Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to Deal With The Police (Explained)

Although you probably don't need an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to tell you this --- a lot of it is common sense --- there is a good way and a bad way to "act" when one has contact with law enforcement.  Here are some simple "dos and don'ts." 

  1. Do be polite with the police officer;
  2. Do identify yourself correctly;
  3. Don't argue with the officer;
  4. Don't try to explain or make excuses to the officer;
  5. Don't discuss your situation with anyone, before talking to an attorney;
  6. Don't discuss your situation with anyone else, while you are in custody;
  7. Don't try to "make a deal" with the police officers;
  8. Don't make any statements to the police, for any reason;
  9. Don't sign any statements for the police as the price to go home; and
  10. Call The Rolloff Law Office!
If you really want to know more, call the Rolloff Law Office today to set up a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Does an Minnesota Attorney Really Do For You?

To many of you, it probably comes as no surprise that many (if not most) of the people I meet with --- individuals accused of crimes --- are in fact guilty or something.  All too often, clients come to me with little or no hope, wondering what (if anything) can be done.  One of the first things that I tell them is that although they may be guilty of something, they may not be guilty of the specific crime they are charged with.  An experienced and agressive Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney will make sure that the crime is properly charged, and that all the applicable rules and laws are followed throughout the case.  In addition, a lick-ass lawyer is often able to negotiate a favorable settlement deal, even in cases of clear guilt.  If a lawyer is able to reduce a presumed sentence by even a month or two, the fees paid will have been well worth it --- think of it as an investment in your future. Also, good Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyers are often able to negotiate reduced fines, reduced jail time and probation, etc.

Lawyer as Counsler

In addition to what we most think of when we think about a lawyer -- an attorney can also serve as a counselor.  See, those accused of crimes are often in need of something more than merely being represented in court.  Sometimes the crime itself is more accurately described as the symptom of a more serious problem, such as drug addiction or mental health issues.  

Criminals may do bad things, but I firmly believe they are not bad people  

Generally speaking, their biggest problem is what could be described as a “lack of foresight.”  A decent criminal defense lawyer can help counsel their client, advising them to address any underlying issues.  This type of advice includes encouraging the client to seek treatment, find a job or start education, and to keep their life happy and stable.  Depending on the client, I sometimes encourage them to seek some spiritual guidance as well.

There is a balance that must be struck, however.  Those accused of crimes do not need another person to lecture them on their mistakes.  Most already acknowledge that they screwed up somehow, and most are ready to make a change.  It is the lawyer’s role to encourage them and assist them in making the changes they want to make.  One of the very best parts about being a criminal defense attorney is that I have the privilege of finding people at the time in their lives where they are most willing to make changes for the better.  Rather than focusing too much on the past, I believe it is best to focus on the future.  Despite the obstacles, the future for most criminals can be very bright, especially with the right encouragement and the right counsel.

I'm a former prosecutor --- and I've been prosecuted myself - let's just say: I know what you're going through if you find yourself facing criminal charges and trips to court.  Call the Rolloff Law Office to set up a FREE CONSULTATION --- (612) 234-1165.   

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Minnesota Theft Crimes (Defined)

The State of Minnesota defines theft as the act of an individual --- intentionally taking another person's property for their own benefit. The common theme in Theft cases is that the offender knowingly commits the act and uses dishonesty and deceit in order to acquire, use or keep the possessions of another person. Enlist the services of an aggressive Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney if you have been charged with Theft so that a defense case geared to protect your rights and freedom can be initiated.  Because, not only could the accused be in trouble in court --- if you fail to properly address a Theft charge out of the shut ... it could harm you in the long-term, inducing when it comes to trying to get a job.  

Types of Theft

There are a variety of offenses of Theft crimes such as shoplifting, credit card and check fraud,burglary, robbery, identify theft, looting and others. Minnesota theft laws leave little room for light sentences in the event of a conviction, and those found guilty are often faced with penalties based on the value of the possessions. 

Theft crimes of less than $250, for example, warrant a misdemeanor charge. A gross misdemeanor is applied to theft crimes of $250 to $500, and any crimes involving items valued at over $500 are categorized as a felony. Penalties may vary according to the charge, but all convicted offenders will face jail or prison time in addition to serious fines, with the severity of penalty increasing with the severity of the crime.

Trusted Theft Crime Representation in Minnesota

The Rolloff Law Office is a dedicated criminal defense law firm that focuses on providing high-quality legal representation to clients who have been charged with a theft in the State of Minnesota.  I pride myself on the ability (honed while working as a former prosecutor) the ability to build compelling cases intended to establish reasonable doubt through diligent research, effective court representation and a tireless drive to explore every possible option in order to pursue the most favorable result. Call today to set up a FREE consultation: (612) 234-1165. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to Beat a Breathalyzer (Explained)

As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I've been asked about and/or heard stories about someone who was able to pass a breathalyzer test by doing something crazy like sucking on a penny or by eating right before the test.  Sure, there are all manner of urban legends out-there when it comes to beating a breathalyzer test, but are any of them true --- Is it possible to lower one's blood alcohol ("BAC") reading?  Let's see... 

Claim #1:  Sucking on a penny before taking a breathalyzer test will throw off your BAC.

Fact or Fiction:  Fiction.  Breathalyzers measure BAC by passing an infrared light wave through your mouth and measuring the drop in intensity of the light.  Sounds complicated, but it’s a system that prevents other residues, like copper and zinc in a penny, from throwing off the reading. 

Claim #2:  Eating or drinking (coffee) - before taking the test will lower your BAC.

Fact or Fiction:  Fiction.  Much like the penny idea, eating food or drinking a coffee before driving home will not change your blood alcohol content.  Eating a sandwich may prevent you from making an extra stop at White Castle on your drive home, but absorbing nutrients has no measurable effect on your BAC.

Claim #3:  Using mouthwash will help me pass a breathalyzer.

Fact of Fiction:  Fiction.  This one has been around for a looooong time, but in all reality it maybe the worst way to "beat" the test.  Sure, mouthwash can mask the odor of alcohol, but it does nothing to lower a person’s BAC.  In fact, because mouthwash often contains traces of alcohol, a person may actually increase their BAC reading by gulping mouthwash before they blow.

Claim #4:  Burping will throw off the breathalyzer.

Fact or Fiction:  Fiction.  A study  found that there were no variances between breathalyzer readings when a subject burped while blowing into the machine.

Claim:  Varying your breathing patterns can affect a breathalyzer test.

Fact or Fiction:  Fact.

According to a recent study --- doing this (ie., varying your breathing pattern) immediately before taking a breathalyzer can alter a BAC reading.  The study had participants try out a variety breathing techniques, from keeping their mouth closed to adjusting their breathing techniques.  Granted, every technique resulted in a higher BAC reading than normal, except one.  

Higher BAC readings resulted when individuals held their breath  before taking the test, spent time breathing with their mouth closed before the test, and when they employed a 20-second inhalation breath technique.  

But, when individuals where able to evoke a state of hyperventilatiion (for 20 seconds immediately before taking a breathalyzer) there BAC results were, on average, 10% lower.  Why?  Well --- researchers found that less alcohol content is located in the first part of a breath than in the last part, and quick, short breaths have been found to slightly lower your BAC.  

In the end, the best way to beat the test is to not drink so much... FACT!

If you or someone you know needs help with a criminal case - such as a DWI --- please call the Rolloff Law Office and ask questions till your heart's content --- cool?  Cal/ today: (612) 234-1165.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Minnesota Criminal Law (Bail) Questions (Answered)

If there's anything I know about the Minnesota Criminal Justice System it is that people (even experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys) have questions lots and lots of questions.  Here are some of the most common about BAIL - along with some answers.  If you or someone you love is caught up in a legal dilemma --- feel free to get more information by calling in the Rolloff Law Office - today: (612) 234-1165.

What is bail?

Bail is money or other property deposited with the court in order to ensure that the person accused returns to court when he or she is required to do so. If the defendant does not come to court when required or violates his or her bail conditions, the bail will be forfeited to the court and will not be returned. If the defendant makes all of his appearances, the bail is returned when the case is over.  In addition to getting someone to come back to court, bail also serves to protect public saftey - so says the government.  

What happens during a bail hearing?

Upon arrest, the accused appears before a magistrate or judge for a violation of a criminal law. The magistrate or judge will conduct a pre-trial bail hearing resulting in four possible results:

  • Your Own Recognizance - This is the defendant's verbal promise to appear in court on the date set and abide by the terms set by the magistrate or judge. No monetary pledge, cash deposit, or security by property or professional bondsman is required.
  • Conditional Release - This release, pending court appearance, is based on the defendant's written agreement to appear in court on the date set and abide by the conditions set by the magistrate or judge. It is backed by an agreement by the defendant to contact the probation department periodically, in addition to other conditions which might be set by the judge.
  • Bail Bond - This is secured by either a cash deposit or a pledge by a third party, who provides the cash to guarantee that the defendant will appear in court on the date set and abide by the conditions of the release. The judge may forfeit the cash in the event the defendant does not appear in court on the date set.
  • Ineligible for Bail -The bail decision may be appealed to a judge who re-examines the evidence. A violation of any agreement of release pending court appearance can result in the issuance of a bench warrant to arrest the person.

All too often defendant's get one chance to persuade the court as to bail/conditions of release.  Therefore, it can't hurt to have an attorney assist you or someone you love with the process.  Call the Rolloff Law Office, today, at (612) 234-1165 and get help.  This is not a "do-it-yourself" game --- trust me.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stopped For a Minnesota DWI? (Explained)

As I am sure you're aware --- Minnesota Police Officer are focused on DWI enforcement  - often to the exclusion of all other offenses.  So... what does that mean for you, right?

Everyone knows weekends mean more celebrations... going out, etc, and that means more police on the roads. It's no secret -- the news even reports on it. So how do you stay out of trouble?

The first and best way to avoid a Drunk Driving Arrest --- and a call to an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney is, of course, to avoid driving while impaired. You can:

Use a designated driver.
Call a commercial designated driver program if you have had a few too many (in the Twin Cities, services like Drink and Drive Intelligently (651-338-1425) or Dry Drivers (651-491-9363) provide you AND your car a ride home). 

Know your limits

B.A.C. Calculators can help you estimate whether you would fail a breathalyzer. 

Be safe.
Failing that, what happens if you get pulled over for Driving Under the Influence? 

What should you do, and what should you not do?


  • DO be polite and courteous with police. You will NEVER help yourself by being rude or especially assaulting police.
  • DO take a breathalyzer test if requested. Minnesota is an "implied consent" state, which means it is a crime to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer. In fact, the penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test can be more severe than driving drunk. In almost all circumstances, you are better off taking the breath test, even if you think you will fail it.
  • DO pay attention to the officer's name and, if possible, badge number.
  • DO sign a traffic citation if you receive one. Signing a traffic ticket is just agreeing that you received it; it is not an admission of guilt.
  • DO write down your own version of what happened as soon as possible. It will help you remember later and may help you if your case goes to trial.
  • Finally, DO call a lawyer immediately if you are arrested, and refuse to answer any questions other than your identifying information.
  • DO NOT, ever, verbally or physically assault a police officer. This will subject you to much more serious charges.
  • DO NOT lie to police officers. Again, this is far more likely to land you in greater trouble than it is to get you out of it.
  • DO NOT answer any questions about your evening or how much you have been drinking. You have a right not to answer questions. Exercise it.
  • DO NOT sign anything except a normal traffic ticket.
By following these steps, you can keep yourself out of trouble, or at least, keep the trouble you are already in from getting worse. Be safe this weekend.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Minnesota Legal Questions (Answered)

As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney you know I get a lot of questions.  Here are some FREE ANSWERS to some of the most common ones.

What is the cost of criminal defense for my criminal charges?

The Rolloff Law Office's fees are very competitive and we work with you to protect your rights and defend you. This includes investigating the facts, police, and witnesses to determine evidence that will prove your innocence. We charge a flat rate for criminal defense based on the complexity of your case. Our legal fees for criminal defense will cover your attorney's fees all the way throughout discovery, probable cause hearings, pre-trial motions and trial.   

What is the difference between a misdemeanor, petty misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and a felony?

Petty Misdemeanors are punishable by up to $300 fine. You cannot be sent to jail for a petty misdemeanor. Although not criminal offenses, some petty misdemeanors may still look bad on your record.

Misdemeanors are a crime and are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Gross Misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. These are serious crimes.

Felonies are the most serious offenses. They are punishable by a year to life in jail and heavy fines, depending on the crime.

The 'victim' wants the charges dropped. Will the case be dismissed?

No. Once police are involved they are gathering evidence and when a criminal case is in the county attorney or the prosecutor's hands they charge the crime acting for the state and the alleged "victim" is only witness testimony for the state as additional evidence. 

The victim cannot decide to drop the charges on their own. The state will continue to prosecute using the statements the victim already made to the police and may even impeach the victim if they were to testify differently on the stand. This type of issue is common in domestic assault situations when the police are called and the alleged victim does not want to pursue charges.

What are the possible outcomes of my case?

Each case depends on the facts and the law. When evaluating your case, we always look first for reasons the case might be dismissed. The witnesses or victim may be lying and evidence often can be suppressed. There may be contradicting evidence to show the state's evidence is unreliable. The case can be dismissed if a defendant qualifies for a diversion program and will remain law abiding in a plea agreement. Other times, the court might give a sentence but will not impose it. Sometimes you must go to a jury trial to prove your innocence. Whether these options will be available in your case depends on a number of factors. Call the Rolloff Law Office to get a better idea of possible outcomes you can expect in your case.

Should I talk to the police?

Always call an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney before you speak to the police. The police are trying to find any evidence that may convict you and anything you say can and WILL be used against you. An attorney can protect your rights before you confess to something, or say something that you didn't mean to say.

Call The Rolloff Law Office

Start your search for real help by getting a FREE CONSULTATION today.  You can reach a helpful and experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney today at (612) 234-1165.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Does a Minnesota DWI Cost? (Explained)

Minnesota Drunk Driving charges come with severe penalties.. In addition to  license revocations, you could also be facing a HUGE fine and a conviction for a misdemeanor or even a felony - which means jail time.  Costs associated with a Minnesota DWI go well beyond the fees of an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.

Driver’s License Reinstatement

Fines related to your license being revoked depend on whether this is your first conviction or second DWI. These fees are nothing compared to the long-term costs associated with being convicted of a third or fourth offense. If that should happen, your license is cancelled indefinitely and/or you could go to jail for up to seven years.

If your driver’s license is revoked in Minnesota, you’re required to pay a reinstatement fee plus a license application fee for either a first or second conviction.  Total cost --- around $700

Alcohol Awareness Classes

Your history of DWI arrests, the circumstances of current arrest - such as your blood alcohol content (BAC) and your score when you completed a chemical health evaluation - determine how many hours you are required to attend classes as part of your probation requirements. Costs range from $250 – $400 for a 12-hour program and a 24-hour program, respectively.

Legal Fees

Because every case is different, a reputable attorney will not charge you for the initial consultation. During the consultation, the lawyer will learn all the facts and circumstances involved in your particular case. Most reputable criminal defense lawyers charge a “flat” fee, which ensures representation throughout the trial, regardless of the number of hours the lawyer works on the case or whether the case is dismissed or resolved through plea negotiations.

For more serious cases such as a fourth drunk driving conviction where jail time is likely, the higher the cost will be to defend you. For lower level crimes such as first offenses where probation or fines are likely, the price is less.

Like in all industries, when it comes to legal representation, you get what you pay for.

Let's stop this madness --- call today to get the answers you need.  Rolloff Law Office - (612) 234-1165