Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Minnesota No Contact Orders (Explained)

Unfortunately, domestic violence is an all too common occurrence in the State of Minnesota. If you or someone you love suddenly find themselves charged with a crime --- or is in need of an order of protection --- you need to understand what you’re up against.  This is why you should contact a Minnesota Defense Attorney.

What You Need to Know

A very common occurrence --- when someone is charged with domestic violence crime is that the accused is prohibited from having contact with the complaning witness --- this can also include their residence and their family.  In Minnesota --- this can come in the form of a DANCO (Domestic Abuse No Contact Order) and/or OFP (Order for Protection.)

Violate one of these orders and one can find them-self facing even more charges.  Therefore, it is vital that him/her understands what the different kinds of orders require of you.

What These Orders Prevent One From Doing


Once a judge hears the case, she will decide on which type of protective order to make and the stipulations thereof --- including:  
  • A prohibition from going near your own home (if the alleged victim continues to reside there), the alleged victim’s workplace, and possibly your children’s school(s);
  • Removal of custody of your children (or limitations in your rights);
  • Payment of spousal support to your accuser;
  • Restitution for domestic assault, including payment for injuries;
  •  Awarded divorce and termination of spousal rights;
  • Mandatory counseling/therapy; and 
  • Anything the judge deems necessary. 

If You Fail To Follow The Order

Breaking a protective order is punishable by law, and in most cases will earn you criminal charges . If a protective order is issued against you and you don’t understand it, the best thing you can do is talk to a knowledgeable domestic violence lawyer who can explain what you are up against and tell you your options. 

The Rolloff Law Office is a Minneapolis-based criminal and defense firm known for fighting aggressively for its clients and utilizing tactics honed while serving as a prosecutor.  Call to set up a FREE CONSULTATION - today - (612) 234-1165 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer (Explained)

As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I answer a lot of questions --- here are a number of common ones: 

The police asked me if I would answer a few of their questions, should I talk to them?

Noooooooooooooo.  in my experience --- I understand that individuals have a desire to seem cooperative and/or question what could happen if they don't "help" the police.  In my experience ---  even if the cops are being courteous and respectful, IMHO - it is smart to remain silent until you have a lawyer present.  The most important thing to remember is that you DO NOT have to answer ANY questions and if you do, you should know that everything you say WILL be used against you in the future.  Therefore, politely decline to answer any questions of law enforcement until you have consulted with a criminal defense attorney.

Do I need an attorney if I’m planning to plead guilty?

Yes.  Remember --- you are only going to get one chane to get your case right.  therefore, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer before making any decisions concerning pleading to any criminal charge.  Contrary to what you may perceive, pleading guilty may not be your best option.  Even if it is, having an attorney to advocate for your rights when negotiating with the prosecution on a fair sentence can increase your chances for a lesser charge and a lighter punishment.


Why should I you to defend me?

I have over a dozen years of experience in criminal court - whether as a prosecutor or defending those accused of DWI, Theft, Assault, Domestic Assault, Drug possession charges, Fraud, Criminal Sexual Conduct charges and a variety of criminal charges.   I have aggressively and successfully worked with thousands of people facing charges of everything from petty traffic offenses to serious Felony charges.  If you want FREE ANSWERS - call today: (612) 234-1165.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

School Bus Stop-Arm Ticket (Hennepin County)

A violation that I - both as a prosecutor and an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney - get tons of questions about concern those little yellow school busses and their stop-signs.

Well, according to Minnesota law, when a school bus is stopped on a street or highway and is displaying an extended stop-signal arm and flashing red lights, an individual approaching the bus, in his/her vehicle, is required to stop within at least 20 feet of said bus.  Then, the driver must not move their vehicle until the school bus stop-signal arm is retracted and the red lights stop flashing. Failure to do so is a crime.

It is also illegal to pass (or attempt to pass) a school bus on the right-hand, passenger-door side of the bus while the school bus is displaying the "pre-warning" flashing amber signals.

What You Need to Know

Anyone who who fails to stop a vehicle while a school bus has its stop-arm extended is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $300.

However, that same person could be convicted of a Gross Misdemeanor if they fail to stop their motor vehicle and commit either or both of the following:
  • Passing or attempting to pass the school bus in a motor vehicle on the right-hand, passenger-door side of the bus
  • Passing or attempting to pass the school bus in a motor vehicle when a school child is outside of and on the street used by the school bus or on the adjacent sidewalk.

The law is harsh in these settings because the lives of children in danger. Therefore, police and prosecutors take these crimes very seriously. As such, you should, if you ever find yourself charged with illegally passing a school bus, should talk with an experienced Minnesota Traffic Attorney . The Rolloff Law Office can walk you through the steps of your case and plot a course for successful defense.  Call today to set up a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165

Monday, December 7, 2015

Should I Hire a Defense Attorney? (Explained)

In the State of Minnesota there are four basic levels of offenses/violations: Petty Misdemeanors, Misdemeanors, Gross Misdemeanors, and felonies.  Here is some information on what those terms mean - in terms of possible consequences.  If you have additional questions, you should contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

A Misdemeanor is the lowest crime you can be charged with in Minnesota.  (A Petty Misdemeanor ... due to the fact that no jail time can be assessed, among other rationale, is technically not a crime.  More information on this can be found here.)   A Felony is the highest level crime you can be charged with.  Unlike other jurisdictions, the State of Minnesota does not have different levels of Misdemeanors and Felonies.  As such, this means is that the terms encompass wide array of offenses.


A “Misdemeanor” refers to any crime that can be punished by up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.  That’s it.  That’s all it means.  If you say that you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, it doesn’t tell me anything, except that you’ve been convicted of a low-level crime.


A “felony” refers to any crime that can be punished by more than a year in prison.  Like saying you’ve been convicted of a “misdemeanor,” telling me you’ve been convicted of a “felony” doesn’t tell me much.

Unfortunately, if you tell most non-lawyers that you’ve been convicted of a felony, they assume the worst.  One of the most unfortunate sets of crimes is the drug offense hierarchy.  The lowest level is a petty misdemeanor; possessing 42.5 grams or less of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor (not even a crime because you can’t serve jail time for it).  Possessing 42.6 grams of marijuana is a felony.  There’s no in-between.  There’s no such thing as a misdemeanor drug offense.  But you may never serve a day of jail time for either offense, and the fine may be the same $300 for each offense.  This is why telling me you’ve been convicted of a felony doesn’t tell me much.  But I’m a lawyer.  There is a huge stigma in the community about felonies.  This is largely based on not knowing things like this.

Similarly, a misdemeanor can be anything from a first-time DWI to theft to assault to certain prostitution offenses.  If you tell me you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor, I need more information.

You are only going to get one, good chance to earn the right result for your case.  Do yourself a favor - contact the Rolloff Law Office to set up a FREE CONSULTATION before you do anything.  Call today: (612) 234-1165.