Monday, December 29, 2014

Minnesota DWIs - Know Your Rights


The State of Minnesota has specific laws and regulations related to arrests for Drunk Driving.  As an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney I know that drivers should be aware of the laws and their rights. In fact, it’s important you keep track of a couple of points in the event that law enforcement officers stop you on suspicion of driving under the influence:

Probable Cause

First, understand that police officers are not allowed to stop someone without a reasonable suspicion to believe that they are breaking a law. Granted, courts generally give officers a great deal of leeway when it comes to such suspicions, police may stop you only if you’ve committed a traffic violation.

Inadmissible evidence

If an officer asks you to perform standardized field sobriety tests to prove your sobriety, such as horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN); standing on one leg, walking a straight line and perhaps even reciting the alphabet, counting backwards or touching your finger to your nose --- these tests will be used against you and will be admissible in court.  Contrary to popular belief, you are not required to perform them. 

The officer should inform you that you are not required to take a preliminary breath test (PBT). If you refuse to submit to a PBT on the roadside, Minnesota statutes do allow the officer to immediately arrest you. Any improperly obtained or handled samples may also be inadmissible. Additionally, courts often review any surveillance videos from the squad car or police station to determine whether they corroborate with the officer’s story.


Regardless of whether police meet procedural requirements, you have a right to legal representation. To minimize the penalties you may face for possible drunk driving in Minnesota, always consider calling an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer.  Call the Rolloff Law Office for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Criminal Vehicular Operation (Minnesota)


What might have begun as a fun night out celebrating the holidays could turn into a nightmare if you injure someone while driving while under the influence (of drugs or alcohol) or are otherwise accused of being negligent while driving.

While vehicular deaths and/or manslaughter might seem like low-level offenses ... becasue of their "accidental" nature, the courts see it differently ... this is why you should consult with an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.  

See, the state sentencing guidelines for vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter include a possible prison sentence of up to seven-years as well as huge fines and lengthy license revocations. You might also be subject to life-long employment and insurance problems can also result.

What is Criminal Vehicular Operation?

Vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter most often occur when: 
  • drivers have prohibited substances (like drugs - illegal and perscribed) in their blood; or 
  • drivers with over-the-limit levels of alcohol in their blood injure or kill people while driving. 

Hit-and-run violations and driving with a revoked license can also increase the level of the violation and possible punishment.  


Who Caused Accident: On e effective defense is challenging the assumption that the substance in question actually lead to the personal injury or property damage in question. As an example, if a driver hits a pedestrian --- who suddenly stepped in front of their car --- you should be able to argue that, but-for that negligence, you would have not hit the pedestrian ... regardless of your alleged blood alcohol or drug levels. 

Tests: Another ripe for consideration ... and can lead to a dismissal ... is whether the accused's rights were violated when the sample of their blood, breath or urine was taken.  Or, as you have probably read ... blood, breath and urine tests can be inaccurate. I am familiar with the tests used by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and can work to discredit the results in your case.

If you have been accused of vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter, you can fight your charges ... your fate is not set in stone.  The Rolloff Law Office has proven, time and time again, that these matters can be fought - successfully.  We are available all-day, every-day to talk to current and prospective clients. Call us today, for a FREE CONSULTATION, at (612) 234-1165.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Minnesota Welfare Fraud (Explained)

As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I am asked many, many questions ... here are some answers about Theft/Welfare Fraud.

What is Minnesota Welfare Fraud?

There is no simple answer to this question ... as such fraud comes in many forms. The most common type is when someone fails to list information (or fills in the fork incorrectly) about their financial situation to the Department of Employment and Social Services. This could be include information regarding income, number of dependants/children or possession of properties and other items of value. 

Welfare fraud can also occur if someone pretends to be someone/thing else in order to receive benefits or if you continue to receive benefits that you know you are not entitled to.  Furthermore, welfare fraud occurs when you pretend to be injured or ill in order to abuse the system.

Accused?  What Next?

As with almost any theft related offenses, a permanent welfare fraud conviction may negatively affect you for the rest of your life --- making it difficult for you to obtain employment, a bank loan, or for you to rent/buy a home/apartment.  Additionally, you may be required to pay back the money, plus pay interest and penalties.   A welfare fraud conviction in the State of Minnesota may also lead to both jail or prison time and and fines.  This all depends on whether you are charged with a felony, a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor.

Should Hire a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you or someone you love has been accused of welfare fraud, the most important thing to do is contact a professional Minnesota fraud lawyer immediately. The sooner you make the call, the quicker an attorney can get to work handling your case. The more evidence that is gathered, the better your defense strategy may be --- and the less consequences you might face.  


The Rolloff Law Office has over a decades worth of criminal defense experience.  For the overwhelming number of our clients, charged with theft related offenses, we keep them out of jail.  Also ... we understand that restitution is going to be important - to secure a great outcome.  This is why we keep our fees low.  Call the Rolloff Law Office for a free consultation: (612) 234-1165

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hennepin County Driving After Suspension (Explained)

The loss of your Minnesota Driver's License can complicate so many things ... and lead to tickets/criminal charges ... that you should know your rights.  

As  a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I have helped hundreds of people with this problem.  Hopefully some of the information that I have offered here helps.  If you need to know more, please feel free to call the Rolloff Law Office: (612) 234-1165.

Driving After Cancellation (DAC), Driving After Revocation (DAR), Driving After Suspension (DAS), and Driving After Disqualification are common additional charges that individuals can end up facing, if their driver’s licenses have been invalidated for a period of time due to a recent Drunk Driving arrest or conviction. 

The Law

These offenses are governed by Minnesota Statute 171.24, which reads:

[A] person is guilty of a misdemeanor if: (1) the person’s driver’s license or driving privilege has been suspended; (2) the person has been given notice of or reasonably should know of the suspension; and (3) the person disobeys the order by operating in this state any motor vehicle, the operation of which requires a driver’s license,” while the person’s license or privilege is suspended, revoked, or canceled. 

If the “person’s driver’s license or driving privilege has been canceled or denied” because “the commissioner has good cause to believe that the operation of a motor vehicle on the highways by the person would be inimical to public safety or welfare,” and “the person has been given notice of or reasonably should know of the cancellation or denial; and… the person disobeys the order by operating in this state any motor vehicle, the operation of which requires a driver’s license, while the person’s license or privilege is canceled or denied.” 


If an individual already has a conviction for one of the charges involving driving without a valid license, the penalty for a second offense is much steeper.  

Minnesota Statute 168.041 subdivision 2 states, 

If a person is convicted of violating a law or municipal ordinance, except a parking law or ordinance, regulating the operation of motor vehicles on the streets or highways, and the record of the person so convicted shows a previous conviction for driving after suspension or revocation of the person’s driver’s license or driving privileges, the court may direct the commissioner of public safety to suspend the driver’s license of the person for a period not exceeding one year. The court may also require the registration plates of any self-propelled motor vehicle owned by the violator or registered in the violator’s name to be surrendered to the court.   

Driving without a valid driver’s license can put not only an individual’s future driving privilege in jeopardy, but can also potentially lead to license plate impoundment for the vehicle, even if the vehicle belongs to a third party.  If you want to work to get your privledge back and/or keep the consequences to a minimum, call the Rolloff Law Office to set up a FREE CONSULTATION - today: (612) 234-1165

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hiring a Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer (Explained)

So, you have some questions about whether you might need the services of a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.  Here are a couple of things you should strongly consider.  

Do I a Lawyer?

Anyone acing a criminal charge, no matter how minor, could benefit from speaking with an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer. Even if you never hire him, a FREE CONSULTATION will help you to understand the nature of the charges you face, possible defenses, what plea bargains are likely to be offered, and what is likely to happen in the event of conviction.

For serious charges, it will be a rare situation where one can "do-it-themselves." When the consequences are huge/serious ... a lawyer can assist with (at the least) the negotiation of a plea bargain, or to prepare a case for trial.  

What Should Your Lawyer Know?

An experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer should also be able to identify important pretrial issues, and to bring appropriate motions which might significantly improve a defendant's situation, or even result in the dismissal of charges.

How Much it Cost?

The cost of a lawyer can vary significantly --- depending upon the nature of the charges which have been filed (or which are expected to be filed) against the defendant --- and what needs to be done - ie., a trial and/or plea bargain.  As a general rule, lawyers will typically require a large fee for a complex case ... less for a simple one.  The amount of a retainer fee will also typically increase with the severity of the charge filed against a defendant.  

Misdemeanors & Felonys

In a misdemeanor case, , it is not unusual for a lawyer to request a retainer of several thousand dollars. For felony cases, retainers often start at $5,000 - $10,000, and can be $25,000 or more for serious or life felonies, such as sexual assault cases or homicide. The anticipated cost of expert witnesses can also significantly increase a retainer.  

Where to Find a Lawyer

It is unfortunately not always easy to find a good criminal defense lawyer. Here are some suggestions:

Professional Organizations - Each state, and some counties/cities, have organizations of criminal defense lawyers. Some of those organizations offer referral services or online directories, which you can use to find a defense lawyer in your area.

Referrals - It may be possible to find a criminal defense lawyer from somebody who is familiar with the lawyer's practice. For example, if you regularly work with a lawyer or law firm, that lawyer may be able to suggest a competent criminal defense lawyer in your area. If your county is served by a public defender's office, sometimes a defender's office will be willing to suggest a competent are defense lawyer. If you have a friend or family member who has been in trouble with the law, that person may be able to make some suggestions.

Directories - There are a number of online directories which include criminal defense lawyers, including, and FindLaw.

After you have located one or more attorneys whom you wish to consult about your case, call them to schedule appointments. Try to speak with the criminal defense lawyer over the phone before scheduling the appointment. Ask about the lawyer's general experience with criminal defense, and any specific experience with cases like yours.  Call the Rolloff Law Office - today - to set up your FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165

Monday, December 1, 2014

Minnesota DWI - Filed Sobriety Tests (Explained)

A Minnesota law enforcement officer, after pulling over a driver for suspected of drunk driving, will usually say something to the effect of “I need to have you step out --- and do a few tests to make sure you are okay to drive."

The sad truth is, the driver is (usually) not told that he/she has the option to refuse those tests.  

Filed Sobriety Tests (The Truth)

Almost always, the purpose for the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) is to gather evidence against you to be used at trial --- not to "prove" that you are not under the influence. 

Here's what you need to know: there are (at least)  two ways to convict a person of DWI: one is to prove that they drove and had a alcohol concentration of .08 or more as tested by a blood, breath or urine test. However, suppose an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney gets the test kicked out? The government can still convict you if they can prove that you drove at a time that you were impaired by alcohol. 

Whether or not you are “impaired” is determined by the officers observations, your conduct and your statements. It is for this reason that police will tell you to do the SFSTs. 

They will later testify in court that your inability to do the test proves you were impaired.

The good news is that you are not required by law to do SFSTs. You have a right to decline. If you decline, do not say you are declining because your are too drunk to do them. Simply say that you invoke your right not to perform those tests. 

If you do not perform the tests ... especially if you decline to offer of a sample of your breath (on the side of the road for the the preliminary breath test (PBT) ... the officer can place you under arrest, transport you back to the police station and ask you give a sample of you blood, breath or urine.  

You have no duty to make the cops case for him. 

If you need help with a DWI arrest, contact the Rolloff Law Office for FREE ANSWERS.  Call today: (612) 234-1165