Sunday, March 31, 2013

MN Prostitution & Solicitati (Explained)

Prostitution is defined in the State of Minnesota as the act of engaging, agreeing to or offering to engage in sexual contact or sexual penetration for a fee. Prostitution is closely connected to solicitation, pandering, loitering with the intent to prostitute and sex trafficking. If you have been charged with one of these crimes, if you or someone you love has been cited for this offense - contact an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

The Law

Prostitution and solicitation cases come in many forms, including:

  • Engaging in any sexual activity for money
  • Loitering in a public place with the intent to prostitute
  • Induce (or solicit) an individual to practice prostitution
  • Promotes the prostitution of an individual (pimping)
  • Prostitutes in a school or park zone
As I'm sure you acknowledge, ANY prostitution conviction is a serious criminal offense that should not be taken lightly. Whether you are the patron or the prostitute, you could be looking at severe fines and prison time if you are found guilty.


If you are convicted of prostitution you could be looking at a sentence as high as 20 years in prison and $40,000 in fines. In most instances, however, prostitution is considered a misdemeanor offense and comes with a $1000 fine and 90 days in jail. However, your penalty will depend on a number of things including your criminal history, the intent of your crime, where and when the crime took place and the people involved.

Sex crimes are serious. Although prostitution is often classified as a misdemeanor offense this does not mean you should try to fight this arrest on your own. Anything you say to the arresting officer can be used against you at a later date. Your best move is to remain calm and silent and speak to the Rolloff Law Office.  Feel free to call today: (612) 234-1165 if you have additional questions about your prostitution arrest? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Minnesota DWIs (Explained)

Generally, as a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I recognize that Drunk Driving/DWI cases fall into one of two types: 

The first category is the least prevalent.  Here, there is a flaw in the government's case.  That means: maybe the police lacked proper cause to make an arrest or their testing equipment was flawed, or the officer did not do the tests Or... maybe there is a problem with the chain of custody or other evidence issues.  There are a number of possibilities that might make the case difficult or impossible to prove.  This is where someone with experience on both sides of the aisle, like me, can be helpful.  First, I know what to look for in a case to find weaknesses.  Second, I know the value of weaknesses to the defense case.  Finally, I can make an informed judgment as to what my client can possibly expect.  In short, experience helps get the best results.

The second category is more likely.  Here, there is no problem with the government's case that can be exploited... The cops did their jobs correctly, the equipment was in proper working condition, and there are really no issues, etc.  The government has a strong belief that it can make its case without difficulty.  Here, experience counts too.  By having been on the other side of well over a 1,000 DWI prosecutions, I know the best results that can be expected.  Just because the case is an uphill battle for the accused doesn't mean you can't a break.  Of course, individual results will depend on the circumstances.

The bottom line is that if you are accused of a Minnesota DWI violation, the Rolloff Law Office can help.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Beat Any Ticket - Every time (or Die Trying)

When you get a Speeding Ticket in Minnesota be prepared to pay more than the cost of the ticket. Specifically, your insurance company may raise your insurance rates. So, what are you going to do... think about talking to an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney about beating a ticket.  Honestly, the money you spend to keep the ticket off of your record will be a huge profit to you in the long run.

Understanding that almost any person that gets caught driving too fast will pay.Here's how we fight back!

Dispute the Police Officer's Opinion

Police officers often cite drivers for making unsafe turns or driving unsafely down a road. These tickets require the officer to put down his personal opinion and come to a subjective conclusion about what happened. If you have received a ticket where the officer needed to exercise some sort of personal judgment about the situation, you may be able to challenge that judgment. For example, suppose you were cited with an unsafe lane change while driving on the highway. If we show up to fight the ticket, we can argue that your lane change was safe given the weather and traffic conditions at that time. To further support our argument, we could also point out that the police officer was in front of you during the lane change, and that, due to the heavy traffic conditions, the officer most likely was paying more attention to the road in front of him rather than a car changing lanes behind him.

Subjective speeding tickets are also issued all of the time --- and it leaves it up to the police officer to determine whether a driver is driving at a safe speed. These speeding tickets are often challenged by those who are cited. If you have received a speeding ticket for going above the posted speed limit we ay be able to challenge the officer's opinion by proving that your speed was safe given the conditions. As an example, if an officer cites you for going 75 mph in a posted 65 mph zone, you may argue that your speed was safe because all of the cars in your lane were also traveling at 75 mph, and thus, it would be unsafe to drive at or below 65 mph.

Dispute the Officer's Evidence

There are yet other types of tickets where the police officer's judgment cannot be called into question. These tickets generally have to do with tickets that are clear cut, like running through a stop sign or making an illegal U-turn. Here, challenging a ticket involves challenging whether or not the officer saw you perform the ticketed action. The results of these types of cases will generally boil down to who the judge believes, and you, as the driver, will often have a high burden to overcome. However, there are certain types of arguments and evidence that you can present that may help your case by calling into question the officer's observations.

Some of the best arguments and evidence to present in such a situation are:
  • Eyewitness statements from passengers, other drivers on the road or pedestrians that will confirm your story.
  • Diagrams, diagrams, diagrams. The more clearly you can show where your car was in relation to the officer's car at the time of the citation, the more robust an argument you can make. For instance, a great diagram would show that the officer could not have seen you run a red light because he was trailing you too far behind to see whether or not your car was in the intersection at the time the light turned red.
  • Photographs of the scene of the alleged traffic violation. Photographs can help you if, for example, they demonstrate your claim that a stop sign was obscured by an overhanging limb, or show that a traffic light was out of power at a certain time of day.

Present You Own Evidence 

In Minnesota, the judge hearing your case will be allowed to come to their own decision regarding the traffic ticket if presented with the right evidence. For certain types of tickets, like running a stop sign, you may be allowed to present evidence that you should not be required to pay the ticket because you made a "mistake of fact."

Mistakes of fact are mistakes made by drivers about the situation. To clarify, it helps to look at a few examples. First, it would be a mistake of fact if you were driving in two lanes because the lane markers were so worn down by use that you could not see them. Second, it would be a mistake of fact to make an illegal right turn because wind had recently blown down the no right turn sign.

Often, a judge will toss out a ticket that has been issued against you if you can show that you had inadequate notice. For example, if you regularly drive a stretch of road everyday and one day are ticketed for running a stop sign that was installed the previous day, you can argue that you had insufficient notice about the new sign, and that you made a mistake of fact. However, if the stop sign was up long enough for you to be aware of it, or if you never drove that stretch of road before, or if you were driving recklessly and failed to see the sign, you would probably not win this argument.

Argue that Your Driving Was Justified/Necessary

Another way to fight traffic tickets is not to deny or point out mistakes in the ticketing process, but rather to admit to the illegal driving but present another fact that makes the illegal driving justified and allowable. This is a great way to fight a ticket because you do not have to dispute the officer's statement or the charge in the ticket, but rather show circumstances that necessitated your driving.

For instance, if you were ticketed for driving too quickly on the highway, you may present evidence that you were passing a car that you thought had a drunk driver. In this situation, your speeding may be warranted as you were trying to prevent an accident that may have caused a multi-car pile up. However, this defense would be negated if the officer could prove that you kept your high speed even after passing the other vehicle on the road.

As another example, if you are ticketed for changing lanes recklessly and stopping on a highway, you may be able to fight the ticket by showing that you felt waves of dizziness and felt like fainting while driving. You pulled over your car and stopped as soon as you could so as to avoid passing out while driving. A judge could very well agree that your conduct was legally justified and throw out the ticket.

If you want to keep you insurance rates down - fight your tickets --- fight everyone of them.  As a former prosecutor, I've been involved in literally hundreds of trials on matters like these.  You would believe what good work can be done to protect you and your future.  Call the Rolloff Law Office today: (612) 234-1165

Saturday, March 23, 2013

First Court Appearances (Explained)

As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, one of the first questions I get is: What will happen in court - at the first appearance?  Although it varies depending on the charge and the county, three things typically happen at your first court appearance:

  1. Bail or conditions of release will be set
  2. You will be formally charged
  3. Arrangements are made for the next hearing

1. Bail and Conditions of Release

Many people are scared that they’ll be taken away in handcuffs and held in custody throughout their criminal matter --- this is rarely the case.  At the first appearance, a judge will consider what conditions are appropriate for release.  Generally, if the crime is not a felony - or does not implicate public safety - and if the offender does not have a criminal record, no bail will be required.  However, the court will consider the possible danger to the community and your potential as a flight risk when setting bail.  So, if you have a history of missing court dates, or if the crime you're alleged to have committed involves violence, a higher bail will likely be set.  In addition, the judge can impose conditions of release, such as being tested for drugs and alcohol or to stay from a particular place or person. 

2. The Formal Charge

At the first court appearance, you’ll also (formally) be told the specific charge(s) you face.  If the charges are minor, you may only receive a citation with little information about the charge.  However, more serious crimes require a complaint.  A complaint has a statement of probable cause, which is the State’s allegations supporting the charges.  If you want, a judge can also read the charges to you, but in the interest of not creating more publicity and saving time, almost everyone waives the reading.

3. Future Arrangements

Finally, the court will want to know what will be done about the case.  For more minor crimes, you or your attorney can talk with the prosecutor and see if you can resolve the case.  If the case cannot be resolved, the court will set further dates and either check your eligibility for the public defender or ask if you want to get a private attorney.

You don't have to go through this alone.  If you or someone you love needs help with a first appearance, call the Rolloff Law Office.  not only can we answer your questions - we also offer FREE CONSULTATIONS.  Call today: (612) 234-1165

Monday, March 18, 2013

Miranda Rights (Explained)

As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I get a lot of questions --- one of the biggest is about the Miranda Rights.  Here's a short-hand answer for you about your rights.  

"Miranda Rights" refer to some of the rights that are contained in the 5th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

The 5th Amendment says:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. 

When and How Can You Use Your Miranda Rights? 

In order for your Miranda Rights to "attach" - that is, to be applicable in your situation, three things must have happened: You must be in custody, police must be interrogating you, and you must have asserted your Miranda Rights. The first two conditions are known as custodial interrogation. 

The US Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona defined custodial interrogation as "questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way." 

In essence, police will have made you feel like you were not free to go - either by arresting you, by holding you in custody, or by significantly depriving you of your freedom of action; they will read your Miranda Rights to you; they will ask you if you wish to talk to them and thereby waive your rights; and you can choose to assert your rights at that time, or to waive your rights and talk to them. Remember, the keys are that you do not feel free to leave and the police are doing the questioning. The last element, that you have asserted your Miranda Rights, is the element that is up to you: You must assert your rights clearly and verbally. 

A good way to make sure you exercise your Miranda Rights  is to go through this list: 

  • Is there police custody (am I not free to leave)?
  • Is there interrogation (am I being asked questions, instead of initiating)?
  • Was a Miranda Warning read before questioning began and after custody was established?
  • Was there a waiver of Miranda Rights?
  • Was there an explicit assertion of Miranda Rights - either to remain silent, consult with a Minnesota DUI lawyer or both?
  • If there was a waiver and then an assertion later on, did questioning stop immediately?
  • Were any statements made after Miranda Rights were asserted and police stopped questioning?
  • Did any questioning happened after a lawyer was requested that was outside the presence of the lawyer? 
The most important things you can do to protect your rights are:
  • Assert your right to remain silent IMMEDIATELY
  • Contact a Minnesota DUI lawyer as soon as you can
  • Do not say anything more once you have asserted your rights
  • And, be cooperative and polite throughout your encounters with police.

If you have questions about your rights, call the Rolloff Law Office for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Miranda Rights (Explained)

As an expreined "Miranda Rights" refer to some of the rights that are contained in the 5th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution consists of the preamble, seven articles, and then a series of amendments. The preamble is familiar to most people: "We, the people, of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union…" 

The first ten amendments to the US Constitution were adopted at the same time, and these first ten amendments are known as The Bill of Rights, because they involve rights that the authors of the Constitution felt were important enough to spell out individually and specifically. These rights are guaranteed to every U.S. citizen against the U.S. government - which acts through police, or any other government agent or agency. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Minnesota Attorney-Client Privilege (Explained)

Did you know that if something you say can be overheard by anyone other than your lawyer, what you are saying can be used against you in a court of law? Did you know that certain emails are not automatically confidential – even if you’re sending the e-mail to your lawyer? 

The attorney-client privilege is a powerful tool that becomes available to you from the moment you first consult with an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney about your case; the privilege becomes more protective and comprehensive as soon as you hire your attorney. 

What is it?

The attorney-client privilege basically states that anything you tell your lawyer in the course of your lawyer’s representation of you is confidential and cannot be revealed by your lawyer to anyone without your consent. 

When Does it Apply?

The attorney-client privilege also applies to all information relating to your representation, whether provided to you attorney by you or by any other source – including the prosecutor. This privilege exists because the law recognizes that trust is a hallmark of the attorney-client relationship and that only through communicating fully and frankly with his or her attorney can an attorney represent his or her client effectively. 

When you are communicating with an attorney about your case, if your conversation can be overheard, it is not confidential. This is why the Rolloff Law Office recommends that you don’t speak to your friends and family about the facts of your case – because you never know who else could hear your conversation, or where that information could end up. This is also why we prefer to speak with you on the phone or in our office: Telephone conversations and in-person office conversations ARE confidential, privileged communications and CANNOT be used against you. 

If you've recently caught a criminal case - call today to set up a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 619-0262