Anyone accused of a sex crime will face a great deal of uncertainty and will likely have a lot of questions. The laws in this area vary from state to state, and there is a lot of misleading information on the topic. We have tried to provide answers to some of the common questions that arise. However, because a conviction carries serious consequences, a person accused or charged with a sex crime should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Assault Vs Battery Generally In general, assault and battery are two separate crimes. Typically, assault involves a threat of any violence that causes fear of physical harm. On the other hand, battery is the physical act itself. For example, a threat to punch someone is assault, while the punch is the battery. Minnesota criminal law does not divide the two into separate crimes. In Minnesota, you can face a relatively similar criminal charge for physically attacking someone as you would if you threatened to assault someone. On the other hand, threatening violence with the intent to terrorize a person is a separate crime. There are subtle differences in the law between a threat and a physical act that can drastically change the type of criminal charge you may face. Sexual Battery Vs Sexual Assault Some states also use assault and battery to define sex crimes. When this is the case, sexual assault typically involves less severe behavior, such as non-consensual sexual touching. Sexual battery, on the other hand, generally refers to more serious criminal behavior, up to or including rape. Minnesota Sexual Assault Laws In Minnesota, crimes of sexual assault, sexual battery, and rape are all classified as criminal sexual conduct. Criminal sexual conduct can be in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree. First-degree criminal sexual conduct consists of the most serious criminal behavior, such as rape and child sexual abuse. Consent Consent is a critical determining factor in assessing whether a sexual conduct crime has been committed. It is also a common defense against such accusations. Because of this, consent (or lack of) is often a hotly debated and confusing element in a sex crime case. In Minnesota, consent is agreeing, in words or actions, to any sexual act. A prior relationship—sexual, romantic, or otherwise—by itself is not consent to any sexual act. However, the existence of a prior romantic relationship may help form the foundation for the explanation of consent as a defense to an accusation of sexual assault. Additionally, consent cannot be freely given if an individual is incapacitated or impaired in some way. For example, someone cannot always freely give consent if they have a developmental disability or mental illness. A person also cannot freely give consent when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, whether or not they chose to use them. Defenses Defenses against an accusation of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota include innocence, insanity or mental incapacitation, mistaken age (in very limited circumstances), and, most commonly, consent. Contact Our Team Today An accusation or conviction of a criminal sex offense is a serious matter. These crimes are aggressively prosecuted in Minnesota. They should not be taken lightly. Charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, and a conviction can carry a sentence of up to thirty years imprisonment. If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a criminal sex offense, you need an attorney with experience in the area. The attorney must be detail-oriented, accessible, and thorough. Arechigo & Stokka has successfully defended hundreds of clients in criminal cases. Many successful defenses have involved accusations of sex crimes, including high-profile cases in this area. We are dedicated to being there for you every step of the way and pride ourselves on the access we give our clients. Read testimonials from prior clients, check out our Youtube channel, Facebook profile, or Twitter account to get to know us, and contact our firm today.Read More
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"I reached out to John Arechigo about a case I had and John was outstanding. He made the process very easy for a person who does not know how the process work, and accomplished the goal I wanted. My experience was very positive and I would highly recommend John to anyone who need to have their case looked into or dismiss. Would definitely reach out to John if ever a problem should arise for any future help."- J Thao
"Best Attorney in MN! Thank you to Mr. John Arechigo and everyone at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A for the exceptional job they did with our case. Because of their professional knowledge, dedicated efforts, hard work, and compassion, we got the outcome that we needed. If you ever need an exceptional attorney for any sort of civil forfeiture, John Arechigo of Arechigo & Stokka, PA is the only law firm I would call. We are grateful and thankful for all they have done to help us get our property back."- Monica K
"The legal expertise provided by John was nothing less than exceptional. When a sibling of mine was facing multiple serious felonies and in dire need of top-notch representation, John was the man. In and out of the court room, he's knowledge and professional are second to none. Throughout the case, he restored hope into our family. He delivered as he stated, and now we have our family back together. This man is worth every penny, he gets the job done. "- Safi Khalif
"I have been a client of Arechigo & Stokka for nearly a decade. They provide exceptional legal representation and maintain good working relationships with various judges and prosecuting attorneys in the Twin Cities area. They are well versed in the current laws which are continually changing. This allows them to quickly adapt, if needed, in order to offer the best legal strategy possible for a given case. Arechigo & Stokka treat each case with the utmost importance, work promptly to advocate for their clients’ needs, and communicate openly with each regarding the status of their particular case."- Abigail Peterson
"John Arechigo is an absolute miracle worker. My friends and I have used him multiple times. Extremely knowledgeable and a wizard in the court room. John always answers his phone and will be with you every step of the way through the legal process. Highly recommended!"- Bryan Larson
"John was a true professional. He listened to and understood all of my questions, and he always provided a quick and thorough response. If I ever find myself in another situation where a lawyer is necessary, I will not hesitate for a second to call him!"- Mack Ziemer
"While facing some serious felony level charges that would have potentially put me away for awhile, John's legal expertise proved otherwise. He was very coherent, competent, and consistent in fulfilling his duties throughout the entire process. His constant communication and knowledge about the law kept me at ease, knowing that I had one of the best defense attorneys in MN on my team."- Mubashir Jeilani
"John is professional, extremely knowledgeable and empathetic. He always answered any questions I had in a timely matter and I felt that he was truly invested in my case from start to finish. I would highly recommend him and his firm."- Ted Spiess
From The Blog
Although workers’ compensation benefits are based on a no-fault system, it doesn’t mean your claim will be automatically approved. After you submit your application, you may receive notice that your workers’ comp claim is denied. If you do receive a workers’ compensation denial, don’t give up hope. You have the right to appeal this decision. For more information on how to proceed with an appeal, contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. Work Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Being injured at work is not necessarily uncommon. Some people are injured due to an accident, like a trip and fall. Other workplace injuries develop over time and are the result of exposure to toxic chemicals or are repetitive stress injuries. When you are injured at work, you expect that your employer’s insurance will cover your medical expenses and missed time from work. If you receive a workers’ compensation denial, you need to find out the reasons why. Reasons a Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied Do not give up your potential right to benefits because you received a workers’ compensation denial. Reasons for the denial can vary from simple paperwork mistakes to pre-existing conditions. Here are some of the most common reasons your workers’ comp claims are denied: You did not notify your employer of your injury within the allotted time frame; You did not file a workers’ compensation claim within the deadline; Your condition doesn’t meet Minnesota state guidelines; You filed a claim after quitting, being laid off, or being fired; Your employer disputes that your injuries are work-related; You did not seek any medical treatment; You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the injury occurred; You refused to cooperate with the workers’ compensation carrier; You sought treatment with a provider not approved by workers’ compensation; or Your injuries are a pre-existing medical condition. There may be additional reasons for a workers’ compensation denial, which is why you must find out the exact reasons why. That will help you decide what your next steps are. What to Do If Your Claim Was Denied If your workers’ comp claim was denied, you need to find out why. Look at the letter, which will likely include the reasons for the denial. If the denial appears to relate to a mistake in paperwork, start by contacting the workers’ compensation adjuster to correct the problem. If this doesn’t fix your claim, your next step should be to contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. Filing an Appeal Your denial letter may contain information on how to appeal the decision. In most cases, your appeal starts with filing an Employee’s Claim Petition. You need to answer all the questions and get a medical report from your doctor that supports your work injury claim. You will send everything to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MDLL). You also need to forward copies to your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier. The MDLL may respond with a decision, schedule a settlement conference, forward your claim to the Office of Administrative Hearing, or take other action. When to Hire a Lawyer When your workers’ compensation is denied for any reason other than a simple mistake, you should contact a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether filing an appeal is the right course of action. The appeals process can be complicated, and it may require you to attend multiple hearings in person. It’s crucial to have all the necessary evidence at the start as you may not be able to present additional information as you move through the various appeal levels. If you need assistance with your workers’ compensation denial, contact Arechigo & Stokka to schedule an initial consultation. We specialize in Minnesota workers’ compensation claims and can help you fight for your workers’ compensation benefits.Read More
If you were injured on the job, you might be wondering, Can I sue workers’ comp for pain and suffering? When you file a personal injury claim, you can recover medical bills, time off work, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Understandably, you might assume it’s the same with workers’ compensation claims. However, you cannot pursue your employer for payment related to your pain and suffering in a workers’ comp claim. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means you don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent to receive compensation. The downside of this system, however, is that the compensation you can recover is limited to medical bills and wage-replacement benefits. Nevertheless, there may be some limited scenarios where you could pursue a claim for pain and suffering against a third party. If you have questions about the compensation you will receive from a work-related accident, you need to speak with an experienced St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. Can I Sue for Pain and Suffering in a Workers’ Comp Case? At Arechigo & Stokka, one of the most common questions we get is, does workers’ comp pay for pain and suffering? Pain and suffering damages are meant to compensate you for the physical discomfort you experienced from your injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. It may also address your emotional pain, including sadness, depression, anger, etc. Pain and suffering typically falls outside the scope of workers’ compensation coverage. Each state’s laws may differ some, but generally, you won’t be able to pursue pain and suffering damages in a workers’ comp claim. Where pain and suffering and workers’ compensation can intersect is when a third party is involved and has some fault for your injuries on the job. If you were involved in an accident while driving between job inspection sites, for example, you could sue the driver who caused the accident. This would allow you to receive pain and suffering damages from the driver, as well as your workers’ compensation benefits. How to Prove Pain and Suffering Pain and suffering damages are not necessarily easy to calculate. Numerous factors can influence your compensation, including: Your pain levels and the severity of the injuries; The expected recovery period; How your injuries impacted your daily activities, job, hobbies, etc.; How often you need medical treatment; and Your ongoing and future care. Your attorney will work with you to prove that you deserve the maximum compensation possible for your pain and suffering. Recovery Options Although workers’ compensation doesn’t usually cover pain and suffering, there may be some recovery options. Are you a federal employee that may have other options outside of Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits? For example, an injured railroad worker could file a claim under FELA, the Federal Employee Liability Act. Another option, as discussed above, is a third-party lawsuit against another party who shared some responsibility for your injuries. For example, if you work construction, you might have a claim against a contractor or manufacturer. Depending on the circumstances of your workplace accident, there may be additional recovery options. Your attorney can go over all the potential ways you might recover compensation for pain and suffering. When to Contact a Lawyer If you believe you have a valid personal injury lawsuit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim, you should meet with a skilled St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. Contact Arechigo & Stokka today to schedule an initial consultation. We have years of experience handling personal injury claims and can help you fight for the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.Read More