Tips for Hiring the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in MN

    | Read Time: 4 minutes

Choosing the best criminal defense attorney in Minnesota can feel overwhelming. With so many law firms to choose from, you may struggle to find the attorney that is right for you. Below are some tips for hiring the best Minnesota criminal defense attorney, so you get the legal counsel you need.  Choose an Attorney with Relevant Experience Criminal defense encompasses a broad category of different legal practices. A lawyer who specializes in one field may not have the relevant experience to provide you the best representation for your specific case. When searching for an attorney or law firm, narrow your choices based on the type of law the attorney practices and where they practice. Ask yourself the following questions: What type of case do I have? What kinds of law does the attorney practice and are they related to my case? How much experience does the attorney have practicing that type of law? Does the attorney have experience taking their cases to trial? Where does the attorney primarily practice law? What were the most recent types of cases the attorney handled? Laws vary significantly depending on each state. You should make sure your attorney has experience practicing law in Minnesota. Attorneys who specialize in Minnesota criminal law have experience and an in-depth understanding of the relevant statutes and court decisions that will apply to your case.  Choose an Attorney Who Is Responsive and Trustworthy The best criminal defense attorneys in Minnesota understand the importance of client communication and building trust. Your attorney should respond quickly and professionally and answer your questions in full. While searching for attorneys, you should reach out to the law firm with questions about their practice. The firm’s responsiveness will tell you a lot about their client communication practices and what to expect if you hire them for your case. A good attorney also strives to create an atmosphere of trust with their clients. You should feel comfortable sharing and communicating openly with your lawyer. Attorneys that lack adequate communication skills will struggle to provide you with quality representation. Search for Attorneys with a Strong Reputation A criminal defense attorney’s reputation will provide you important insights into the quality of their legal practice. A strong professional reputation shows that the lawyer has a history of success as well as the respect of their professional peers. Look for attorneys who receive special recognition from legal professional organizations. You can search an attorney’s professional reputation through databases such as: Your local bar association Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, and Lawyers.com. You can also search the law firm’s website and check if the firm’s lawyers have received any special recognition, such as a SuperLawyers designation, Attorney of the Year, or other public recognition. In addition to professional reputation, previous client reviews can tell you a lot about an attorney and their legal practice. Most law firm websites contain a section of testimonials from previous clients. Review these and compare them to external review sources, such as Google and Avvo and other customer review websites. Finally, one of the best ways to find a quality lawyer is through word-of-mouth referrals. A recommendation from someone you know and trust can give you confidence that the attorney will give you high-quality legal advice to guide you through each step of the legal process.  Search for Attorneys with a History of Success Reputation and experience are important to your search, but those factors alone may not tell you whether the attorney can achieve a successful outcome. Search for attorneys with a proven history of success. Most law firms will have a section on their website listing their previous successes. While searching, ask yourself the following questions: What was the attorney’s most recent case? What was the type of case? What was the outcome? During an initial consultation, you can also ask your prospective attorney how often they settle a case or go to trial.  Choose an Attorney with a Fair Cost Structure All private attorneys will charge fees for their legal services. However, firms may utilize different fee structures to charge their clients. Most criminal defense attorneys will charge a flat fee to handle your case. Under this fee structure, the attorney will charge a specific amount upfront depending on the nature of the case. When assessing fee structures, ask the following questions: What type of fee structure do you use? How much do you charge? If I’m paying a flat rate, what legal services does the fee cover? Do you offer payment plans? Legal fees can get expensive. Before hiring an attorney, make sure you understand and are comfortable with their fees and fee structure.  Meet with Your Top Choices and Take Notes Once you narrow down your choices, schedule an initial consultation with your top three attorneys.  Come prepared with a list of questions and information about your case. Make sure you take good notes so you can compare each law firm. You can learn a lot about your prospective lawyer through the initial consultation. Try to gauge their personality and demeanor, and make sure they are someone with whom you want to work.  Contact a Qualified Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today If you face criminal charges in Minnesota, the lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka are ready to help. Our attorneys have combined decades of experience handling Minnesota criminal defense cases. We care deeply about our clients and always put their interests first. Our committed staff will answer your questions and assist you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-362-4551 or fill out an online form today. 

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Employer Denied Reasonable Accommodation? What Next?

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Congress has passed several laws aimed at fighting discrimination in the workplace. In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide protections and accommodations for disabled persons in the workplace. The ADA prohibits employers from denying employment because a person has a disability. Further, the law imposes a duty to accommodate disabled persons in the workplace. Employers must provide reasonable accommodation to allow an employee to complete their job assignments. Reasonable Accommodation Laws in Minnesota Under the ADA, reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or to the normal hiring process to provide equal opportunities in the workplace to people with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are meant to assist a disabled person in three ways: Providing equal opportunities for people with disabilities in the hiring process; Providing accommodations so a person with a disability can perform their essential job duties; and Ensuring that an employee with a disability can enjoy the same job benefits as their co-workers. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include: Installing a ramp or modifying a restroom; Providing screen reader software; Providing sign language interpreters or closed captioning at meetings; or Changing workplace policies to allow service animals in the workplace. Employees with a disability may request any reasonable accommodations that would assist them in performing their essential job functions.  Requesting Accommodation Employees bear the responsibility to request reasonable accommodations if they have a disability. This request can be made verbally or in writing and does not require specific language or procedures. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations depending on the specific needs of the individual and the nature of the work. Employers must work with the employee who requested accommodation to determine if it is reasonable and necessary for the employee to perform their job.  When Can an Employer Deny a Request for Accommodation? Under certain circumstances, employers may deny requests for accommodation.  If the requests are unreasonable, the employer may refuse to grant the request or may modify the request. Examples of unreasonable requests include: Requests that eliminate an essential function of the job, or Requests that disrupt the company’s ability to make profits. Additionally, employers do not need to grant accommodations that would cause the employer undue hardship. Undue hardships include: Significant costs to the employer, Disruption of the normal course of business, and Significant difficulty. Courts assess undue hardship based on several factors, including: The size of the employer, The employer’s financial resources, The nature of the employer’s business, and The impact of the accommodation on the business. Employers only have to provide accommodations for disabilities of which they are aware. If you have a disability and you need accommodations, you must inform your employer and make a request.  What Should I Do if My Employer Denied My Reasonable Accommodation Request? Your employer may not ignore your request or deny a reasonable request. If your employer ignores or denies your request, you should follow the guidelines below to fight your request denial. Put Your Request in Writing  First, put your request in writing and send it to the head of your company’s human resources department. Although not required by law, this will help ensure your employer understands your request. You can also refer back to your written request if you need to pursue further action. Contact an Attorney If your employer continues to ignore your request, you should speak with a qualified employment discrimination attorney. Your attorney can contact your employer directly and help you demand your accommodation. An attorney also understands the ADA and other anti-discrimination laws and can help you navigate the process. Your lawyer can help ensure your request is reasonable to avoid denial by a court. Finally, your attorney can help ensure your request fully accommodates your needs. The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal opportunities in the workplace. Your attorney will work to ensure you receive the accommodation to which you’re entitled. File a Claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission If your employer refuses demands and negotiations with your lawyer, you can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC will assess your claim to determine if your employer has discriminated against you.  If the EEOC does not take action or you are dissatisfied with the outcome, your lawyer can help you file a claim in court. We Are Here to Help If you have a disability, you have a right to equal opportunities in the workplace. We do not tolerate discrimination, and we will fight diligently to protect your interests. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have extensive experience defending our client’s interests and protecting their rights. We put our clients first, and we strive to answer all of your questions and provide you support every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-419-5366 or fill out an online form. 

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Do Employers Drug Test for Workers’ Comp?

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Injuries in the workplace happen all the time. When they do, employees normally receive workers’ compensation to cover the cost of their injuries and treatment.  In Minnesota, employers can require that employees injured on the job take a drug test. However, Minnesota designed its workers’ compensation laws to protect injured workers. Even if you fail a drug test, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation for your on-the-job injuries. Drug Testing Laws for Workers’ Comp in Minnesota Under Minnesota law, employers have the right to require drug testing for employees who suffer an on-the-job injury. However, the statute also requires that the employer have a written drug testing policy. The employer can request a drug test only in accordance with that written policy. If the employee tests positive, he or she also has the right to explain the positive test and the right to request a re-test within a specified time. Do I Have to Take a Drug Test to Receive Workers’ Comp? Minnesota’s workman’s comp state law does not require that employees take a drug test before receiving workers’ compensation.  However, the employer still has the right to require a drug test before paying any workers’ comp benefits. If your employer requires a workers’ comp drug test, you may need to take it before you receive your benefits.  Failing a Drug Test Does Not Mean You Can’t Get Workers’ Comp Even if you fail a workers’ comp drug test, you may still be eligible for benefits. Under Minnesota’s law, if the drugs or alcohol are the proximate cause of the workplace injury, the employer may refuse to pay workers’ compensation benefits. But the burden of proving causation is on the employer.  The employer must provide evidence that: The employee was intoxicated, and The intoxication caused the injury or injuries. Proving causation can be difficult, especially if other dangers existed that contributed to the injuries. For example, a worker slips and falls while carrying a heavy object and breaks his arm. He tests positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. However, evidence shows that another worker carelessly spilled a liquid on the ground and did not clean up the spill or put out a sign warning of a slippery floor. The judge may find that the other worker’s carelessness, and not the drugs, were the proximate cause of the injury.  Bottom line: even if you test positive for drugs or alcohol, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  When Should I Contact an Attorney?  If you tested positive for drugs or alcohol following a workplace injury, you should contact a qualified Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney right away. An attorney can increase your chances of recovering your workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp cases can be complicated and time-consuming. An attorney understands how to defend your interests and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney understands which facts and circumstances are important for proving your case.  Your attorney can help you by: Gathering witness statements and police reports; Performing investigations of the workplace and the scene of the accident; Gathering medical records such as hospital reports and drug tests; Negotiating with your employer on your behalf; and  Representing you if your case proceeds to trial. Your attorney will work with you to build a strong case and fight for the best possible outcome.  Contact a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace injury, contact the law offices of Arechigo & Stokka today. Our knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience defending our clients in workers’ compensation cases. We provide hands-on legal services, and our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you support every step of the way. We care about our clients and place their interests first. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office at 651-419-5366 or fill out an online form today. 

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Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter in Minnesota | How We Can Help

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Most of us rely on our automobiles and use them every day. But driving a car is also dangerous and sometimes can result in serious injury or death. In certain circumstances, a driver whose actions result in another’s death may face criminal charges, even if the person’s death was unintentional. Criminal vehicular homicide or manslaughter is a very serious offense, and a person convicted of such a crime faces the very real prospect of going to prison. If you or someone you know is facing criminal vehicular homicide charges, contact a qualified Minnesota criminal defense attorney right away.  What Is Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter? Under Minnesota law, criminal vehicular manslaughter occurs when a person operates a vehicle in a criminally unsafe manner. A person may face criminal vehicular homicide charges when they: Operate a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner; Drive negligently while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both; Drive negligently while under the influence of another substance they should know can cause impairment; or Leave the scene of an accident they caused. A driver may also face charges if he or she had previously received a ticket for a defective vehicle and the defect caused the other person’s death. Penalties for Criminal Vehicular Homicide in Minnesota  Criminal vehicular homicide is a felony offense in Minnesota.  Criminal penalties include: A prison sentence of up to ten years, A fine of up to $20,000, or A combination of fines and prison. In addition, if you commit criminal vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the offense occurs within ten years of a prior driving offense, you may face up to fifteen years in prison. Besides criminal sentences, felonies can affect you in several ways long after you complete your prison term and pay your fines. If convicted of a felony, you may suffer other consequences, including: Difficulty finding a job, Trouble finding and qualifying for housing, and Problems obtaining student loans for education expenses. If you are facing criminal vehicular manslaughter charges, it is important to speak with an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney. Your attorney understands the law and can help you navigate the legal process and develop a strong legal defense. Defenses to Criminal Vehicular Manslaughter Our criminal vehicular manslaughter defense attorney can help you determine which defenses apply to your case. The prosecution bears the burden of proving your guilt. This means a prosecutor must present sufficient evidence to prove each element of the offense. An experienced lawyer will challenge the sufficiency or the accuracy of the evidence. For example, your attorney may argue that  you were not sufficiently intoxicated during the accident, that your actions were not negligent or did not cause the crash, or that you were not driving the car. Other defenses to criminal vehicular manslaughter may include involuntary intoxication. Minnesota law also specifically states that a person will not face criminal vehicular manslaughter charges if they have a controlled substance in their bodies but used the substance according to the directions on a prescription. How Can a Lawyer Help? Criminal vehicular manslaughter charges are very serious. Establishing a legal defense can be a complex and confusing process. A skilled criminal defense attorney understands the law, court procedures, and how to use available facts to create a strong defense. Your attorney will manage your case and take the pressure off you. Your attorney will: Perform a thorough factual investigation, Gather witness statements, Collect police reports and medical documents, Negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, Research and analyze the relevant laws, and Represent you in court and present a compelling defense at trial. Contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today The experienced lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., provide top-quality legal representation to our clients throughout Minnesota. We know that facing criminal charges is a scary and life-changing event. We care deeply about our clients and fight tirelessly to defend their interests. We provide hands-on, personalized legal services. Our dedicated team will thoroughly analyze your claim and assist you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our offices at 651-222-6603 or fill out an online form today. 

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Minnesota Self-Defense Laws | What Are They?

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In Minnesota, if you are facing a threat of imminent bodily harm or injury, in certain circumstances, you have a right to use force to defend yourself. Minnesota self-defense laws describe the conditions in which you can lawfully use force in self-defense. Knowing self-defense laws can help you understand your rights and responsibilities.  Minnesota Self-Defense Laws Self-defense is one of the most commonly used defenses in cases involving assault, battery, or other crimes of violence. To prove self-defense in Minnesota, an accused person must show: The alleged victim was the aggressor, The accused person had a real or perceived fear of harm to their person, The accused person’s belief was reasonable, The accused person did not use aggression or provoke the attack, and There was no reasonable opportunity to retreat or escape. A claim of self-defense has some important limitations. A person’s use of force in self-defense must appear reasonable to a judge or jury. Further, a person may use only the amount of force necessary to prevent the attack or to protect themselves from harm. The amount of force used in self-defense must be proportionate to the threat posed by the victim. Duty to Retreat Before a person can use self-defense outside of their own home, Minnesota law imposes a duty to retreat.  If a person is facing a threat of bodily injury or harm, he or she must first attempt to retreat to a safe location. The concept of retreat includes any attempt to de-escalate or otherwise avoid violent confrontation. However, if retreat is not available or the person cannot do so safely, he or she may then use force or otherwise act in self-defense. In addition, Minnesota allows a person to use deadly force only as a last resort. You may use deadly force outside the home only if there is no reasonable opportunity to retreat and you reasonably believe that you face imminent danger of great bodily harm. A person who uses deadly force in self-defense may still face criminal charges, including murder, if he or she had an opportunity to retreat.  No Stand-Your-Ground Law in Minnesota Stand-your-ground laws remove the duty to retreat. If a state has a stand-your-ground law, a person may use force, including deadly force, without first attempting to retreat from the danger. Unlike many other states, Minnesota does not have a stand-your-ground law. In Minnesota, a person must first attempt to escape a dangerous threat before resorting to force.  Castle Doctrine  Although Minnesota does not have a stand-your-ground law, the state still applies the castle doctrine.  This doctrine removes the duty to retreat if a person is threatened in his or her own home. Minnesota courts have decided that a person should not be required to retreat from his or her own home. Thus, in certain circumstances, you may use force, including deadly force, in self-defense when threatened in your own home. The castle doctrine, like other forms of self-defense, is available only in certain circumstances and is subject to limitations. When to Contact a Lawyer If you are accused of a crime or were involved in a violent confrontation, you should contact a qualified attorney to represent you. Self-defense laws depend on a variety of circumstances and a complex set of rules and legal definitions. Understanding self-defense laws requires experience and familiarity with the criminal justice system. Cases involving self-defense often deal with serious crimes that carry potentially severe consequences. Even if you have a legitimate self-defense claim, if you fail to meet the legal requirements and provide sufficient evidence, you risk losing your case. Hiring a criminal defense attorney will improve your chances of establishing self-defense and winning your case.   Contact a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney Today If you are facing criminal charges or were involved in a violent confrontation, contact the law firm of Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., today. Our dedicated team has extensive experience defending our clients in criminal cases. We will thoroughly investigate your case, help you understand your legal options, and determine the best course of action. We know how difficult this process can be, and we will support you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our offices at 651-222-6603 or fill out an online form today.  

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What to Know About Lowe’s Workers’ Compensation

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Workers’ compensation is financial compensation for lost wages and medical expenses employers are required to provide to employees that suffer an injury at work. Minnesota law requires Lowe’s to provide workers’ compensation benefits to workers injured during the course of their job either through an insurance policy or from its own financial resources. If you suffered an injury while working at Lowe’s in Minnesota, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer today. Am I Entitled to Workers’ Compensation from Lowe’s in MN? You are entitled to workers’ compensation from Lowe’s if you were an employee at the time you suffered a work-related injury. Minnesota law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees either through an insurance carrier or by obtaining permission for self-insurance from the State of Minnesota. Workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to include lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and ongoing disability benefits. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you determine which benefits apply to your case. Types of Accidents at Lowe’s That Can Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Common accidents Lowe’s employees might suffer that can qualify for workers’ comp benefits include: Slipping and falling on the floor; Joint damage from repetitive movement; Back and neck injuries from lifting heavy objects, including loading and unloading trucks; Falling from a ladder when stocking inventory; and Being involved in a truck accident when making deliveries. If you’ve been injured while working at Lowe’s, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer today to find out whether your injury qualifies for benefits. How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Against Lowe’s In Minnesota, you must notify your supervisor of your injury within 14 days of the accident.  Next, Lowe’s should complete and file a First Report of Injury (FROI) form with its insurance company within 10 days of the date you notified them of your injury. Its insurance company should then file it with the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry within 14 days of the date Lowe’s became aware of your accident. The purpose of this form is to start the claim process and provide information about the accident and your injury. What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident at Lowe’s? After suffering a workplace accident at Lowe’s, you should seek immediate medical care. You should report the accident and your injuries to your supervisor as soon as possible. Additionally, you should check your employee handbook for Lowe’s specific medical providers. Failing to use an in-network provider might disqualify you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Next, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. A lawyer can help you determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation and ensure you meet all deadlines. A lawyer can maintain all documentation and fight Lowe’s or its insurance company if they deny you benefits when you have a legitimate claim. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have over 10 years of experience representing injured workers. They will handle every aspect of your case with your best interests in mind. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Understanding 2nd-Degree Assault in Minnesota

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Criminal assault can happen in a variety of circumstances. The types of charges vary depending on the circumstances and the severity of the harm. Second-degree assaults involve a dangerous weapon and carry serious penalties. If you are facing 2nd-degree assault charges, contact a qualified Minnesota criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal options.  What Is Second-Degree Assault? Under Minnesota law, second-degree assault is a felony offense. Second-degree assault charges fall into two different subdivisions: Subdivision 1, assault with a dangerous weapon, and Subdivision 2, assault with a dangerous weapon that causes substantial bodily harm. A “dangerous weapon” can include numerous different objects if used as a weapon to harm another person. Dangerous weapons include: Any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; Any combustible or flammable liquid; and Any other object that is used or intended to be used to cause great bodily harm or death. Under subdivision 2, if a person causes substantial bodily harm to another person while using a dangerous weapon, the aggressor will face heftier penalties.  Minnesota law defines “substantial bodily harm” as bodily injury that: Involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, Causes a temporary but substantial loss of function of a body part, or Causes a fractured or broken bone. It is important to remember that a person can face 2nd-degree assault charges even if substantial bodily injury does not occur. Even threatening someone with a dangerous weapon may be sufficient evidence to prove guilt. 2nd-Degree Assault Sentences  People charged with 2nd-degree assault face felony charges and serious consequences. Under subdivision 1, if you commit an assault with a dangerous weapon, but the victim does not suffer substantial bodily injury, you may face: Jail time up to seven years, A fine of up to $14,000, or A combination of jail time and monetary fines. Second-degree assaults that cause substantial bodily harm carry harsher penalties. Subdivision 2 second-degree assault sentences include: Imprisonment of up to ten years, A fine of up to $20,000, or A combination of jail time and fines. Second-degree assault charges are very serious and can substantially disrupt your life. A criminal defense attorney can help you assess your options and figure out the best course of action. How Will It Affect Me?  In addition to the possible legal penalties, felony convictions can affect you long after you pay your fines and serve your jail sentence. Felony convictions may: Prevent you from securing a job, Limit your ability to find housing, and Prevent you from obtaining student loans for education expenses. Because second-degree assault charges carry such severe penalties, it is critical that you seek an experienced attorney to help you defend your interests. Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and craft a defense that improves your chances of success. Defenses to Second-Degree Assault Charges Depending on the facts of your case, several different defenses may be available. The most common types of defenses to second-degree assault are described below. Self-Defense and Defense of Others Self-defense is one of the most common defenses to second-degree assault. A person can claim self-defense when: The alleged victim initiated the confrontation, You reasonably believed you faced immediate bodily injury, You could not escape or retreat to a safe location, and You used only enough reasonable force to stop the attack. Defense of others is another common defense to second-degree assault. Defense of others is the same as self-defense except that you may use reasonable force to protect others from imminent bodily injury.  Defense of Property A person may also reasonably defend their property, but only in limited circumstances. For example, if someone steals your property, such as a wallet, directly from your person, you may use reasonable force to protect your property. Other Defenses Other types of defenses to second-degree assault include: Lack of sufficient evidence, Consent to the contact, Voluntary or involuntary intoxication, and An alibi. A strong defense can result in dismissal of all of your charges, or the defense can help reduce your criminal sentence. However, successfully proving your defense is a complex process. Working with a skilled Minnesota criminal defense attorney will improve your chances for success and help you return to your normal life as quickly as possible.  Should I Hire an Attorney? Experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorneys understand the nuances of the criminal justice system. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and decades of experience defending clients in state and federal courts. Our attorneys will advise you on what to do after an arrest to avoid making the situation worse. In addition, our team of attorneys and staff will handle all of the steps necessary to create a strong legal defense. Our team of attorneys and staff can help you by: Performing factual investigations, gathering witness statements, and other relevant documents; Gathering medical records and hospital reports; Collecting police crime scene reports; Negotiating agreements and pleas with the prosecutor; and If necessary, defending you during trial. As soon as you are arrested, you have a right to a lawyer, and you should exercise that right. Working with an attorney improves the chances the court or prosecutor will dismiss your case or reduce your charges.  Contact an Attorney Today If you are facing second-degree assault charges, contact the law firm of Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., today. Our dedicated staff cares deeply about our clients, and we will assist you every step of the way. We provide hands-on, personalized legal services, and we will fight aggressively to defend your interests. Call our offices at 651-401-7926 or fill out an online form today. 

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Understanding First Degree Assault in Minnesota

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Disagreements or confrontations involving physical violence often lead to assault charges. Depending on the extent of the injuries and who is involved, charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies. In Minnesota, first-degree assault is a felony offense and carries serious, long-term consequences. If you were arrested for first-degree assault, you should speak with a qualified Minnesota defense attorney. Your attorney will help you understand your case and defend your interests in court. What Is First Degree Assault?  Under Minnesota law, a first-degree assault typically occurs when a person assaults and causes great bodily harm to another person. “Great bodily harm” means bodily injury that:  Creates a high probability of death,  Causes serious permanent disfigurement,  Causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or  Causes other serious bodily harm. A person may also face first-degree assault charges if he or she assaults one of the following people by using or attempting to use deadly force: A peace officer, A judge, A prosecuting attorney, or A correctional employee who works in a jail, private prison, or workhouse. First-degree assault charges carry significant penalties, including hefty fines and prison terms.  Penalties and Charges for First Degree Assault Under Minnesota law, a first-degree assault charge is a felony offense. First-degree assault penalties may include up to 20 years in prison, a $30,000 fine, or both.  If you are convicted of assaulting a peace officer, judge, prosecutor, or correctional employee, you must serve your entire sentence. This means you are not eligible for: Probation, Parole, Discharge, Work release, or Supervised release. A felony conviction can affect you long after you serve your prison term and pay your fines. First-degree felony assault charges may prevent you from: Getting a job, Obtaining housing, and Securing loans for education tuition assistance. While first-degree assault charges are very serious, you may have some legal options available. Minnesota law has several defenses to first-degree assault. An experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney can help you identify any available defenses and develop a strong legal strategy. Defenses to First Degree Assault Depending on the circumstances of your case, several different defenses may be available. However, it may be challenging to prove your defense. A skilled criminal defense attorney has an in-depth knowledge of the law and understands how to develop and successfully raise a defense. Self-Defense and Defense of Others Self-defense is one of the most common defenses used in first-degree assault cases. Self-defense may apply when: The alleged victim was the initial aggressor, You believed you faced an imminent threat of bodily harm, That belief was reasonable, You had no reasonable opportunity to retreat or escape, and You used only enough reasonable force to stop the attack. Defense of others is similar to self-defense, except that it involves a person acting in defense of another person who faces a threat of unlawful harm or force. Unlike some states, Minnesota does not have a “stand your ground” law. This means that a person facing a threat of great bodily harm must attempt to escape the situation if it is reasonable to do so. A person can use deadly force in self-defense only as a last resort. Defense of Property A person may also use reasonable force to defend his or her personal property. However, this defense is available only in limited circumstances, such as when the property was stolen directly from your person. As with self-defense and defense of others, you may use only the amount of force reasonably necessary to defend your property.  Other Defenses Other types of defenses to first-degree assault include: Consent, Necessity, Intoxication, and An alibi. Some types of defenses are considered complete defenses. If successfully proven, the court will drop the charges against you. The court may also decide that a particular defense acts only as a partial defense to a charge. In these cases, the court may reduce or lower your sentence but not completely dismiss the charges against you. Even partial defenses can significantly reduce your criminal penalties and help you return to your normal life faster after a conviction.  How Can a Lawyer Help? Facing a first-degree assault charge alone can be intimidating. Even if you have a strong defense, successfully proving a defense in court can be complicated and time-consuming. Experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorneys understand the nuances of the criminal justice system. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and extensive experience defending clients against first-degree assault charges. Our team of attorneys and staff can help you by: Thoroughly investigating your case, Collecting police and medical reports, Gathering witness statements, Filing documents in court, Negotiating agreements with the prosecutor, and If necessary, defending you at trial. First-degree assault cases can be highly complex and require a thorough understanding of the law. It is critical to retain a qualified criminal defense lawyer to defend you. Contact Our Offices Today If you are facing first-degree assault charges, contact our office today. Our dedicated staff will answer your questions, research your case, and help you choose the best legal strategy. We understand how difficult this process can be, and we will help you every step of the way. Call our offices at 651-401-7926 or fill out an online form today. 

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Do All Workers’ Comp Cases End in a Settlement?

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Most workers’ comp cases end in a settlement. Workers’ comp, or workers’ compensation, is financial compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, disability, and other expenses you face as a result of a job-related injury. Some factors that might affect your settlement value include: The severity of your injury, Whether you can return to work, and Whether evidence exists that contradicts your claim. If you have been injured as the result of a job-related injury, you should talk to a Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer today. What Is the Workers’ Comp Process in Minnesota? The Minnesota workers’ comp process can become complicated and intimidating. Hiring a lawyer can make the process less stressful for you. File Your Claim The first step in the MN workers’ comp process is to file your claim by completing and submitting the appropriate paperwork. We recommend hiring a lawyer to ensure the paperwork is filled out properly. Deposition Next, the insurance company’s lawyer takes your deposition. During a deposition, the lawyer will ask you questions about your claim to gather information. Your deposition is part of the evidence your insurance company will consider when deciding whether to offer a settlement. Independent Medical Examination After taking your deposition, your insurance company schedules a medical exam. Your insurance company and employer choose the doctor that will perform the exam. The purpose is to have a third-party doctor to assess whether your injuries are consistent with your statements.  Settlement Most of the time, your insurance company will next offer you a settlement. It is usually in the form of a lump sum payment. Your attorney can help you negotiate the final settlement amount. Hearing If your insurance company does not offer you a settlement or if you cannot reach an agreement, the next step is a hearing before a judge. At the hearing, both sides present evidence of why you are or are not entitled to workers’ comp. Unlike with a settlement, the judge will ultimately make the decision.  Appeal If the judge denies your workers’ comp claim, you can file an appeal within 30 days of the date of the decision. Things to Keep in Mind When Considering a Settlement Offer It is important to wait until you have fully recovered from your injuries to accept a settlement offer. You want to make sure you don’t accept a settlement that is lower than you deserve because you don’t yet know the total cost of your injuries. If you accept a settlement that does not cover all of your expenses, it is very difficult to set aside. However, it is possible to accept a settlement while leaving open the possibility of additional claims if you have more medical expenses or your impairment changes in the future. You just need to be sure to include that language in your settlement agreement. Additionally, it is important to understand that you won’t receive a settlement offer if your insurance company denies your claim. If applicable, a lawyer could contest the denial by providing additional evidence of your injuries or correcting any errors in the paperwork you’ve submitted. How Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help You? The Minnesota workers’ comp lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.C., can help you navigate the complex workers’ comp process. Working with us can minimize your chances of making a mistake and give you leverage against your employer’s insurance company. Whether your case settles or goes before a judge, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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Minnesota Fourth Degree DWI Penalties

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4th DEGREE DWI | FOURTH DEGREE DUI If you are facing a Fourth Degree DWI charge, it is unlikely that you will have to go to jail if convicted.   A Fourth Degree DUI charge in St. Paul, Minnesota typically results when it is the person’s first ever DWI or the first DWI charge within the last ten years and the driver’s blood alcohol content is below .20.   A Fourth Degree DWI charge also means that there are no other aggravating factors present, such as a test refusal or a child in the car at the time of driving. A Fourth Degree DWI is a misdemeanor criminal offense.  Misdemeanors are the lowest level of crimes in Minnesota, but they are still a crime.   This means you would have to answer “yes” to any application questions asking if you have ever been convicted of a crime. Are There Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Requirements? There are no mandatory minimum sentencing requirements if you are convicted or otherwise found guilty of a Minnesota fourth degree DWI. This does not mean that you will absolutely not have to spend any time in jail for a Fourth Degree DWI conviction, it just means that jail time is not mandatory.   Depending on which Minnesota County the offense occurred in, a 4th Degree DWI conviction will likely carry 1-2 years of probation and a $300-500 fine.   Additional court costs and court service fees may also kick in.  You will also be required to complete a chemical dependency evaluation and follow any recommendations for substance abuse treatment.   You may also be required to attend a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel. Charged With a 4th Degree DUI? We Can Help If you were recently charged with a 4th degree DUI in MN we can help you with the charges. Fill out the free and confidential form below so we can review the details of your case. Will I Lose My License if Charged With a 4th Degree DWI in MN? In addition to the criminal consequences triggered by a Minnesota fourth-degree DWI conviction, you will also face a loss of your driver’s license. A driver’s license is revoked for 90 days upon the initial charge of 4th Degree DWI if your blood alcohol content was .08 to .15.   The 90 day revocation period is reduced to 30 days upon pleading guilty to the 4th Degree DWI charge only if it is a true first time DWI offense.   You will then have to comply with the reinstatement requirements before your driver’s license will be valid.   The revocation period is extended to 1 year if your blood alcohol content was .16 to .19 and you will also face a loss of your license plates for 1 year. Contact a Saint Paul, MN DUI/DWI Attorney Contact our Minneapolis / St. Paul DWI lawyers today if you or someone you know is facing a Fourth Degree DWI in MN. Our St. Paul DWI attorneys will thoroughly review your case and do everything we can to get your driver’s license back and help you avoid a DWI conviction. Frequently Asked Questions

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