Friday, November 17, 2017

Expungements (Sealing a Criminal Record) - Explained


The information - from a charge and/or criminal conviction - can remain on your permanent record for the rest of your life.  And, as many people that this experienced Minnesota Expungement Attorney has spoken to knows, this can cause difficulty with getting a job, finding a place to live, securing an apartment, getting a bank loan and and just about anything that requires a background check to be passed. To put it another way --- any negative information on your record can cause any manner of hardships in your life.  Therefore, if you have been convicted of (heck, if you have even been charged with) a crime, you should consider seeking the chance to seal/Expunge that information from prying eyes.  

What You Need to Know

If you are seeking to have a charge or conviction erased from your record, you should start (first) by seeking input from someone who has done this before.  I have worked on 1000s of cases like this --- and can answer questions about whether you can get this outcome and/or what the odds might be.  

You  need to know that --- if a conviction occurred, then the court is going to be very strict on its requirements for Expungement.  In particular, they will assess whether the record is causing you problems in your life. You must also be able to show to the court that you have been rehabilitated since the charge or conviction occurred and that you are not a risk to public safety.

If there was no conviction --- the process is not as complicated.  However, does require proper paperwork to be filed and someone to appear in court.  I can help with that!

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Once the record is sealed, it is no longer accessible to the public. This means that employers and landlords will not be able to see the information. 


When you have been accused of and/or convicted of a crime, that incident follow you throughout your life via your criminal record. Because of this, you should consider talking to a lawyer about an Expungement so that you background checks appear clean. If you want help with this, please feel free to contact the Rolloff Law Office, today, for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fight Prostitution Charges - Minnesota



Minnesota's prostitution laws are not clear and often change.  With that in mind ---  an experienced Minneosta Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you explore a legal defense.  Here are three common ways to fight these charges.

Prostitution Defenses

1. Due Process

One common challenge in this type of case is one that examines the government's procedural handling of the arrest.  Put another way --- the ends can’t simply justify the means, and due process needs to be followed every step of the way.  For example, a police officer can set up a sting operation, but once a crime has been committed, they need to identify themselves and complete the arrest. The officer cannot continue with the sexual encounter and then arrest the provider later, as that’s a constitutional violation of due process. Similarly, searches of suspected providers or entering a house or hotel room can only be done if police have obtained warrants and followed due process. If not, even if the provider was guilty of the crime, the case will be thrown out.

2. Entrapment

This is when a police officer entices a person into committing a crime that they otherwise would not engage in. Granted, this is not easy to prove in court --- because you need to show that the action would not of otherwise happened, and sometimes judges or juries look at the police officer and the defendant and make assumptions without hearing the facts of the case.  This is also a challenging road to go down because an undercover officer does not need to identify himself as a police officer, even if the service provider asks them if they are, which can make it easy for the prosecution to argue that the actions of the provider were planned, not coerced or forced. However, sometimes police officers abuse their power and use it as a threat against a woman, which is why entrapment should always be explored.

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There is also the opportunity to contest Probable Cause.  In particular,  a specific offer to engage in sexual contact (for hire) must be made, otherwise probable cause is not present. For example, if a provider gets in the car of an undercover agent and says “Let’s go somewhere quiet and have fun,” this would not constitute an explicit agreement or a violation of the prostitution statute. If probable cause does not exist, an officer cannot conduct a search or arrest.

 
If you or someone you know is facing charges and needs legal help, please contact the Rolloff Law Office for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 619-0262

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

DWI Plea Deals in Minnesota – A Wet Careless


A conviction for a DWI can stay on your record for 10 years (or more) in Minnesota.  This notation also carries with it a host of serious penalties. Because of this, it is important that you look for help from an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney and fight the charges. 

Even if the odds are against you --- a lawyer can help you to earn a  plea deal known as a “Wet Careless.” 

DWI Plea Deals

Plea bargains are often viewed as a "win" for all parties involved in a case --- especially if the accused has little to no chance to prevail a a trial.  If the government has a strong case, it is likely that they will win and the defendant will be convicted on a serious charge. With this in mind, a defense attorney may negotiate with the DA to see if they would be willing to make a deal. 

This often means: Someone may agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge --- if the prosecution agrees to drop the more serious charge. These deals save the government time and money ... while they still get their conviction ... and the accused gets a chance to avoid the most serious consequences.   

"Wet Careless" Plea Deal

A wet careless is a term for a plea deal in a Drunk Driving case.  Under these circumstances: instead of challenging the case in court, the client agrees to plead guilty to a charge of Careless Driving and the government agrees to drop the DWI charge. Here, the prosecution gets an easy conviction on their record and can start preparing for the next case, while the client avoids a more serious DWI charge - going on thier record.  And, most Careless Driving charges only result in fines, while a DWI can result in jail time, larger fines and the loss of one's driver's license.  So ---  it’s easy to see why someone would plead guilty to a "wet careless" 


At the Rolloff Law Office, we want to do right by our clients, so if we believe we can win the case, we’ll let you know. However, if we can't --- then Plan B is to work towards a plea deal --- if we feel that it is in your best interest. To talk about your DWI case or any criminal charges you’re facing, please feel free to set up a FREE CONSULTATION today: (612) 234-1165

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Can I Still Drive After a First DWI In Minnesota?


A DWI can be an expensive mistake, but you don’t have to let a criminal charge lead to the loss of your job (or place your education in jeopardy) because you no longer have a valid Minnesota driver’s license. 

The State of Minnesota offers some options for individuals who have lost their privilege to drive as the result of a DWI arrest --- and they can get back on the road if they follow some rules.  You'll find some help here --- but, you should also consider contacting an experienced MN DWI Attorney

Keeping Your License After a First DWI

Here’s a look at some options a person would have based on the circumstances surrounding thier DWI arrest.

I.   First DWI, BAC Under 0.16.

License suspended for 90 days. (This is increased to 180 days if the driver is under the age of 21. It can also be reduced to 30 days - for adults - under certain circumstance.)  

Your Driving Options

1. Install an ignition interlock, and you’ll retain your driving privileges - instantly; or

2. After 15 days, apply for a limited license that will allow you to drive to and from work, school, court meetings and counseling sessions; or

3. Go without a driver’s license for 90 days.

II.   First DWI, BAC Over 0.16

License suspended for one-year.

Your Driving Options:

1. Install an ignition interlock, and you’ll retain your driving privileges; or

2. Go without a license for one-year.

*** There is NO limited license option

III.   First DUI, Refusal To Take Breathalyzer 

License suspended for one-year.

Your Driving Options:

1. Install an ignition interlock, and you’ll retain your driving privileges; or 

2. After 15 days, apply for a limited license that will allow you to drive to and from work, school, court meetings and counseling sessions; or

3. Go without a license for one-year.

 
For more information about DWIs or Ignition Interlock devices in Minnesota, contact The Rolloff Law Office for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165

Friday, November 10, 2017

How to Pass Field Sobriety Tests?



As an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I am frequently asked questions about Drunk Driving.  A lot of people want to know:

How to pass the field sobriety tests that the officer gives - to determine if you are intoxicated.   Sadly --- here’s the secret: literally nobody who takes field sobriety tests ever passes.

Why?


Here's the reality of this situation: The officer administering the tests makes marks on a score sheet every time he observes something the officer wants to note. Each mark is more proof to support probable cause. No particular number of marks indicates a fail. Instead, each and every mark indicates one (or one more) indication of impairment. Then those marks, whether one or twenty, are included among other factors in a “totality of the circumstances” assessment of whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you.

Minnesota courts have held that even one of many ephemeral and subjective “clues” is enough to arrest, including “bloodshot, watery eyes,” “the odor of consumed alcoholic beverages,” or “an uncooperative attitude.” The rest is just more “evidence” to make the determination of probable cause stand up in court. Once you agree to step out of the car, the officer will note that you used the door or door frame to steady yourself (because nobody plants their feet and stands up without grabbing something). Anything you do from that point on, a walk-and-turn test, an eye test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus), or a one-leg stand, will simply add marks to support the probable cause finding.

Here’s the Secret

Don’t take them. You don’t have to stand on one leg, follow a pen-light with your eyes, or walk an imaginary line. You don’t have to blow in the PBT, the roadside breath test, although it is a crime, usually, to refuse the breath test at the police station. And you are not going to perform your way out of an arrest.

Feel free to call and set up a No-Cost Consultation - NOW - if you have questions for The Rolloff Law Office: (612) 234-1165

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Minnesota School Bus Stop-Arm Violation



In 2017, the State of Minnesota upped the penalty for failing to stop for a school bus  --- a violation of Minn. Stat. 169.444. Specifically, the law requires that drivers in both directions stop --- when they see a school bus with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended. The fine for failing to stop increased this summer from $300 to $500.  Most importantly --- school bus drivers can (and do) report these violations directly to law enforcement and the registered owner of the violator vehicle can receive a ticket in the mail – even if they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offense.  If you have questions about a ticket you or someone you love has received for this offense, contact an experienced Minnesota Traffic Defense Lawyer

What Should You Do? 

Due to the presence of children surrounding a school, it is easy to understand why this law exists and why it is considered such a serious crime. With that being said, the penalties involved can be quite steep --- including the possibility that one's license could be revoked.  

The Law

There are two types of driving conduct that can be cited. First, when a school bus is stopped and is displaying an “extended stop-signal arm and flashing red lights,” every driver must stop their vehicle at least 20-feet away from the school bus. Second, no driver may pass a school bus on the right-hand, passenger-door side “when the school bus is displaying the pre-warning flashing amber signals.”

Violating either or both of these two laws is a crime,   simple violation of the above is a misdemeanor crime, leading to maximum criminal penalties of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. But, under certain circumstances, it may be a gross misdemeanor crime, which results in a maximum sentence of a year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. Such as --- if you pass the bus when a child is outside the bus, it is a gross misdemeanor offense. 

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal charges, contact me, a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney to set up a FREE – no obligation – consultation.  You can reach me at (612) 234-1165 or jay@rollofflaw.com


Saturday, November 4, 2017

How To Beat a Shoplifting Charge

 
If you are caught Shoplifting, even something as small as a pack of gun, in the Twin Cities, you could end up in jail.  Therefore, you should strongly consider getting help from an experienced Minnesota Shoplifting Attorney.

How to Address a Theft Charge

Everybody knows about shoplifting. It’s when someone takes something from a store without paying for it. While this is something people often associate with teenagers --- this offense knows no common offender.  

There are a number of defense strategies that can be used to keep a conviction from going on your record.  

No Intent: In the State of Minnesota - the government is required to prove an intent to permanently deprive property from its rightful owner.  If the prosecution cannot prove that the accused intended to walk out of the store without paying for the items, they cannot convict you of Theft.

Not Enough Proof:  The accused is innocent until proven guilty. Even if you someone one testifies against you --- you may not be convicted.  This strategy often requires a consultation with a lawyer about how to challenge the eyewitness' accounts --- finding inconsistencies that would show that they are wrong.  

Other: a good Criminal Defense Attorney can help you avoid jail and/or a fine --- even if you are dead-to-rights guilty/without a defense.  



Contact the Rolloff Law Office - today - an get the answers you need to keep a conviction from going on your criminal record.   FREE: (612) 234-1165

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Difference Between Shoplifting & Theft


If you have been accused of Theft --- you might want to consider contacting an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.  

What is Theft?

Minnesota Law defines Theft as the intentional taking of property that is not yours. This can be a temporary or permanent taken, but as long as someone takes it without permission, a Theft has been committed. 

Common types of theft include shoplifting, swindling (or tricking) someone into providing services without paying for them, writing a bad check (or a check without enough money in the bank,) using a vehicle without permission, forging a check, or wrongfully obtaining public assistance (welfare fraud).  

Consequences

The penalties for Theft offenses in Minnesota vary depending on the specific type of theft charge.  Thefts involving money or goods in value up to $500 are Misdemeanors --- punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Thefts involving money or property of up to $1,000 are Gross Gisdemeanors punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $3,000 fine. Thefts involving money or property over $1,000 are felonies punishable by at least 1 year in prison or more.  



What Should You Do?

The Rolloff Law Office has recently represented a number of clients accused of Shoplifting/Theft --- some cases involved  switching price tags, walking out of the store with paying for an item,eating food in a store without paying for it, or return fraud.  This is an extremely common crime in Minnesota.  Stores, especially large retail chains, use a vast array of methods to combat this, using cameras, undercover store security, magnetic sensors, and electronic article surveillance. 

If you need help (or more information,) feel free to contact us today for a FREE CONSULTATION: (612) 234-1165.