Saturday, February 23, 2013

Minnesota DWIs (Explained)

A DWI or DUI is, for many people, their first and only encounter with the criminal justice system. Believe it --- even for a first offense - the stakes are high in every drunk driving case, and it's not just because of the threat of jail time or harsh fines. In the State of Minnesota, your driver's license will likely be revoked after a DWI arrest, severely limiting your mobility. This can spill over into every aspect of your life, from employment to relationships with friends and family. Under certain circumstances, the state may even take your vehicle. An experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney can provide you with aggressive representation.  Believe it or not, I get lots of questions about Drunk Driving consequences --- here are some insights.  

Driver's License Revocation

If you have been arrested for a DWI --- you have to act fast.  You only have 30 days from the Notice of Revocation to challenge the loss of your driver's license. This is called an Implied Consent Hearing and is a separate case from your criminal DWI case. If this is your first DWI, your driver's license is suspended for up to 90 days if your test result was between .08 and .15. If this is your first DWI and the test result was greater than .16, or you refused the blood, breath or urine test, your license will be suspended for 1 year. If you have a prior DWI within 10 years, or there are other aggravating factors, your driver's license may be suspended even longer. Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible for a limited driver's license (work permit) or full driving privileges with the Ignition Interlock. 

If this is your first DWI and the test result was greater than .08 and lower than .20, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. This is a crime punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A gross misdemeanor would be charged if this is your second offense within 10 years and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. The minimum sentence under the law for this case is 30 days in jail. A gross misdemeanor can also be charged if your test result was greater than .20 or if you refused the test. If this is your third offense within 10 years, although this is still a gross misdemeanor, it has a minimum sentence of at least 90 days in jail. A fourth offense in 10 years is a felony and has a maximum penalty of seven years and a $14,000 fine with a minimum sentence of 180 days.

Whether this is your first DWI charge or you have received a prior conviction, it is extremely important to contact an experienced qualified Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. You should also know that a DWI is an enhanceable offense, meaning that the penalties increase exponentially for subsequent arrests of a same or similar nature.

The penalties are harsh enough after a first offense, but if you have a prior DWI or DUI conviction within 10 years, you could be facing a mandatory jail sentence. At the Rolloff Law Office, we treat every case as if our clients' lives depend on it. Contact a qualified DUI attorney for a free consultation. We will give you an honest and realistic assessment of your case and help you decide how to proceed.

We provide aggressive representation for the following DUI and DWI defense issues:

Felony DUI/DWI
Aggravated DWI/DUI
Vehicle forfeiture
Snowmobiling while intoxicated
Boating under the influence
Implied consent hearing (license revocation)

And, I offer free Consultations.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Minnesota DWI Costs (Explained)

If you're reading this, likely you know that alcohol can impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle. Beyond the dangers of operating your vehicle under the influence (and the fact that you can go to jail if arrested) there are other HUGE costs of a Minnesota DWI conviction that you may have never thought of.  Meaning - in addition to being quite upsetting to your family and loved ones - you can also put your job in peril because some employers have clauses in their employee contracts that set out that a conviction for DWI can get you fired --- this is particularly true if driving a vehicle is one factor of your ongoing employment.

An experienced Minnesota DWI Lawyer should be able to explain to you that yet another hidden cost of a DWI conviction can be the difficulty in getting your license reinstated. Oftentimes after a lengthy suspension period (sometimes up to three years), you can have your license reinstated, but the fees are often cost prohibitive for some individuals. 

There are even more potential hidden costs to a Minnesota DWI conviction such as:

  • The cost of incarceration/ work release/ electronic home monitoring;
  • Treatment (at your cost;)
  • Increased cost of health insurance; and
  • Being prevented from entering foreign countries (ie., Canada;)

The extent of these hidden costs highlights how important it is to find an experienced Minnesota DWI Lawyer in Minneapolis with the experience, knowledge and dedication to help you with your charge. The Rolloff Law Office has experience from both sides of the aisle that we will put to work for you. As your Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney, I will bring my education, experience and compassion to your case to earn the best possible outcome.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Minnesota Juvenile Defense Lawyer

I'm sure that almost ANY parent would agree that --- you want to do what is best for your kids. You want to protect them, believe the best of them, and hope to ensure a future for them that is better than your own - right?  Well, if your son or daughter is caught up in a mess with the courts the thing you can do is to turn the case over to a legal professional.

Seriously, seeking to handle a juvenile arrest without the advice of an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney can often do more harm than good. 

For example, if your child was present (but not directly involved) while a criminal act was being committed, did you know that he or she can potentially be charged with a crime?  Yep --- aiding and abetting.. and he/she can potentially face serious and lasting criminal penalties - just like the major players in the offense.  So, if your child admits to being present for the crime, even while trying to point out that he or she didn't take part, they may actually be confessing to aiding and abetting. Similarly, any information that you give the police about your child can be used to build a case against your child, even if your intent was to defend him or her.

Be Careful

Law enforcement knows how to interrogate adult offender --- just imagine what they do with children.  Trust me - the right questions can compel even an innocent person to make an incriminating statement. This is why it is so important to work with a juvenile defense attorney as quickly as possible, and to make sure that a professional is present during any questioning. A polite but strong statement that you and your child have nothing to say until a lawyer is present can make all the difference in your child's case.

At the Rolloff Law Office, I provide honest answers and straight talk.  Let me put my experience as a former prosecutor to work for you - the well-intentioned parent who (and I've seen it time and time again) could accidently make a bad situation worse by trying to fix things on their own. Whether you believe your son or daughter has done something wrong or not, the first thing you should do when your child is arrested is talk to a lawyer - before telling your child to talk to the police. Because, a juvenile criminal conviction can have permanent consequences.

For more information contact my office, today, at (612) 234-1165 to schedule a free initial consultation and case review to discuss your child's specific situation.

Monday, February 4, 2013

What To Do When you're Arrested (Explained)

Almost every cop show on TV has suspects doing the exact opposite of what an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney would recommend you do in the same situation.  Another way TV and real life are not remotely alike ... bummer.

Here's What You Should Do

To avoid any unnecessary drama, if possible, you should do the following if you're ever arrested:

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Do not resist arrest. Minnesota law does not allow the right to resist an arrest, even if you believe it to be an illegal one. 
  3. Do not make any statements to the police. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. Your actions, if arrested, should be simply to say: “I would like to speak with my attorney.” This is your legal right, and the only thing you should say. 
  4. Never lie. You are under no obligation to speak to law enforcement authorities. However, if you choose to speak to them, you are obligated to speak truthfully. If it can later be shown that you provided false information, you could be charged with making false statements or aiding an offender to escape arrest or prosecution. 
  5. Do not give permission to search anywhere. If the arresting officer asks, it’s generally because he/she knows that they don’t have the right to search and need your consent. If you are ordered to hand over your keys, state that they do not have your permission to search. 
  6. Do not believe what the police tell you in order to get you to talk.The law permits them to lie to a suspect in order to get you to make admissions. 
  7. Do call your lawyer. You do have the right to make a local phone call and the police cannot listen if you call a lawyer. 
  8. Do not invite the police into your home nor should you “step outside.” If the police believe you’ve committed a felony, they usually need an arrest warrant to go into your home to arrest you. If they ask you to step outside, they no longer need a warrant. Simply state that you’re comfortable talking right where you are. 
  9. Do not accept an offer by police to let you go inside if you are arrested outside. When the police escort you inside, they’ll likely conduct a search without a warrant. Decline offers to secure your car safely for the same reason. 
  10. Do have cash on hand to make bail. If you don’t and you are arrested on a Friday night, you’re in for a long week end in jail.
The truth is - in situations like an arrest --- the cops are not your friends.  They have a job to do --- and all too often that gets in the way of their ability to access common sense.

If you or someone you live needs help --- call a lawyer!  Get free answers by calling the Rolloff Law Office: (612) 234-1165.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Minnesota Traffic Stops - (Explained)

Late last year, MPR reported that Minnesota Lynx player Seimone Augustus was stopped for having an air freshener hanging from her rear-view mirror.

Now, technically, this is against the law. And as a result, the police can conduct a stop for any violation of the traffic laws, "however insignificant."State v. George, 557 N.W.2d 575, 578 (Minn. 1997).

As a practical matter, the police often use minor technical violations as a reason to stop a person in the hopes of getting information or evidence relating to a more serious matter.

As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I can tell you that tiny infractions like this turn out to be BIG problems.  Here are some (IMHO) helpful suggestions if you're stopped by law enforcement:

  1. Be polite and respectful;
  2. Do provide your identification and proof of insurance, if asked; and
  3. Understand that you do not have to answer incriminating questions or make statements admitting that you broke the law.

If you have been stopped and issued a citation or charged with a crime, please contact the Rolloff Law Office so we can discuss how we can help.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.