of committing a crime but is difficult for the government to prove it. This can change though if you offer up incriminating statements or if you implicate yourself in the crime. Saying things might get you charged with crimes you did not commit. For example, if the police stop you and ask you “Where you are coming from?” and you tell them “From John’s house.” If John was just murdered in his house, you have just made yourself a prime suspect in the case of John’s murder.

Question: But the police will be angry if I do not cooperate with them? Right?

Answer: Some police officers may be angry with you. Most police officers are professionals and will respect your right to remain silent. They may, however, try to trick you into offering up a statement by making small talk. It is important that you inform the police that you absolutely want to cooperate with them but you want to wait for your attorney to be present. DO NOT AGREE TO TALK TO THE POLICE UNTIL YOUR ATTORNEY ARRIVES! Once you invoke your right to counsel, to have your attorney present, the police must stop talking to you. Do not let yourself be made to believe that talking to an attorney before the police will hurt you in any possible way. The police want to talk to you without an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney being present.

Question: What do I do if the police request an interview with me, my spouse, or my child?

Answer: Again, always be polite to the police officers. Remember, they do have a job to do. However, you and your loved ones have rights to protect. If you have been asked by a police officer, investigator, or detective to come in to speak to them – even if it is off the record – contact your attorney first and ask your attorney to go with you or to advise you on the situation. I will always make myself available to clients for such an interview-but only if the interview is in their client’s best interest.

Question: There are police officers at my front door and they want to search my house, what do I do?

Answer: Remember to be polite to the police officers. Do not swear at them, yell at them, or make any statements at all to them. Politely ask them for a copy of the search warrant that they have. If they have no warrant, politely say you will contact your attorney and then get back to them. If they have a warrant they have to give you a copy. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING AN ATTORNEY. In most cases if the police officers have a search warrant you would already be in handcuffs, or the search warrant would have been presented to you. If this has happened you need legal representation from The Rolloff Law Office to begin immediately protecting your rights. If the police do not have a search warrant politely decline their request to enter without first consulting with an attorney. We have years of dealing with the technicalities of searches.

Question: Can the police lie to me when questioning me about a case?

Answer: Yes, absolutely, and it is likely they will. Police officers can lie to you about a case in order to get you to incriminate yourself. It is often considered good police work to distract you with a lie to get you to say things you might not otherwise say. One of the classic lies is that your co-criminal is going to “sing” (ie. Give you up first) if you do not talk to the police and tell them your story. This is generally not true, but even if someone is going to give you up to the police it is still better to wait for your attorney. I have years of experience dealing with interviews. I also know how these investigations take place and are supervised.

Question: I was arrested by the police for selling drugs. Now they want me to work with them and they promise to help me out, what should I do?

Answer: You should contact the attorneys at The Rolloff Law Office as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your case and whether or not it is in your best interests to work with the police. This is a common practice of many police officers to request that you wear a wire or conduct certain types of transactions on their behalf to help them arrest others in your situation. The attorneys at The Rolloff Law Office have years of experience working with police officers involved in drug trafficking investigations and will gladly help establish a meeting with the police that is in your best interests.

Question: I read the police report in my case and the police are lying; the victim is lying ... What do I do?

Answer: You need immediate representation to defend yourself from any allegations that you know to be false. The sooner you do this the better. Do not let the police trick you into speaking by presenting you with false information. At The Rolloff Law Office, I have a great deal of experience sorting through what the truth is in a given case. After reviewing all the evidence with you we will be able to put you in a better situation to defend yourself and expose any lies that may have been made against you.

Question: How do I set up an appointment with an attorney from The Rolloff Law Office?

Answer: Simple, contact us by calling (612) 234-1165. I understand that your life is very busy. As such, I will meet you at my office during “non-traditional” times. For example, I can meet at 7:00 am before work, on a weekend, or at 8:00 pm in the evening.