Sunday, April 28, 2013

Minnesota Driver's License Issues (Explained)

Driving after your license has been suspended, revoked, or cancelled is a criminal offense in Minnesota.  A conviction for these offenses can have not only consequences on your criminal record, but can cause further damage to the status of your driving privileges.  If you have been charged with a license violation, contact an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney that can help.

Types of License Violations

In Minnesota, your driver’s license can be either suspended, revoked, or cancelled.  Suspension occurs usually when you fail to renew your license on time, fail to pay a fine or appear in court, or are convicted of certain minor traffic offenses.  Revocation occurs when you commit more serious traffic violations such as DWI/DUI.  Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a misdemeanor offense.

If the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) considers you a dangerous driver, they may cancel your license as inimical to public safety.  Driving after receiving this cancellation is a gross misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

MN DPS may also put restrictions on the hours you can use or driver’s license, or may require that you not consume any alcohol or drugs.  Violation of these restrictions is also a crime.

Penalities for License Violations

The consequences for being convicted of a license violation depend on the circumstances of your case, your criminal history, and your driving record.  They may include the following:

  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Jail
  • Community service
  • Additional license revocation

Have additional questions? Call the Rolloff Law Office for a free consultation --- (612) 234-1165.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MN Driving After Cancellation - IPS (Explained)

Driving After Revocation, After Suspension and Cancellation - as Inimical to Public Safety are commonly charged crimes in Minnesota.  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.  A DAC-IPS ticket is a Gross Misdemeanor, meaning the Maximum penalty for this charge is 1 year in Jail and/or a $3000 fine - or both.  The thing you really need to worry about - in addition to possible jail and/or a fine is that if You plead guilty to, AND are convicted of, DAR, DAS OR DAC-IPS, 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, many Prosecutors and Judge's do not tell people who are charged with DAR, DAS, or DAC-IPS 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. 

The best way to protect your driver's license status and keep it valid, OR get it valid, is to hire an Experienced Minnesota Driving After Cancellation Attorney today!   They know various ways to resolve your case without a finding of guilt for a charge that will cause you to lose your license.  Call the Rolloff Law Office to set up a free consultation --- (612) 234-1165.  

MN Traffic Tickets - Beat Them (Explained)

A traffic ticket may not seem very significant, but the effect it can have on your insurance coverage can be substantial that's why you should consider talking to an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney --- and see what can be done to keep it off of your record.  Beat the ticket and you protect the stability of your insurance premiums, you keep your driving privilege and your record stays clean --- protecting you against future problems.  

Minnesota Speeding Ticket Attorney 

The Rolloff Law Office has helped hundreds of individuals struggling with criminal charges --- and we've been successful in helping beat the following traffic violations involving:

  • Speeding
  • Careless driving
  • Running stop signs
  • Driving without proof of insurance
  • Driving after license revocation
  • Driving after license cancellation

Having worked with hundreds of clients facing various traffic violations, our team has gained extensive knowledge of the state laws surrounding those offenses above. We can effectively create a defense strategy that is customized to your specific needs.

Keeping your best interests in mind, our lawyers will fight to eliminate your charges and fines, or to significantly reduce them. We are committed to working with you to resolve your traffic violation in order to protect your driving privileges and keep your insurance rates low.

Contact the Rolloff Law Office today to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your criminal charge; call (612) 234-1165.  We are available to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Minnesota Shoplifting (Explained)

While shoplifting is not considered by the curt to me a major offense --- the consequences are.  Sure, a person convicted of shoplifting may be placed on probation or receive another type of minor sentencing; however, the damage that is done to the accused's permanent record is what can make things like getting a job, finding a place to rent, and various other necessities hard to get.

When you are facing shoplifting charges, whether you are innocent or guilty, keep in mind that you are innocent until you are proven guilty. Therefore, it is often best that you say nothing that could indicate any kind of guilt because that could be used against you in court, making it harder for you to fight the charges. 

Luckily, you do have an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney ready and willing to sit beside you, evaluate your case, and guide you through the process and set realistic expectations for you. In the end, working with an attorney may be your best bet to avoid short and longterm consequences all together.  

Shoplifting Defenses

If negotiation fails --- and often that is the best defense, especially if you are a first-time offender, understand there are still a lot of individuals falsely accused --- since the camera equipment does not always have high quality images. 

An accusation can have a negative impact on your life. If arrested in the store, then people are going to know your face and this is going to result in embarrassment and a lot of anger. Nevertheless, it is best for you to keep quiet and let your Minneapolis Shoplifting Defense Lawyer guide you through the process of proving your innocence or reducing the charges. Your attorney will also guide you in what you should and shouldn't say when you are being questioned.

If you or someone you know has been accused of shoplifting --- you do not need to deal with the situation alone. The legal system can be complicated, but it works in favor of everyone. It is important that the aspects of the legal system that are designed to help you are used to the fullest and only an experienced and competent defense lawyer can do that for you. Call the Rolloff Law Office today at (612) 234-1165 for a FREE case evaluation.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Minnesota Stay of Adjudication (Explained)

There are a lot of ways to conclude a case that can have the effect of not adding to your record --- even when you plead guilty.

In any case, your experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney can help you avoid a long-term mark on your criminal record (even if you plead guilty) by negotiating a Stay of Adjudication.

What is a Stay of Adjudication?

If you are guilty of an offense (or it is likely you would be found to be) - this is a decent outcome because  the offense can be kept off of your record if you successfully complete probation.

How it Works

Yes - you have to plead guilty.  However, the judge does not accept the plea.  What this means is that a conviction is not entered against you --- and if you successfully comply with the conditions the court puts on you (during the period of the stay) --- at the end of that time the matter is dismissed.

If you are charged with ANY offense, and you do not want take the matter to trial --- a Sty of Adjudication is the best possible way to avoid any conviction going on your record.  As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I have negotiated a number of these accommodations   If you want to find out how to avoid a conviction - even though you maybe guilty - call the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 to set up a free consultation.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lose Your Minnesota Driver's License?

Driving in Minnesota is a privilege. You can lose your driving privileges if you break certain laws or fail to meet certain requirements. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (or “DPS”) maintains your driving record, which contains information about driving and licensing violations in Minnesota and other states. Serious or recurring violations may result in loss of your driving privilege or restrictions on where, when and what types of vehicle you may drive.  As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I get a lot of questions about this issue --- here is an overview. 

License Withdrawal

Your license may be withdrawn by suspension, revocation or cancellation. If you commit an offense and your license is withdrawn, DPS will send you a notice of withdrawal in the mail (to the address on your license - whether you've moved or not) and a list of requirements for reinstatement. Some of the conditions that could cause you to lose your driving privileges are listed below.


Your driver’s license may be suspended if you:

  • Repeatedly violate traffic laws
  • Are convicted for a violation causing a traffic accident resulting in death, injury or property damage
  • Use, or allow someone else to use, your license for an illegal action
  • Commit a traffic offense in another state that would be grounds for suspension in Minnesota
  • Are judged in court to be legally unfit to drive a motor vehicle
  • Fail to report a medical condition that would result in cancellation of driving privileges
  • Fail to stop for a school bus with stop arm extended and red lights flashing (second offense in 5 years)
  • Are found to possess a fake or altered license
  • Make a fraudulent application for a license or ID card
  • Take any part of the driver’s license exam for someone else, or allow someone else to take it for you falsely identify yourself to a police officer
  • Fail to appear in court or pay a fine on a motor vehicle-related violation when required to do so
  • Are convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of Minnesota traffic law
  • Fail to pay court-ordered child support
  • Use, or allow someone else to use, a license, permit, or ID card to buy tobacco products for someone who is under 18 years of age, or alcohol for someone who is under 21 years of age
  • Are convicted of underage drinking and driving
  • Pay a fee to the state or driver’s license agent with a dishonored check
  • Are convicted for theft of gasoline

After the period of suspension has ended, your driving privilege may be reinstated if all requirements are met. One requirement is payment of the reinstatement fee. If your license expired during the suspension period, or your name or address changed, you must apply for a new license and pay the appropriate fee.


Your driver’s license may be revoked if you:

  • Refuse to take a breath test to measure intoxication
  • Fail a breath test that measures intoxication
  • Are convicted of manslaughter or any criminal actions while driving a motor vehicle
  • Are convicted of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Are convicted of a felony in which you used a motor vehicle
  • Are convicted of driving in excess of 100 mph
  • Are convicted of fleeing a police officer
  • Are convicted of failing to stop, identify yourself or render aid when involved in an accident
  • Are convicted of lying under oath to DPS or its agents
  • Are convicted of signing any legal documents containing false information about legal vehicle ownership
  • Are convicted of making a false statement to DPS
  • Plead guilty or forfeit bail for three violations in a single year of any Minnesota traffic law requiring jail
  • Are convicted of an offense in another state that would be grounds for revoking your license in Minnesota
  • Are convicted of a misdemeanor for driving a motor vehicle with prior knowledge that the owner of the vehicle did not have no-fault vehicle insurance
  • Own a vehicle without no-fault insurance and are found to have driven it or allowed others to drive it, with full knowledge that the vehicle was not insured
  • Are convicted of a gross misdemeanor for failing to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended and its red lights flashing
  • Are convicted of selling or possessing a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle

After the period of revocation has ended, your driving privileges may be reinstated if all requirements for reinstatement are met. Requirements include: payment of the reinstatement fee and passing the appropriate exams. You must show proper identification when you take the knowledge test or road test. You must apply for a new license after all your testing requirements are met.


Your license may be cancelled if you do not have a legal right to a driver’s license that was issued to you. Your license may be cancelled if you:

  • Acquire a mental or physical disability that makes you incapable of driving a motor vehicle safely
  • Do not pass a test that is legally requested by DPS to determine your ability to drive safely
  • Give false or misleading information on your license application (your license will be cancelled for 60 days or until the correct information is provided – whichever is longer)
  • Commit a crime for which cancellation of your license is a legal punishment
  • Do not qualify for a driver’s license under Minnesota law

Need to Know More?

If you wish to learn more about the loss of your license (or how you can get a limited license,) review the Minnesota Driver’s Manual online. If you have a legal issue surrounding your driver’s license, contact us the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Shoplifting & Theft (Explained)

Of the "minor" crimes that I work with individuals on as a Minnesota Crimianl Defense Attorney - SHOPLIFTING is one that I believe that can cause the most damage outside the courtroom when it comes to EVER getting another job.  Seriously... in this age of instant background checks --- a drug charge or a DWI is not the detriment that an old, small mistake you made when you were a teen and pocketed that Chap-Stik without paying

Shoptlifting (Explained)

There are numerous acts that can be considered theft according to Minnesota law. A person can be charged with a theft crime if they do any of the following:

  • Take, use, transfer, or conceal another person’s property without consent and with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of possession
  • Steal property or services by false representation, trick, or swindle
  • Find lost property and fail to attempt to give the property back to the rightful owner
  • Purposely take property out of a money operated machine without depositing money
  • Alter or remove identification numbers on property with the intention of preventing identification of rightful owner
  • Steal cable through unauthorized connections
  • Divert corporate property to use for something other than general business purposes
A person’s specific charge and sentence depends on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense. The prosecution will consider both the value of the stolen property as well as how exactly it was taken when determining the ultimate sentence.


A person can face felony charges and a potential sentence of up to 10 – 20 years in prison and $20,000 – $100,000 in fines if:

  • The stolen property or services is valued at $5,000 – $35,000
  • The property is a firearm
  • The property is a trade secret or explosive

If the stolen property or services is valued at $1,000 – $5,000 a person can face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

A person can be charged with a gross misdemeanor theft offense if they steal property or services valued between $500 and $1,000. This carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and/or $3,000 in fines.

A misdemeanor theft charge occurs when a person steals property or services valued at less than $500. This offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000.

There are numerous exceptions and defenses to these consequences. Anyone charged with a theft offense should contact the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 as soon as possible to discuss possible defense strategies for their case.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Minnesota Domestic Assault (Explained)

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."  You can read the actual domestic assault statute here - Minn. Stat. §609.2242.

Example of Assault: A husband and wife argue in their home.  The husband becomes upset and raises his closed fist at his wife but does not actually strike her.  The wife is frightened by this because she thinks her husband might hit her.  This is considered an assault even though the husband never actually touched his wife.  An assault includes actual touching or an act intending to cause fear (in this case, the husband raising his fist at his wife).

Domestic assault is a "regular" assault upon a family or 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 (ie. roommates)
  • 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
  • Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship
These definitions are 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: Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor and Felony

 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. (This does not even take into account the seriousness of the injury suffered by the "victim.")
  • Misdemeanor Domestic Assault: First-time offense or no qualified domestic violence-related convictions in the past 10 years
  • Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault: One prior qualified domestic violence-related conviction in the past 10 years
  • Felony Domestic Assault: 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 (Examples)

Under Minn. Stat. §609.02, Subd. 16?  These are violations or attempted violations of any of the following:

  • 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

Domestic Assault and the Effect on Firearms in Minnesota

When a person is convicted of domestic assault or assault in the first, second, third or fourth degree, the court must determine the following:

Whether the assault was committed against a family or household member
Whether a firearm was used in any way during the assault

If a firearm was used against a family or household member during the assault, the firearm shall be forfeited under Minn. Stat. 609.5316.  In other words, law enforcement will take the firearm permanently either for their own use or to be destroyed.

In addition to forfeiture, if the court determines that a firearm was used in the assault, the person can be prohibited from carrying a firearm anywhere between 3 years to life.  Violation of this order is a gross misdemeanor.  Even if the judge fails to tell the defendant this information, the person can still be charged with the violation.

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.

All of the above being said, as a former prosecutor I know --- these are all too often the toughest cases for the State to prove.  That's why you need a good a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney at your side through the whole process.  Honestly, 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.

If you are facing a Domestic Assault charge, call the criminal defense attorneys at the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 for a Free Consultation.