Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Minnesota Minor Consumption (Explained)

Despite the misconception that "everyone does it," consumption of alcohol by minors is taken very seriously in the State of Minnesota by the juvenile justice system. Whether you are a parent seeking help for your child or you are a student who was caught drinking on campus, it is important to seek out the advice of an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.

At the Rolloff Law Office, we represent juveniles against charges of minor consumption as well as underage Drunk Driving. She takes a all-encompassing approach to these issues, representing clients' legal best interests while also helping them obtain any needed help for substance abuse or other personal issues. 

Protecting the Rights of Juveniles

Having had been a kid myself ... and one who got himself into a wee-bit of trouble ... I understand the nuances associated with juvenile cases. Having had work both as a juvenile prosecutor and a defense attorney I get the complexity of the juvenile justice system.  I also have a fairly solid grasp on its resources and the programs that are available to minors who have committed a crime. 

I work  to absolve my clients of criminal penalties as well as to protect their charges from being part of the public record. Many attorneys who do not focus on juvenile law fail to understand that both issues are important, as felonies — even after being negotiated down — will remain public unless they are dealt with properly.

In the end, I appreciate that minors are children, not adults, and need to be treated as such. As such, they should be given a chance to resolve issues rather than have their reputations/futures ruined.  I'll  work with the state and the judge to develop a program that is best suited to meet the needs of the minor and that will allow the best chance for a successful future.

At the Rolloff Law Office, your child will be treated like an individual, not a legal problem. For a free initial consultation*, contact me today: (612) 234-1165 to set up a FREE CONSULTATION.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

MN DWI Defenses (Explained)

As an experienced and affordable Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I get a lot of questions about Minnesota DWIs.  Before you just give up and plead guilty to a charge of Drunk Driving, you might want to think about all of the possible defenses that could apply in your case.  Generally they fall into the following categories.  

Constitutional Defenses
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Successfully asserting a constitutional defense can dramatically affect the outcome of your case. Constitutional defenses place strict limits on the way the government can investigate, prosecute and punish criminal conduct.

Administrative Defenses
It’s not easy to prove someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, especially in something as subjective as a Minnesota DWI case. After all, you have a “presumption of innocence” and there are a lot of administrative rules designed to insure that the evidence collected by the state is accurate, reliable and legally admissible. When these administrative rules are violated, you have an “administrative defense.”

Procedural Defenses
Understanding how defenses work comes with experience. The state has collected a lot of evidence to use against you but they may have made a lot of procedural mistakes along the way. An experienced defense attorney who understands procedural rules can point out the states mistakes as part of your defense.

Equitable Defenses
Sometimes there is no “legal defense.” When that happens its important to try and mitigate/lessen your sentence and any potential damages. No one deserves to get the maximum sentence or treated like a criminal for a small mistake.  You need some to present some positive evidence and you need to present your side of the case in the best possible light.

Here are over 70 possible defenses to a charge of DWI. Ask yourself this: "Are any of them applicable in your case?"

  • Defective prior pleas
  • Denied independent test
  • Not the driver
  • Not in physical control
  • Not under the influence
  • Emergency Situations
  • Foreign substance in mouth
  • Burp immediately prior to test
  • Improper observation period
  • Improper calibration
  • Improper machine maintenance
  • Improper simulator solution
  • Intoxilyzer operator not certified
  • Intoxilyzer radio interference
  • Source code non-disclosure
  • Improper field sobriety test
  • No Miranda warning
  • Blowing too hard
  • Prosecutor witness problems
  • Diabetic condition
  • Crowded court calendars
  • No Implied Consent Warning
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Right to exclude illegal evidence
  • Right to bail
  • Illegally admissions and confessions
  • Improper Stop
  • Improper seizure
  • Improper search
  • Right to procedural due process
  • Right to due process
  • Right to a speedy trial
  • Right to a jury trial
  • Right to presumption of innocence
  • Proof beyond reasonable doubt
  • Right to remain silent
  • Right to subpoena witnesses
  • Right to counsel
  • Dismissal for delay (Rule 6.06)
  • Right to a speedy trial (Rule 6.06)
  • Right to release (Rule 6.02)
  • Right to disclosure (Rule 9)
  • Disclosure of evidence
  • Notice of bad acts (Rule 7)
  • Notice of criminal record
  • Right to evidentiary hearing
  • Right to probable cause hearing
  • Right to procedural hearing
  • Notice of relationship issues
  • Notice of identification evidence
  • Notice of state’s exhibits
  • Notice of state’s witnesses
  • Notice of admissions (Rule 9)
  • Notice of informants (Rule 9)
  • Right to depose (Rule 21)
  • Right to release (Rule 4)
  • Right to a public defender
  • Prosecutors duty of disclosure
  • Motion to dismiss (Rules 10)
  • Motion to suppress
  • Right to exclude witnesses
  • Right to subpoena witnesses
  • Right to subpoena documents
  • Right to Appeal
  • Offering non-legal justification
  • Supplying an alternative disposition
  • Demonstrating rehabilitation
  • Character evidence
  • Community involvement
  • Charitable and civil service
  • Military service
  • Personal financial issues
  • Personal family issues
  • Health issues

At the Rolloff Law Office, we try to present an equitable defense in every case. There are always two sides to every story and telling your side in the best possible way is important. In Minnesota DWI cases - inexperienced lawyers sometimes get caught up in all of the legal or technical issues and they forget that what happens in court will affect their client’s lives for years to come.  Call today to get affordable, experienced help: (612) 234-1165.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Affordable Lawyer - How You Can Tell (Explain)

Whether or not you've dealt with a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney or Minnesota DWI Lawyer before, you probably assume one thing - it's going to be expensive. And, if you are like me or like most people, you want to get the best lawyer possible for the lowest amount of money possible. Is that possible?

The DWI lawyer or criminal defense lawyer you decide to hire is going to be trusted with a lot of responsibility. They are holding your life in their hands. If they don't do the work they promise, or put forth the effort they promise, or pick up the phone when you call, you could end up in jail, you could end up with huge fines, and you could wind up losing everything that is important to you. What is your freedom, your hard earned money, and your reputation worth to you?

The Rolloff Law Office Doesn't Bill By the Hour, and We Don't Ask For More Money

At The Rolloff Law Office, we have a very simple fee structure. We have one price for your case, and that's it. That price depends on several factors, including the difficulty of your case, the facts of your case, and the expertise required for your case. But that one price is all we'll ask for. That means if you want or need to go to trial, we'll go, without asking for more money. Most Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys don't offer that. Most attorneys make you pay more to go to trial. They do it because they don't want to go to trial. When you sign up with us, you can trust that we'll do whatever it takes to win your case.

With This Much At Stake, Do You Really Want the Cheapest Option?

A lot of people are scared off by the fees we charge. We aren't the most expensive criminal defense and DWI defense law firm out there, but we aren't the cheapest. And the reason we aren't the cheapest is we provide far more value than the attorneys out there selling you on price. What we offer is unlike any Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney out there. We offer great legal services, we offer great results, and we offer you the trust that at the end of the day we are doing everything we can to get the results you deserve.

A criminal charge is extremely serious. At a minimum you are facing 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. And the stakes only go up from there. I liken it to getting surgery. A bad result can affect you for the rest of your life. If you were getting brain surgery, would you want the cheapest guy you could find to do it? No. You'd want the best. You'd want someone with a proven track record. Even if you had to pay a little more for it. You'll get that with us.

If you need a Minnesota DWI Attorney, ready to help. We offer a FREE CONSULTATIONS and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you. Call us today at (612) 234-1165 to find out how we can help you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Minnesota DWI FAQs (and Answers!)

As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney -- I get lots and lots of questions about DWIs.  Here are some of the most common - and some no non-sense answers.

1. What Is The Difference Between a DWI and a DUI?

In Minnesota, there really is not a difference. The term DWI is technically more accurate as to describe the charge as Minnesota Statute 169A.20 describes the offense as Driving While Impaired, which encompasses driving under the influence (DUI) of various substances, including alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating agents. The statute also covers the offense of driving with unacceptable amounts of these various substances in your bloodstream.

2. What's a Pretrial / Omnibus Hearing?

Before a trial, your Minnesota DWI  lawyer will file motions. These motions address various constitutional issues. They may include:
  • ·                    The reason your car was stopped;
  • ·                    Whether the officer had a reasonable basis to pull you over;
  • ·                    Your legal right to counsel;
  • ·                    Whether the officer performed the required Miranda rights;
  • ·                    Whether there was probable cause for your arrest; and/or
  • ·                    Other specific issues related to your case.
These motions take place at court hearings referred to as Pretrial or Omnibus hearings. Police officers, jail staff and / or defendants sometimes offer the Judge their testimonies during these hearings. Depending on your specific case and situation, you yourself may even be required to testify. If the Judge grants the motions from your DWI lawyer the case may be dismissed. If the Judge rules against the motions the case will be scheduled for trial. According to Minnesota law, the Judge present at your hearing must issue a ruling within 90 days of this hearing, determining how your DWI or DUI case will proceed.

3. What Will Happen at a Trial?

You have the right to request a trial by jury when you are charged with a DWI. You can expect the trial to last 1-2 days, and the jury to be to 6 individuals residing in the county in which you have been charged. If however you already have 3 DUI or DWI convictions within the last 10 years, you will go through what is called a felony jury trial. In Minnesota, a felony trial means you have the right to be judged by a jury of 12 individuals from your own county.

The first step of any trial is the selection of the individuals who will make up the jury. Jury selection takes several hours, as your attorney will do his or her best to find jury members that will be impartial and that will be able to view the information and testimony in the case in a fair and neutral way.  Once the jury is selected, the Prosecutor in your case will make his or her opening statement, explaining to the jury their understanding of your case and the reason why you should be guilty of driving while impaired or driving under the influence. It will then be your attorneys turn to make his opening statement. He will take advantage of this time to show the jury what problems and flaws he sees in the Prosecutors case. This might include showing that the Intoxilyzer test was inaccurate, that the blood draw was not performed properly or any other process that might not be valid depending on the specifics of your case.

Once both attorneys have made their opening statements, witnesses will be called to testify. These witnesses might include the police officer who arrested you, the individual who performed the Intoxilyzer test and any other person the Prosecutor believes will convict you of a DWI or DUI. Your lawyer's approach during this time will be to get involved in the questioning process and point out inconsistency in each of the witness testimony.

Once the Prosecutor is finished presenting his or her case, it will be your turn to call witnesses to the bar. These witnesses will be called to help show that you are not guilty of committing a DWI and might include individuals such as eyewitnesses, passengers who were with you at the time of the arrest, or a blood alcohol expert who can explain why the test was not performed properly and should therefore be disregarded. At the end of testimonies, both your lawyer and the Prosecutor will make their closing statements and the members of the jury will be asked to proceed to the Jury Room to deliberate on your case. This means they will review the evidence and testimonies of all the witnesses, discuss the Prosecutor and your lawyers arguments and ultimately come to an unanimous decision on whether or not you are guilty of the crime for which you were charged.

As you can see from these proceedings, a jury trial is not a simple process. This is an outline of how processes go for the most part, but as every trial is different, many twists and turns can influence whether or not you will walk away free and without conviction. This is why it is extremely important that you contact a lawyer specializing in DUI and DWI cases as soon as possible. Not just any generalist attorney can successfully navigate the complex and intricate laws that are specific to DUI and DWI cases. Thankfully for you, in Minnesota, you can count on the expert advice and representation that the Rolloff Law Office has to offer.

4. What if I Don't Want a Trial (Negotiations) ?

Many cases do not go to trial, as they are settled by entering into plea bargains with the prosecutor or dismissed at the pretrial or omnibus hearing.  If the case is not dismissed at the pretrial often times it will be beneficial to consider negotiations.  During negotiations, your attorney will speak with the Prosecutor and point out the problems, flaws and gaps he or she sees in the Prosecutors case. In order for negotiations to turn in your favor, and hopefully avoid you having to go to trial, your attorney must be extremely skilled and experienced in handling DWI and DUI cases.

The best outcomes in negotiations literally come down to how well your attorney can study and take apart the Prosecutors case to prove to them that they will not get a conviction by going through trial, and to convince them that it is better for everyone involved to settle the case outside of the courtroom through the negotiation process. 

If you have been charged with a DWI call the Rolloff Law Office without delay. We will offer you a FREE consultation and will be happy to put our years of experience in (both defending and prosecuting) DWI cases at your service to help you put this experience behind you and move on with your life.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Minnesota DWI Lawyer - Explained

Looking for a qualified Minnesota DWI Lawyer? There are many experienced attorneys, skilled at protecting the rights of those arrested for Drunk Driving. Without an attorney, many people almost surely face jail time, severe fines, loss of license, or some combination of those penalties for a DWI charge. By pleading guilty to a DWI, you may be forfeiting the possibility of achieving a more favorable outcome.

Many Minnesota DWI Attorneys are able to achieve reduced fines, jail time, etc., and in some cases, they are able to have the charges against your dropped. Each case depends on its own facts. Learn more today and speak with a qualified Minnesota DWI lawyer by clicking this link and filling out the form on the bottom. Your initial consultation is free!

Why Hire a Lawyer

The penalties for Minnesota DWI Lawyer are far more expensive than the cost of hiring an experienced Drunk Driving Attorney.  If found guilty, you likely face: loss of license, jail time, thousands in fines, and mandatory SR22 Insurance which can cost thousands more in insurance premium!

Do not assume that you have to plead guilty because there is evidence against you

Those who plead guilty without fighting the Drunk Driving charges against them automatically submit to being a criminal, and they face jail time, or suspension or revocation of their license, or steep fines, all of the above, or some combination thereof. You may be worried that the evidence against you will be difficult to overcome – but you should know that even strong evidence may be rebutted in a court of law. Skilled Minnesota DWI Attorneys can challenge the validity of test results and the reliability of test methods that are supposed to determine whether a driver is intoxicated.

If you are concerned that your finances and freedom are on the line, then you have likely talked to someone about the penalties for a DWI in Minnesota. The fact that you are reading this website is a good sign – it takes the help of a seasoned Minnesota DWI Attorney to make a difference in the courtroom and at any other administrative hearing you may be required to attend.

Call the Rolloff Law Office today to set up a FREE consultation  (612) 234-1165.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Minnesota DWIs – Not Just Another Traffic Ticket

Almost every other week you hear stories on the news about celebrities being pulled over for DWI. Their mug shot will be shown, viewers will get a laugh over it and then it seems to be over. You don’t hear anything about it again; but the fact is that this is no laughing matter and it should be taken seriously.  This is why you should consider speaking to a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney about your case.

DWI is a Criminal Offense

Many people are under the impression that if you are arrested for Drunk Driving, you are only held until you sober up and then it is over -- WRONG.  This offense is not the same as a speeding violation or even a reckless driving charge. This sort of charge will require you to  face a criminal court judge.

If you are pulled over while intoxicated, the police officer will normally ask you if you have been drinking. It is best for you not to answer and instead invoke your right to remain silent. If they ask you to take a field sobriety test, you have the right to refuse. In fact, these tests are not considered reliable since sober people can fail while people who are intoxicated can pass.

If the police officer believes there is probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated, he will then arrest you. Once at the police station, he will likely either have you submit to a blood or breathalyzer test. It is important that you not give a statement until you have a lawyer present. This is a right that you have and you should not allow an officer to pressure you otherwise.

Often times, depending on the jurisdiction, you will be released from jail pending arraignment after fully sobering up which typically takes a several hours depending on how much alcohol you consumed. However, sometimes, and especially if you are being charged with anything else in addition to driving while impaired, you may remain in custody until your arraignment. Usually an arraignment takes place the day after your arrest but if you are arrested on a Friday or Saturday, you may have to spend the weekend behind bars.

If you are released after sobering up, then you will most likely be notified of your arraignment at a later date. This will give you time to contact an attorney to represent you against these charges.

What is At Risk?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and the charges against you, there are a few possible punishments that you can face:

  • Jail time
  • Fines or other fees
  • Penalties
  • Suspension/revocation of license
  • Community service
  • Rehabilitative treatment
  • Probation

For each Minnesota DWI offense, the repercussions become more stringent. In addition, if you caused a car accident while drunk driving and someone is injured as a result, you may even face more severe charges.

You Need Representation

Defending yourself on a DWI charge can be tricky – especially if it isn’t your first offense or if you have multiple charges against you. For any criminal charge, you would turn to an attorney to represent you and this charge is no different. Look for a Minnesota DWI Attorney who has experience defending people in your situation. At the Rolloff Law Office, I represent individuals charged with DWI --- I can advise you on the right steps to take.  Call to day to set up a free consultation: (612) 234-165