What Does TTD Mean in Workers’ Comp?

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When you’re injured on the job, there are lots of details to handle. You need medical treatment, but you also need to figure out how to pay bills. You assume workers’ compensation will help with your income, but how does it work? Workers’ compensation can be complicated, and it’s best to hire an attorney who will look out for your interests. One thing our attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka explain to clients is the difference between temporary and permanent disability.  Types of Workers’ Compensation Workers’ compensation programs use a lot of acronyms, which can be confusing. For instance, What does TTD stand for in workers’ comp? It’s simply a classification of disability. Workers’ compensation insurance labels the category of your disability:  Temporary total disability (TTD),  Temporary partial disability (TPD),  Permanent total disability (PTD), or  Permanent partial disability (PPD). These classifications depend on the extent of your injury and how likely you are to recover, based on a medical professional’s evaluation.  TTD Workers’ Comp In Minnesota So, what does TTD mean in workers’ comp? When workers’ compensation insurance labels you with TTD, it means they think you have a temporary total disability. This means that you can’t work at all now, but they expect you to be able to work in the future. You don’t have to prove that someone was at fault for your injury to get workers’ compensation TTD payments. Even if you were at fault for your workplace accident, you can still file for compensation. Workers’ compensation covers a new injury sustained on the job or an old injury aggravated by a workplace accident. Your injury must relate to an employment activity. How Much Money Is Available? TTD benefits pay two-thirds of your average weekly wage, though there is a minimum and maximum payment you can receive. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will continue to pay you this benefit until you reach maximum medical improvement, meaning you have recovered or further medical treatment won’t help you get any better. At that point, you may be able to qualify for PPD or PTD benefits based on any permanent disability. Workers’ compensation also pays your medical bills and can pay for vocational rehabilitation. This means that if you can’t perform your job because of your injury, workers’ compensation will pay to train you for a new job. How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Pay? You are eligible for TTD payments for up to 130 weeks unless you enter a retraining program, which can extend the time you can receive payments. Workers’ compensation payments stop when any of the following occur: You reach 130 weeks of payment and are not eligible for retraining; You reach maximum medical improvement; You return to work; or You are medically released to return to work but don’t make an effort to do so. TTD workers’ comp is not a long-term solution for paying your bills. The compensation merely pays basic living expenses and medical bills while you are treated for your injuries. Contact a Minnesota Employment Attorney If you need someone to fight for your fair compensation, contact an experienced attorney. At Arechigo & Stokka, our attorneys fight for injured employees. We work to get you maximum compensation and safe job conditions.  Our attorneys have been helping injured employees for decades, and our compassionate, personalized approach can help you too. Contact us for a free consultation where we can discuss your situation and answer questions.

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Navigating Slip and Fall at Work Settlements in MN

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Have you been injured in a workplace slip and fall accident in Minnesota? These accidents are all too common, with nearly 700 workers killed in slip and fall accidents each year. Slip and fall accidents also cause more than 25% of all workplace injuries. If you experienced a slip and fall injury at work, you may need an attorney. Slip and fall accidents can cause life-altering injuries that impact your ability to work and provide for your family. Slip and fall at work settlements can compensate for the harm you suffered and allow you to pay the bills that may be piling up. Common Causes of Slip and Falls at Work In a busy work environment, employers must pay diligent attention to workers’ and customers’ safety. These common causes of slip and falls are likely to injure a worker: Uneven flooring, Spilled liquid, Loose flooring, Recently polished floors, Dim lighting, Wires stretched across the floor, Broken stairs, and Equipment left on the floor. Unfortunately, these hazards can seriously injure or even kill a worker. If you suffer an injury at work, your employer is responsible to compensate you under workers’ compensation law, regardless of whose fault the accident was. Additionally, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against third parties who act negligently, such as manufacturers and independent contractors. What to Do After a Slip and Fall After you experience a slip and fall at work, you’ll want to do these things right away: Seek medical attention to treat urgent injuries; Notify your employer that you slipped and fell at work; Take photos or gather other documentation of the circumstances of your accident; Write down the names of witnesses to the accident; and Contact an attorney for help determining whether to file for workers’ compensation or pursue a personal injury lawsuit. It’s important to take immediate action after your accident so that your employer doesn’t dispute your claim. Notifying your employer, “I fell at work,” and seeking medical attention will alert them to the severity of your injury. Evidence gathered at the scene of your fall at work and witness statements can help validate your version of events. How a Lawyer Can Help You may feel confused by the pushback you get from supervisors after you file an accident claim. Of course, employers don’t want to pay injured workers unless they have to. Hiring an attorney gives you a determined advocate who will pressure your employer to pay all legally required compensation. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka can help you evaluate the various Minnesota laws that apply to your case, from workers’ compensation to personal injury and product liability. Our attorneys will advise you on your best strategy for maximum compensation and work passionately on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our legal professionals have decades of experience representing injured workers in slip and fall at work settlements. As a two-attorney firm, we deliver personalized representation and diligent focus on each client, attention that is difficult to find at a big law firm.  We would appreciate hearing your story and considering how we can help you win maximum slip and fall compensation.

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Is Sexting a Crime in Minnesota?

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Sexting, per se, is not a crime in Minnesota. Minnesota has not enacted any legislation specifically prohibiting sexting among minors. However, Minnesota law enforcement investigators and prosecutors rely on Minnesota’s existing laws to prosecute and convict people who engaged in sexting with a child or sexting involving a child. The consequences of a conviction for charges related to sexting and minors are incredibly severe. Not only are long prison sentences a genuine possibility, but the person convicted of these charges may also need to register as a predatory offender. If you find yourself under investigation or charged with crimes involving sexting and minors, or if your child could be in trouble for these crimes, contact Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., immediately. We will put together an aggressive defense strategy designed to eliminate or minimize the disruption sexting charges may have on your life.  Overview of Sexting  The term sexting became part of our vernacular several years ago. Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit or suggestive text messages to another by any electronic means. Sexting is a risky behavior, even if it is just two consenting adults flirting with each other. Electronic messages containing sexually explicit content do not simply go away. They could be used later to embarrass, harass, or annoy one of the participants if the relationship sours. A person could face legal consequences for sexting if the person in possession of a graphic photo or video disseminates it without consent for public display. This is known as revenge porn.  The State of Minnesota recognizes the vulnerability of children. The state restricts access to sexually explicit material to people over 17 in an attempt to protect children. Moreover, a teenager could face criminal charges by sexting with another teenager or an adult, even if the adult consents.  When Is Sexting Child Pornography in Minnesota? It is illegal for children to send nude photos to each other or an adult. Minnesota law prohibits explicitly depicting a child in the nude or while performing a sex act. Also, Minnesota law outlaws possessing or disseminating pornographic materials showing children. Minnesota’s child pornography laws are strict. A teenager who possesses a nude photo, even of their significant other, if one of the participants is a minor, could face child pornography charges in Minnesota.  Sexting and Child Endangerment As a parent or guardian, you could get in trouble for sexting involving your children if you do not immediately stop the behavior. Under Minnesota law, a parent or guardian faces significant imprisonment if their child suffers physically, emotionally, or psychologically and the parent or guardian permitted the sexual abuse. Learning about your child engaging in sexting and failing to stop it could result in criminal charges for child endangerment.  Disseminating Harmful Matter to Juveniles Displaying explicit photos to a child and soliciting children to engage in sexual conduct like sexting are crimes in Minnesota. Using a computer or other electronic device to solicit children to send nude pictures or pornographic videos, including sexualized language, is a felony and can be prosecuted for engaging in electronic solicitation of a minor. Practically speaking, a minor who describes sexual activity to another minor via text commits a felony, even if committing the act itself might not be a crime due to Minnesota’s “Romeo and Juliet” law. Sexting Punishments in Minnesota Punishments for sexting depend on the severity of the offense. For example, possession of child pornography is a felony punishable by incarceration for up to ten years. Dissemination of child pornography is also a felony, and the person so convicted faces up to 15 years of imprisonment. Distributing sexual material to a minor is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. Disseminating revenge porn is a gross misdemeanor but could be a felony warranting three years in jail if certain aggravating factors apply.  Registering as a Sex Offender for Sexting Minnesota requires people convicted of certain crimes to register with the state’s predatory offender registry. A person convicted of possessing child pornography, soliciting a minor to engage in sexual conduct, or using a minor in a pornographic work may have to register as a predatory offender.  Possible Defenses to Sexting The sexting laws for adults differ from the laws applying to children involved in sexting. Consent is not a defense to sexting unless both parties are adults. Consent might be a defense to distributing private sexual images as well. Minnesota law does not recognize accidental viewing or possession of a pornographic image as a defense. However, a skilled criminal defense lawyer could argue that the person who viewed the image unintentionally should not be convicted of the crime. The First Amendment may also give rise to defenses in certain cases. Entrapment could be a valid defense to crimes like dissemination or creation, but not possession of child pornography.  Law enforcement investigators will examine phones, computers, tablets, and other electronic devices and account information to obtain evidence. The investigators must first obtain a search warrant or the individual’s consent to examine any electronic device suspected of containing contraband. Filing motions to suppress evidence found on electronic devices could be a successful line of defense. If the judge rules the police did not have probable cause to get a search warrant or your consent was ineffective, the judge must exclude all evidence illegally seized from the trial.  Every case is different. Talking with a seasoned Minnesota criminal defense attorney about your specific case is the best way to understand which defenses might apply in your particular situation. Ask Us Any Questions You May Have The Minnesota criminal defense lawyers with Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., are available to discuss your case with you as soon as possible. Waiting to see what happens could be devastating. Call 651-222-6603 today to speak with an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney about whether you could face charges for sexting.

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Workers’ Compensation Light Duty Work | What Is It?

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If you’ve been injured in a work accident, you are probably concerned about how long it will take for you to get back to work. Even if you are not fully healed, you may be able to return to work with certain limitations. Your doctor will assess your situation and recommend specific restrictions. Then you may be able to return to work under these restrictions with workers’ compensation light duty work. What Is Light Duty Work? Light duty work is a modified version of your current position or an entirely new job. Your employer will consider your physical limitations and offer a variation of your current position or a new position that suits your needs. Depending on your situation, you may need to perform less physical work or work shorter hours. Your employer should be willing to help you during this time. Should your employer not take your limitations seriously, do not hesitate to contact a workers’ compensation attorney. Examples of Light Duty Work Light duty work can look very different depending on the type of work. Some examples of light duty work include: Working a desk job, Performing office duties, Taking inventory, and Answering telephones. Depending on the type of work you do, your employer will know how to cater to your physical needs. If your employer cannot tailor your current position, they may assign you to an entirely new job until you can return to work with no limitations.  Does Light Duty Work Affect Your Benefits? Light duty work may affect your workers’ compensation benefits. If you are making less than you were before your accident, you may be eligible to receive lost wage benefits. However, if you are earning the same or more than you were earning before your accident, you will not be able to receive any lost wage benefits. Turning down light duty work may negatively impact your workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer offers you light duty work acceptable for your limitations and you do not accept, you might lose your right to collect lost wage benefits altogether. Act Quickly If your employer is willing to offer workers’ comp light duty work suitable for you and your physical restrictions, act promptly and accept it. An employer may work with their employee to come up with a mutually agreeable start date. Once all details are set, the employer will expect the employee to show up to work. Failing to do so may result in the employer rescinding their offer and negatively impact your workers’ compensation benefits.  Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney If You Need Help Workers’ compensation can be frustrating and confusing. Should you need help with your claim or benefits, contact a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. They will work with you to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve.  Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., has over a decade of experience helping clients navigate workers’ compensation claims. We pride ourselves on offering the specialized attention and dedication you won’t find at the large firms. Our team strives to be open and accessible to clients when they need us most. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your case.

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Is Resisting Arrest a Felony or Misdemeanor in MN?

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Minnesota had its share of clashes between citizens and law enforcement over the last year. Regrettably, the clashes started when police used excessive force to restrain a person under arrest and that person died. That person’s name is George Floyd. The police claimed George Floyd resisted. From that incident, the country became acutely aware that excessive police use of force is real. Police sometimes claim people resist arrest to justify using excessive force. If you were arrested for resisting arrest or obstructing arrest in Minnesota, you might be wondering: Why was I arrested for resisting arrest? What is resisting arrest? Is resisting arrest a felony or misdemeanor in Minnesota? What is the punishment for resisting arrest? How could I get resisting arrest charges dropped? The Minnesota criminal defense lawyers with Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will use their decades of experience and knowledge gained by defending hundreds of cases to fight for justice on your behalf. They will explain the charges, consult with you to develop a defense strategy, and tirelessly work to get the best result for you. What Is Resisting Arrest? Resisting arrest in Minnesota is also called obstructing legal process, arrest, or firefighting. A person is guilty of obstructing legal process if they intentionally obstruct, resist, or interfere with a police officer in the performance of legal duties, or obstruct, hinder, or prevent a person’s apprehension on a criminal charge.  The Minnesota legislature intentionally wrote the law in very broad terms. Under the law, resisting arrest means: Refusing to be handcuffed; Refusing to surrender; Struggling with the police; Wrestling or fighting with the police; or Somehow preventing the police from making an arrest. Acts such as running from police, refusing to stop for police, and escape from a detention facility are crimes governed by other Minnesota laws. Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Minnesota The possible sanctions for resisting depend on the severity and dangerousness of the conduct alleged by police. Minnesota law punishes resisting arrest as a felony if: The person knew or should have known the act created a risk of death, substantial bodily harm, or significant damage to property; or The act did cause death, serious bodily injury, or substantial property damage. Felony resisting arrest carries a maximum state prison term of five years, a fine up to $10,000, or both fine and imprisonment. Resisting arrest is a gross misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in prison, a $3,000 fine, or both if the act or threat was forceful or violent but did not cause death, substantial bodily injury, or substantial property damage. Otherwise, misdemeanor resisting arrest carries a maximum sentence of 90 days, a $1,000 fine, or both. Defenses to Resisting Arrest in Minnesota Even if the police made a mistake, no one should resist law enforcement’s attempts to arrest a person. Minnesota law favors resorting to the court system to resolve disputes and rights violations instead of fighting with police on the street. In reality, individuals will stand up for their rights if they feel that they are being abused. A person charged with resisting arrest could argue self-defense at trial, especially if the police were abusive. They can also argue that the officer exaggerated or fabricated the charges. An accused may also argue the police officer was not performing official legal duties during the incident that led to the alleged resisting arrest. In other words, the defense can fight to establish the police officer had no legal authority for the actions that led to the alleged resisting of arrest. How Could a Lawyer Help? An experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney could explain to you how to get resisting arrest charges dropped. Negotiating with the prosecution for a reduced sentence to lesser charges could help you avoid a harsh prison sentence and avoid a felony conviction. Arguing motions to dismiss for a lack of probable cause could also help you get resisting arrest charges dropped before going to trial. Reach Out If You Need Help Arechigo & Stokka’s Minnesota resisting arrest defense lawyers are ready to use their tremendous experience and vast knowledge to get the best result for you. Contact Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., now by calling 651-222-6603 to learn more about how our firm can help you achieve the best result possible. 

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What Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation in St. Paul?

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Sometimes, no matter how careful and attentive you are, a workplace accident can occur. These accidents can leave you injured, frustrated, and unable to return to daily life. Fortunately, workers’ compensation may help ease the stresses and financial burden.  However, workers’ compensation does not cover all injuries. It is essential to know and understand the types of injuries that make an employee eligible for workers’ comp benefits.  Common Types of Accidents at Work Some employees have higher chances of work-related accidents than others, including construction workers, truck drivers, and warehouse workers. The most common causes of accidents at work include: Slip and falls, Falls from heights, Tool and equipment malfunctions, Lifting accidents, Electrocutions, and Items falling on employees. No two workplace accidents will look the same, and the kind of accident will depend on the industry and work environment.  Types of Work Injuries Injuries can also vary significantly by industry and type of accident. Some of the most common types of work-related injuries include: Back and spine injuries, Broken bones, Lacerations, Burns, Soft tissue injuries, and Traumatic brain injuries.  Work injuries are not only those that are seen and felt, like broken bones and laceration. Toxic exposure in the workplace that leads to specific health issues, including cancers, can also be covered by workers’ compensation.  If you are unsure whether workers’ compensation will cover your injury, speak to a St. Paul workers’ compensation attorney. What Is a Compensable Injury? In Minnesota, injuries must occur during the course of employment to be considered compensable. For an injury to be compensable: The injured party must be an employee, not an independent contractor; The injury must be the result of a work-related accident; and The injury must lead to some impairment and/or lost wages.  If the injury does not satisfy these requirements, it is considered a non-compensable injury, and the employee will be unlikely to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Can I Be Forced to Go Back to Work After an Injury? Whether or not you return to work will depend on the severity of your injuries and your doctor’s recommendations. If your injuries are severe and impose limitations on your physical activity, you will not be expected to return to work. However, if your injuries do not stop you from working altogether, you may need to return to work. Every time you visit your doctor for your work injury, they will assess your physical health. They will determine whether you should take time off work, if you can return to work with some restrictions, or if you can work with no limitations.  If your doctor decides you are well enough to return to work, either with or without restrictions, you will need to go back to work. If you do not return to work, you will risk losing your workers’ compensation benefits.  Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today Workers’ compensation can be tricky to navigate, and you don’t want to risk losing your benefits. It is best to seek the help of a workers’ compensation attorney. Your attorney will help ensure you take the necessary steps to receive all your benefits.  Arechigo and Stokka, P.A., has been working with injured clients for over a decade. We offer clients the time and dedication they deserve while fighting tirelessly for their rights. Our team knows the impact an injury can have on clients and their families, and we’re always ready to help when they need it most. Contact us today to discuss your case. 

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How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in St. Paul, MN?

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If you have been charged with a crime in Minnesota, one of the first questions on your mind is likely, how much does a criminal lawyer cost?  The amount a defense attorney charges can vary depending on a number of case-specific factors, such as the number and severity of charges filed by the state, the location of your case, the likelihood of a trial, the extent of pre-trial motion hearings, and the overall complexity of the case. An attorney’s level of expertise and experience also factors into a fee for representation. When you meet with potential lawyers, you should ask them questions that will help you determine what your criminal defense attorney will cost. Hiring a good defense lawyer can make a significant difference to the outcome of your case. You need the best possible representation at a reasonable price. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have decades of experience successfully defending people against criminal charges in St. Paul and throughout Minnesota. What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do? Criminal defense attorneys have one responsibility: protect their clients’ constitutional rights.  The legal system in Minnesota is too complicated for a person who lacks the necessary experience to navigate. A St. Paul defense attorney who has represented hundreds of clients successfully in the Minnesota criminal justice system can help you make the right choices by offering sound legal advice. An aggressive St. Paul criminal defense lawyer will devise a sound strategy to align with your desired outcome. The stakes are high in a criminal case. The accused faces possible jail or prison time, the imposition of fines, probation, and the lasting impact of a criminal record, if convicted. Most people do not consider the consequences of a conviction beyond the punishment levied by a judge. Every person facing a criminal charge must also be aware of collateral consequences, such as immigration consequences and the potential to lose a driver’s license or professional license. Criminal charges could mean job loss, loss of educational opportunities, and strained family relationships, depending on the allegations. A dedicated St. Paul, MN criminal defense lawyer will advise you of all of your rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney who is genuinely concerned about you will take the time to explain all of your options and the consequences of the choices, so you and your family can make an informed decision.  How Much Do Lawyers Cost for Criminal Defense? Our clients always ask about our criminal defense attorney fees. We understand that our clients have much to consider when deciding if it makes sense for them to hire a criminal defense lawyer. We base our fee structure on the severity of the charges and the complexity of the case. Some felony cases will require more investigation, motion work, preparation, and trial time. Other cases, such as misdemeanors, are less complicated and could be handled quickly. We can discuss our fee structure during our free consultation. How Do the Fees for a Criminal Lawyer Work? Our mission is to provide people who face criminal charges or are under investigation for a criminal offense in St. Paul, the best representation possible. The average criminal defense attorney fees we charge depend on the particular case. We will work with you and your family to develop a fee structure that ensures you have excellent legal representation throughout your case.  Protecting your rights and preserving your freedom remains our priority.  Is Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Worth It? Each person brought before the court on a criminal charge with the possibility of facing jail time has the right to be represented by counsel. A person facing criminal charges has three options. They can hire a private lawyer, ask for a public defender, or proceed without a lawyer, which is called “pro se.”    Self-representation in a St. Paul criminal case could be dangerous. A pro se defendant must know all the relevant laws and procedural rules. Pro se defendants do not receive a break because they are not lawyers. A public defender may save you money, but may not get you the best outcome. Well-intentioned but highly overworked lawyers staff the public defender’s office. Your case is one of many a public defender must handle. There are also income limitations to qualify for a public defender. Hiring your own lawyer gives you the best chance of a positive outcome. You will receive the personal attention you deserve when you hire a St. Paul criminal defense lawyer.  Reach Out If You Need Help Contact the experienced and tenacious St. Paul criminal defense attorneys from Arechigo & Stokka today. Fill out our online form or call us at (651) 362-4355 for a free consultation. We can answer additional questions you have about how much does a criminal lawyer cost after we have gathered relevant information about your case. Additionally, we will discuss all your options and a plan to develop a successful defense strategy. You can rely on our extensive criminal defense experience to fight for the most advantageous outcome for you.

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How Does Probation Work in St. Paul, MN?

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If you have been charged with a crime or already sentenced to probation, you may be wondering, how does probation work? Probation can help you avoid jail time, but you need to comply with specific conditions. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your obligations and avoid the consequences that may result from a probation violation. What Is Probation? Probation is one type of punishment for a criminal offense. Probation is an alternative to jail or prison and is often an option for first-time offenders. The sentencing judge decides the length of probation and the terms the probationer must complete. A violation of the conditions could lead to revocation of probation and incarceration. What Are the Probation Rules in St. Paul, MN? The judge at sentencing sets the terms of probation and establishes probation conditions. Any violation of the probationary conditions could result in a revocation of probation. Customary conditions of probation include: Obey all laws, including local, state, and federal laws; Pay all fines and fees; Attend substance abuse treatment or counseling; Attend mental health counseling, including treatment for anger management and batterer’s programs; Refrain from possessing or using firearms or ammunition, Remain alcohol and drug-free; Submit to chemical testing to ensure compliance with abstinence requirements; Meet with a probation officer regularly; Do not leave the state of Minnesota without permission of the probation officer; Report to probation after release from incarceration;  Provide a sample of your DNA; and Notify probation of any violations, including being charged with a criminal offense. The sentencing judge may impose specific conditions of probation as well. Specific conditions of probation are directly tied to the underlying criminal offense.  Judges often impose specific probation conditions to reform the offender, protect crime victims, and prevent further criminal activity. Specific, or “special” conditions of probation often include: Submit to electronic monitoring by wearing a GPS device; Stay away from as well as have no contact with the victim and witnesses (even if the victim and witnesses are part of the offender’s family); Pay restitution, if necessary; Stay away from and have no unsupervised visitation with children under a certain age; Stay away from specific geographical locations like the victim’s home or place of business; and Submit to home confinement or curfew. The special conditions of probation can be demanding and must not be taken lightly. Any violation could lead to severe legal trouble. Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 27.04 gives a probationer the right to have the representation of counsel during a probation revocation hearing. Having an aggressive and experienced St. Paul probation violation lawyer represent you is vital to helping you avoid incarceration for a probation violation. What Are the Different Types of Probation? Minnesota recognizes two types of probation. Probation in Minnesota could be either supervised or unsupervised. Unsupervised probation usually requires the probationer to pay fees and to remain out of trouble. Probationers on unsupervised probation do not have a requirement to meet with a probation officer. People on unsupervised probation can be found in violation of probation and receive an incarcerated sentence. Probationers on supervised probation must meet with their probation officer and perform all of the conditions required.  What Happens on Probation in St. Paul, MN? You should expect your assigned probation officer to watch you closely, especially if you are new to probation. What happens on probation largely depends on the charges. You should anticipate meeting with your probation officer regularly. Your probation officer might force you to find employment or pursue an education. Your probation officer should encourage you to ask questions, especially about how does probation work. They can help you understand the probation rules if you are unsure. Minnesota law authorizes a probation officer to ask for a summons or warrant if the officer receives information about a violation of conditions. The probation officer could ask for detention before a revocation hearing upon the probationer’s first appearance in court. The State has to prove the probationer violated a condition of probation. The probationer has due process rights, including a right to counsel, a right to notice of the allegations, a right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and a right to testify or not.  The judge has several options when ruling on a probation violation. The judge could either dismiss the revocation proceedings for lack of evidence or rule that the probationer violated probation terms. If the judge finds the probationer violated the terms of probation, then the judge can: Reinstate and extend probation, order new conditions, or adjust current conditions; Revoke the probation and order incarceration but stay the execution of the sentence; or Revoke probation and incarcerate the probationer. Your criminal defense attorney can advocate for you at a probation revocation hearing and try to help you avoid having your probation revoked. How Long Is Probation? The answer to the question, How long is probation? is that it depends on several factors. Minnesota Statutes section 609.135, sub. 2 specifies how long probation might last for certain crimes. Probation for a felony charge in Minnesota can last four years or for the duration of the maximum sentence for the crime charged, whichever is the longer term. Probation for convictions of felony criminal vehicular charges could last up to six years.  The maximum term of probation for a gross misdemeanor conviction is two years. However, the maximum term of probation could be up to six years for certain crimes relating to driving while impaired, criminal vehicular operation, and 5th-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Probation for a simple misdemeanor is one year. Exceptions to the one-year maximum include certain crimes for driving while impaired, interfering with privacy, obscene phone calls, indecent exposure, and domestic assault.  Reach Out to Arechigo & Stokka If You Need Help A judge has wide latitude when handling a probation violation in Minnesota. Contact the experienced and savvy St. Paul probation violation defense attorney at Arechigo & Stokka at (651) 222-6603 or online now. We know how to help you avoid going to jail or...

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What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in MN?

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If you suffer a job-related injury, workers’ compensation insurance could provide some benefits that can assist with your medical expenses and the time you miss from work. However, there are strict eligibility rules, and navigating the claims process can be frustrating. Understandably, many injured workers are left trying to figure out, What does workers’ comp cover? If you have questions about pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, contact an experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney.   What Does Workers’ Compensation Insurance Cover? If you are eligible, your workers’ compensation benefits can cover: Medical treatment, Loss of earnings, Any ongoing care costs, and Funeral expenses. Some workers’ compensation claims are not related to a single accident or traumatic event. Instead, they develop over time. Some illnesses would qualify for benefits if you suffered exposure to harmful substances or chemicals. If a medical doctor diagnoses you with a condition connected to your work-related activities, workers’ compensation benefits would likely provide some assistance with your treatment and time off work.  Repetitive injury claims also fall under workers’ compensation. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome can take years to develop in some cases. If your job involves a lot of typing, workers’ compensation may pay for some of your treatment costs. In some cases, injuries or illness are severe enough that you are temporarily disabled. In that case, workers’ compensation could potentially pay for some of your missed wages during your disability period as well as your treatment. What Does Workers’ Compensation Not Cover? Workers’ comp benefits won’t cover you for injuries you sustain outside of work. Additionally, benefits won’t apply if you: Were intoxicated or using illegal drugs at the time; Intentionally hurt yourself; Were injured during the commission of a crime; Started a fight; or Violated company policy. If you are worried about a denial, it’s better to be honest upfront. If you try to cover up your actions and someone figures it out, you could be facing a coverage denial even if your claim was valid. Who Gets Workers’ Comp? In general, Minnesota Workers’ compensation laws state that employers must purchase applicable coverage or be self-insured. However, some employers may be exempt from carrying coverage. Federal government employees are also not covered under state-run benefits programs. Instead, federal employees have benefits under federal workers’ comp. Minnesota law excludes specific categories of workers from workers’ comp benefits as well. The exclusions can apply to people who are associated with the following business types, depending on their role in the company, their relationship to the company owners, and the size of the company: Family farm corporations, Sole proprietors and partnerships, Closely held corporations, and Limited liability companies. In some cases, employers who wish to include categories of workers excluded from workers’ comp can take steps to have them listed as eligible for benefits. Some employers elect to do this if they have independent contractors, seasonal workers, domestic workers, etc. If you fall under one of these categories and suffer a job-related injury, ask about potential coverage. How Does the Workers’ Compensation Coverage Process Work in MN? You must report your accident or condition to your employer within 14 days of the injury. For repetitive injuries or occupational diseases, your date of injury is when you knew or should’ve learned that you had work-related injuries. Once you have reported the information, your employer will fill out a form and send it to the insurance company. Provided your injury wasn’t severe and required immediate transport to the hospital, the insurance company will advise whether you are approved for benefits and provide a list of doctors within the plan. Typically, you are expected to see a doctor covered under the plan, unless there is no listed medical provider within 30 to 50 miles from your home. If your benefits are denied, you have the right to file a formal appeal with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.   I Wasn’t Injured at My Workplace; What Does Workers’ Comp Cover? There may be coverage for someone who wasn’t injured at their place of employment in some cases. Were you still in the course and scope of your employment but somewhere else? If so, then your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should provide coverage. Maybe you were out at a training session, speaking at an event, or driving a company vehicle on your way to the office after visiting a job site. Injuries occurring during any of these events could potentially trigger workers’ compensation benefits. Why Would I Need a Workers’ Comp Attorney? Unfortunately, it’s common to have a legitimate claim for benefits denied by the insurance company. The appeals process can be complicated. You want an experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits attorney on your side who can help you through the process.  If you need assistance with a workers’ compensation claim, contact the Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka. We have decades of experience handling workers’ compensation denials. Let us put our experience to work for you and help you get the benefits you’re entitled to after a work-related injury.  

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Is There Workers’ Compensation for Independent Contractors?

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Workers’ compensation coverage will provide benefits to an employee who suffers a work-related injury or illness. In most cases, workers’ comp insurance for independent contractors does not exist. This means that independent contractors are not usually eligible for workers’ compensation, but there are some exceptions. If you disagree that you’re an independent contractor, workers’ compensation benefits may be available if you can prove you’re an employee. To learn more about workers’ compensation for independent contractors, contact a skilled Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney.    Are Independent Contractors Covered by Workers’ Comp? The law doesn’t require employers to purchase workers’ compensation for independent contractors. This coverage is typically reserved for employees only. However, some employers choose to buy coverage that would extend to independent contractors. Independent contractors can also purchase their own policy that would cover them in the event of an injury on the job.   Sometimes, employers try to classify workers as independent contractors who are actually employees. In some instances, the misclassification is a mistake, but other times it’s intentional. By categorizing employees as independent contractors, employers get out of paying benefits and additional taxes.   Independent Contractors and Employees Answering some questions can help determine whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor. The most critical factors to look at are:  Payment—Is payment by the job, or do you receive wages, either hourly or salary? Control and Direction—How much control do you have over your own work? Equipment—Do you provide your own equipment, or does the employer provide it? Training and Character of Work—Is your work highly skilled, and do you only perform a single job while working for multiple companies? Answering these questions can help determine whether you are an employee who is misclassified as an independent contractor. If you find that your employer dictates these factors, then you are likely an employee. Some employers might have you sign an agreement that says you are an independent contractor, but that’s not enough to override the laws that determine whether you’re an employee or not. If you feel your employer wrongfully denied your benefits due to independent contractor status, you need to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney right away.   When Are You Entitled to Workers’ Comp in Minnesota? You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are an employee who suffers a work-related injury or sickness. Workers’ comp can cover some expenses like your medical and rehabilitation costs, and it can replace a portion of your lost wages.

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