Monday, July 30, 2012

Minnesota Driver's License Problems (Explained)

If you find the letters: DAR, DAS, and DAC on your citation --- you're getting cited for one of the most commonly charged crimes in

DAR is Driving After Revocation, DAS is Driving After Suspension, and DAC is Driving After Cancellation.  All 3 of these crimes are commonly referred to as "driving without a [valid] license."

What happens to you in Minnesota if you plead guilty to DAR, DAS, or DAC?

A DAR or DAS is ALWAYS a misdemeanor, so the maximum penalty is 90 days in Jail and/or a $1000 fine PER COUNT of of DAR/DAS.

That means, if you were caught driving on a suspended license 4 times, and all 4 charges are consolidated into one court appearance, you could go to jail for ONE YEAR (4 counts times 90 days = 360 days, or about 1 year).

DAC, however, is often a Gross Misdemeanor, meaning the Maximum penalty for ONE COUNT/Charge is 1 year in Jail and/or a $3000 fine.  DAC is only a Gross Misd. if the person was Driving After Cancellation as Inimical to Public Safety (DAC-IPS) as a result of too many DWI's.  Other forms of DAC, like driving after being cancelled for failure to provide proof of Insurance, are still a Misdemeanor.

More Important then the Penalty is What They Don't Tell You

IF You plead guilty to, AND are convicted of, DAR, DAS OR DAC, you automatically lose your license for at least 30 DAYS, even if you had gotten yourself valid again by the time of your court appearance.

Unfortunately, all too often the prosecutor nor the judge probably aren't going to tell you that IF they are found guilty they will Lose their Driver's License AGAIN, and thereby risk more charges of Driving Without a License.  To Make Matters Worse, the Court System, in an effort to save money, and supposedly to help drivers, Has made DAR and DAS "payable offenses."   That means you can plead guilty by mail (or through the web) by sending in your ticket and your fine payment.  When you plead guilty by mail, IT IS GUARANTEED That no one will tell you that by doing so, you are guaranteed to lose your license AGAIN.  Moreover, you also lose your license if you are found guilty of No Proof of Insurance, or No Insurance.

What Should You Do?

The only way to protect your driver's license status and keep it valid, or get it valid, is to hire an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense and Traffic Law Attorney.  They know various ways to resolve your case without a finding of guilt for a charge that will cause you to lose your license.  With a skilled Minnesota Criminal Defense and Traffic Law attorney, you can preserve your license, your job and your FREEDOM.  Call the Rolloff Law Office today: (612) 234-1165.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Minnesota DWI License Restrictions (Explained)

It seems like every year, the State of Minnesota imposes harsher penalties upon those arrested for a Drunk Driving. This year is no exception, as effective July 1st, the legislature dramatically increased the license revocation penalties for Minnesota DWI offenses.  These penalties are imposed upon arrest.  If you need some assistance with a Drunk Driving arrest, your first best call is to an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.

How Bad is it?

When am I eligible for a limited license?

1st offense - (.08) BAC but less than (.16)

If this is your first offense and you are under (.16) BAC you may obtain a limited license fifteen days after the 7-day temporary license has expired (i.e. 22 days after the date of your arrest).

You will receive your full license after 90 days.  If you are under 21 years of age the license revocation is for a minimum of 180 days.

1st Offense - (.16) BAC or more

The license revocation penalty is for one year and you are not eligible for a limited license.

2nd Offense within ten years, or third offense on record of (.08) BAC but less than (.16)

The license revocation penalty is for one year and you are not eligible for a limited license.

2nd Offense within ten years of (.16) BAC

The license revocation penalty is for a minimum of two years.

3rd Offense within ten years

The license revocation penalty is for a minimum of three years.

4th Offense within ten years

The license revocation penalty is for a minimum of four years.

5th Offense or More Offense

The license revocation period is for a minimum of six years.

"Refusal to submit to testing" also carries the following penalties:

1st Offense Refusal:  The license revocation period is a minimum of one year.

2nd Offense Refusal:  The license revocation period is a minimum of two years.

3rd Offense Refusal:  The license revocation period is for a minimum of three years.

4th Offense Refusal:  The license revocation period is for a minimum of four years.

5th or More Offense:  The license revocation period is for a minimum of six years.

What Now?

The attorneys at the Rolloff Law Office experienced in challenging these license revocation procedures.  I provide a thorough and systematic analysis of every case and will exploit any weakness to defend the people I represent. I am available to discuss your case, seven days a week. Call me today and we'll take an immediate look at your case - (612) 234-1165.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Minnesota Stay of Adjudication (Explained)

**** NEWS FLASH ****

If you've been charged with an offense - there's no guarantee you'll actually be convicted of it.  Additionally, you may even plead guilty - and not have the offense go on your record.  

Seriously, a Minnesota Stay of Adjudication for a felony (or misdemeanor) level offense can entirely avoid a conviction --- provided you successfully complete probation. How do you get this "deal"? The first place to start is by consulting with an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.  


With a Stay of Adjudication: You do plead guilty to an offense. However, the Judge does not "accept" your guilty plea.  Rather, you get a Sentence of a "Stay of Adjudication." 

What this means is that a conviction for an offense is not entered on your criminal record, provided you successfully complete probation. Once you do, he charges are dismissed, and your criminal record is clear of any convictions. However, arrest records will still show that you were arrested. In order to get rid of these arrest records, you will need to pursue an expungement of your record.

Or put another way: Adjudication of your guilt will be "stayed," meaning that you will not be found guilty. However, you will still be placed on probation. Additionally, the Court may still impose probationary conditions that include local jail time, fines, community service, electronic home monitoring, or any other conditions the Court deems appropriate.

Now What?

If you are charged with any offense, and do not want to take the risk of going to trial, a stay of adjudication is the best way to avoid any conviction at all. Ideally, your Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney will aggressively negotiate with the prosecutor in order to get you a stay of adjudication. With the right lawyer, you may be able to receive a sentence that will not impact you as severely throughout the rest of your life. 

If you've been charged with any criminal, contact The Rolloff Law Office today to discuss your case and the options available to you. Call (612) 234-1165.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Minnesota Shoplifting (Explained)

No criminal accusation can be more confusing and/or embarrassing as Shoplifting/Theft.  Not only can this little mistake or lapse in judgement cause you short-term problems (like having to have to go to court, pay fines, etc,) but the long-term consequences can be even more devastating.  This is why you need to know your rights and talk to a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.

Under Minnesota law, Theft offenses are quite varied. Ranging from walking out of a store without paying for something or you might be alleged to have deceived someone for monetary gain. As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I know the "ins" and "outs" of Minnesota's Theft laws and can make sure that you get the outcome you deserve while involved in the criminal justice system.

What Can a Lawyer Do?

As your attorney, it would be my responsibility to make sure your rights are protected at every stage of the criminal justice process. I also work to ensure that you get the best possible results on your case.

What Are the Consequences?

The type of charge and sentence you might receive depends on many factors and the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense. Number one: the value of the property or services your receive.

If the value is greater than $5,000 but less than $35,000 or the property is a trade secret or explosive, you will also face felony charges and up to 10 years in prison with fines reaching $20,000.

If the value of the property or services is more than $1,000 and less than $5,000 you will face up to 5 years in prison and fines of $10,000.

If the value is between $500 and $1,000 your charge will likely be a gross misdemeanor and your potential sentence could reach up to one year in jail and $3,000 in fines.

Many Shoplifting offense fall under this provision of the law:

Any cases involving property or services valued at less than $500 is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000.

What Constitutes Theft?

There are numerous acts that constitute theft. If you do any of the following you could be charged with this offense:

  • Intentionally take, use, transfer, conceal, or retain possession of property of another without consent and with the intention of depriving the rightful owner of possession;
  • Obtaining possession, title, or services through false representation;
  • Obtaining property or services from another by trick or swindle;
  • Finding lost property and failing to attempt to find the right owner and surrender the property;
  • Intentionally obtaining property out of a money operated machine without depositing money;
  • Altering or removing identification numbers on property with the intent to prevent identification of rightful owner; and
  • Stealing cable through unauthorized connections.

What Should You Do?

There are a many different Theft/Shoplifting offenses under Minnesota law. Many of them are confusing and very complex. To be certain you know what you are up against when facing theft charges in court, call to discuss your case today.

If you want to have your situation cleared up - call the Rolloff Law Office for a case evaluation.  We'll discuss the allegations against you, and let you know all the possible defense options, and what you can expect might be the most likely and possible outcomes.

Find out what we can do to help by calling us today: (612) 234-1165.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Minnesota Drug Possession Charges (Explained)

Possession of drugs in the State of Minnesota is a serious crime, regardless of how much or how little you are caught with. However, there are ways to beat these charges.

Possession of Drug Crimes

If you are charged with possession of drugs - you can either be facing a felony or a gross misdemeanor complaint depending on the amount in your possession and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. 

All drug crimes are tried in a separate Minnesota court and follow a different set of rules. It is important that you seek legal advice from an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as you are arrested or accused of any drug possession crime.

Examples of charges:

  • Possession of narcotics with the intent to sell
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of narcotics
  • Possession of marijuana with the intent to sell
  • Possession of certain chemicals with the intent to manufacturer
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

What Are the Consequences?

Your penalty will depend of a number of factors including how much drugs you had in your possession, what was the intent of having this drug and what drugs were you caught with. Your criminal record may also play a role in your punishment. If you have been convicted of any drug crime in the past, then you could be looking at more severe penalties this time around.  Penalties for drug crimes include fines and fees, community service, drug rehabilitation in some instances and jail time.


Even the tiniest joint or minute traces of cocaine or methamphetamine can end up on your permanent record. Furthermore, if you are found in possession of scales, a pipe or plastic baggies, you could also be arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. The more drugs found in your possession, the worse your punishment will be, especially if there are suspicions that you were planning on selling the drugs. Possession of drugs for personal use is considered a lot less severe than possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. However, a crime is still a crime and will end up on your permanent record if convicted.

It is important to understand that just because you have been arrested for drug possession does not automatically make you a convicted criminal, or a bad person. There are a number of defense strategies to take when faced with a possession drug crime. If the drugs are not clearly in your possession (in your pocket), then there may be a case for mistaken identity. You could plead that the drugs found in your car or house were not yours. If the drugs were discovered during an illegal search and seizure that violated your right to privacy, then the evidence collected cannot be used against you.  The Rolloff Law Office will assess your case, gather evidence, consult with experts and determine the best defense tactics to take for your situation.

What You Should Do Next

Don’t let one mistake ruin the rest of your life. The Rolloff Law Office is there when you need us most. It is important to act fast when facing an arrest and criminal conviction. Let me put my experience as a former prosecutor to work for you to provide an aggressive representation and the legal assistance you need to ensure the best outcome possible for your case. Call today to set up a FREE consultation: (612) 234-1165.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Minnesota Disorderly Conduct (Explained)

The State of Minnesota defines Disorderly Conduct as the crime of engaging in a brawl or fight, disturbing an assembly or meeting, or engaging in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous or noisy conduct, or in offensive, obscene or abusive language that arouses alarm, anger or resentment in others.  

All too often, law enforcement and prosecutors use this as a “catch-all” offense.  If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, you next best step is to contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney who can help explain your rights and options.  

How Will I Know When I'm Being Disorderly?

Law enforcement can arrest an individual for Disorderly Conduct if that person is disruptive in some way, even if there is no threat of assault or imminent harm to others.  Prosecutors are often overzealous in viewing  certain actions as criminal ones, such as throwing a snowball at a neighbor’s child, yelling at a person in a bar, or making an ”obscene”  gesture in a public place.

Some specific examples of disorderly conduct include:

Public drunkenness
Inciting a riot
Disturbing the peace
Loitering in certain areas
Fighting or other  physical altercations
Obstructing traffic
Use of extremely obscene or abusive language
Loud or unreasonable noise

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct Charges

Those charged with disorderly conduct may be subject to jail time, probation, fines, community service, and restitution.  You may also end up with a criminal conviction on your record.  Whether any of these are imposed depends largely on the nature of your offense and the skill of your Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.

What Should You Do?

If you or someone you love has been cited for Disorderly Conduct, contact The Rolloff Law Office for a FREE consultation!  Call (612) 234-1165.  You have options - get FREE answers before you commit to anything.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Minnesota Domestic Assault & Gun Rights (Explained)

As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I gets lots of questions about Domestic Violence.

Domestic Assault is generally defined as either "an act intended to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death" or "an attempt or actual infliction of bodily harm upon another" who is a household member.  

This can include any of the following relationships:

  • Spouses and former spouses;
  • Parents and children;
  • Persons related by blood;
  • Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
  • A man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
  • Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.

These definitions are quite important since it is a common misconception that two persons must actually live together to be in a domestic assault.  Likewise, domestic assaults do not only occur between spouses or between parents and children. 

Levels of Domestic Assault

Domestic Assaults are known as "enhanceable" offenses in Minnesota.  This means if a person is convicted of domestic assault, any future charges and convictions for assault or "qualified domestic violence-related offenses" will be treated harsher.

  • Misdemeanor: First-time offense or no qualified domestic violence-related convictions in the past 10 years;
  • Gross Misdemeanor: One prior qualified domestic violence-related conviction in the past 10 years;
  • Felony: Two or more qualified domestic violence-related convictions in the past 10 years (maximum punishment of 5 years in prison or $10,000.00, or both.)

 Qualified Domestic Violence-related Offenses in Minnesota

What is considered a "qualified domestic violence-related offense" under the laws of the State of Minnesota --- here are some examples:

  • Violation of a domestic abuse order for protection
  • Violation of a domestic abuse no contact order (DANCO)
  • Murder in the First and Second Degree
  • Assault in the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Degree
  • Domestic Assault
  • Domestic Assault by Strangulation
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First, Second, Third or Fourth Degree
  • Malicious Punishment of a Child
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Violation of a Harassment Restraining Order
  • Stalking
  • Interference with an Emergency Call

As you'll note, someone with any of these convictions who then commits a Domestic Assault will face "enhanced" charges and more severe penalties.

Domestic Assault and the Effect on Firearms in Minnesota 

If an individual is convicted of Domestic Assault, and the court determines that the victim was a family or household member, the defendant can be prohibited from owning and possessing fire arms - forever!

Common Defenses

Some defenses to domestic assault include self-defense, defense of another person, defense of property and false allegations.  It is a common scenario to have one the defendant and the alleged victim as witnesses to the assault.  These cases are often referred to as "he said, she said" scenarios.  Factors to consider in such cases include the credibility of the witnesses and the criminal history of the defendant.  Because of assault case presents different facts and circumstances, it is wise to seek the opinion of a criminal defense attorney on possible defenses and the likelihood of success at trial.

What to Expect

Persons charged and convicted of domestic assault can expect to have their right to carry firearms taken away, as discussed above.  Defendants can also expect a combination of the following: probation usually lasting 2 years, a monetary fine, no contact with the victim, substance abuse counseling or treatment, community service, anger management classes, electronic home monitoring or local jail time.  First-time offenders typically serve no jail time or a very short amount of jail time (such as 2 or 3 days, which oftentimes can be served through community work service or house arrest).  For second and subsequent convictions, these same expectations exist but the length or probation is increased along with the likelihood the person will serve time in local jail.
Each case has unique facts and circumstances.  Furthermore, not every city and county handles domestic assault cases the same way.  Harsher punishment is typically sought in cases where the victim was badly hurt, alcohol or drugs were involved, there is a pattern of abuse, a weapon was involved or where the defendant has prior criminal convictions.

Domestic Assault Defense Attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you face domestic assault charges in the Twin Cities, call the criminal defense attorneys of Keyser Law Firm at (612) 338-5007 for a free consultation.  You can also fill out the "Free Consultation" box on this page to directly e-mail our attorneys.  Our fees are affordable and we accept payment plans for select clients.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Minnesota Expungements - Clean Your Record (Explained)

If you have been arrested, charged,  or convicted of a crime, then you understand the negative impact a criminal record can have on your life.  In Minnesota, all of this criminal history data, including arrests without a conviction, are public information.  Many employers, landlords, financial institutes and schools perform criminal background checks on all applicants which means your past will continue to haunt you in the future. You may have trouble finding decent employment, finding a place to live, obtaining a loan or even getting into a school. Expungement can put an end to these constant problems.

If you want help, contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney - today.  If you think you want to go it alone - here are some helpful suggestions:

Learn What is On Your Record

The first thing to do is find out what information exists.  In Minnesota, the Court and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) each maintain a public criminal history database.  Searching these websites is free and easy.  This is a big part of the problem, but it is helpful when trying to find out what information is available to interested parties.

Minnesota’s district court’s database is located here.

BCA’s criminal history database can be found here.

Expungement Rules and Regulations

The rules of expungement are not set in stone because of some inconsistent findings between the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  However, every expungement case is assessed on an individual basis but, in general, the following factors will determine your ability to have your conviction erased.

Amount of time since the offense.  As a general rule of thumb, wait at least two years to petition to expunge a misdemeanor conviction and longer for a felony.

Rehabilitation measures taken. In general, if you have displayed good public behavior since the arrest, avoiding any additional arrests, participating in counseling, anger management and/or rehabilitation as requested by the judge, then you will have a better chance of having your conviction taken off the record.

Case resolved in your favor.  If you were found not guilty or the case was dismissed by the judge or the prosecutor or you entered into a pre-trial diversion program (without entering a plea of guilt) you will have a much easier time expunging the record.  If the case was not resolved in your favor, the expungement request must be requested under the court’s inherent authority, which is a tougher process.

Drug offenses.  Certain drug offenses may be expunged pursuant to statute which makes the process easier.

Seriousness of the crime. Certain convictions can never be sealed, such as sexual assault and other offenses requiring post conviction registration.

The Rolloff Law Office can help you or someone you love with an expungement of a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony conviction.  Contact me today at (612) 234-1165 to set up a FREE consultation.