Sexual Assault Vs Sexual Battery in Minnesota

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Anyone accused of a sex crime will face a great deal of uncertainty and will likely have a lot of questions. The laws in this area vary from state to state, and there is a lot of misleading information on the topic.  We have tried to provide answers to some of the common questions that arise. However, because a conviction carries serious consequences, a person accused or charged with a sex crime should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Assault Vs Battery Generally In general, assault and battery are two separate crimes. Typically, assault involves a threat of any violence that causes fear of physical harm. On the other hand, battery is the physical act itself. For example, a threat to punch someone is assault, while the punch is the battery.  Minnesota criminal law does not divide the two into separate crimes. In Minnesota, you can face a relatively similar criminal charge for physically attacking someone as you would if you threatened to assault someone. On the other hand, threatening violence with the intent to terrorize a person is a separate crime. There are subtle differences in the law between a threat and a physical act that can drastically change the type of criminal charge you may face. Sexual Battery Vs Sexual Assault Some states also use assault and battery to define sex crimes.  When this is the case, sexual assault typically involves less severe behavior, such as non-consensual sexual touching. Sexual battery, on the other hand, generally refers to more serious criminal behavior, up to or including rape. Minnesota Sexual Assault Laws In Minnesota, crimes of sexual assault, sexual battery, and rape are all classified as criminal sexual conduct. Criminal sexual conduct can be in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree. First-degree criminal sexual conduct consists of the most serious criminal behavior, such as rape and child sexual abuse. Consent Consent is a critical determining factor in assessing whether a sexual conduct crime has been committed. It is also a common defense against such accusations.  Because of this, consent (or lack of) is often a hotly debated and confusing element in a sex crime case. In Minnesota, consent is agreeing, in words or actions, to any sexual act. A prior relationship—sexual, romantic, or otherwise—by itself is not consent to any sexual act. However, the existence of a prior romantic relationship may help form the foundation for the explanation of consent as a defense to an accusation of sexual assault. Additionally, consent cannot be freely given if an individual is incapacitated or impaired in some way. For example, someone cannot always freely give consent if they have a developmental disability or mental illness. A person also cannot freely give consent when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, whether or not they chose to use them. Defenses Defenses against an accusation of criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota include innocence, insanity or mental incapacitation, mistaken age (in very limited circumstances), and, most commonly, consent.  Contact Our Team Today An accusation or conviction of a criminal sex offense is a serious matter. These crimes are aggressively prosecuted in Minnesota. They should not be taken lightly. Charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, and a conviction can carry a sentence of up to thirty years imprisonment.  If you or a loved one has been accused of committing a criminal sex offense, you need an attorney with experience in the area. The attorney must be detail-oriented, accessible, and thorough. Arechigo & Stokka has successfully defended hundreds of clients in criminal cases. Many successful defenses have involved accusations of sex crimes, including high-profile cases in this area.  We are dedicated to being there for you every step of the way and pride ourselves on the access we give our clients. Read testimonials from prior clients, check out our Youtube channel, Facebook profile, or Twitter account to get to know us, and contact our firm today.

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How Long Can the Police Detain You?

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The duration of the vehicle stop depends on the initial reason for the traffic stop and any other criminal suspicion that develops after the stop.   The Minnesota Supreme Court states that the duration of the vehicle stop must be temporary and cannot last any longer than is necessary to investigate the initial reason for the traffic stop.   However, there is no concrete time limit for a lawful length of a traffic stop. The police need to suspect other criminal activity separate from the reason for the initial traffic stop before they can continue to lawfully detain the vehicle beyond the time it would have taken to write a traffic citation.   Examples for Determining How Long Minnesota Police Can Detain You In determining how long can police detain you for failing to use a blinker while turning, the officer cannot approach the vehicle and ask the driver if there are drugs in the car.   That would be an unlawful expansion of the reason for the traffic stop.   The officer stopped the vehicle for not using a blinker, not because he suspected there were drugs in the car.   Before the officer can expand the duration of the traffic stop, he would need a reason to believe there were drugs in the car.   If the officer thought he smelled marijuana in the vehicle then he could question the driver about having drugs.   In this situation, the officer could detain the driver as long as the officer acted to confirm his suspicions of drugs in the car.   How long police can detain you or your vehicle increases with each additional suspicion of criminal activity. How Long Should a Traffic Stop Last? The duration of the traffic stop will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual traffic stop situation.   In one case, the Minnesota Supreme Court held a 61-minute traffic stop to be lawful under the circumstances. If you find yourself in the middle of a traffic stop, it is important to remember that you DO NOT have to answer any of the officer’s questions.   You have the absolute right to remain silent.   In most cases, it is in your best interests not to answer any questions.   Instead, simply tell the officer that you are not going to answer any questions without St. Paul, MN criminal defense lawyer present.   After that, call the St. Paul criminal defense lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka.   Our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers will advise you on how to handle the situation and tell you what to say if anything.   If you find yourself arrested or facing criminal charges following your traffic stop, our St. Paul criminal defense lawyers will investigate the reasons behind the initial traffic stop and the officer’s reasons for expanding the length of the stop.   If the officer unlawfully expanded the duration of your traffic stop, our St. Paul criminal defense lawyers will fight to have the evidence suppressed. Contact our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers today if you or someone you know recently faced an expanded traffic stop.

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St. Paul, Minnesota Terroristic Threats Statute

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The Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute punishes anyone who “threatens, directly or indirectly, to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.” The offense is a felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison.   In order to convict someone under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute, the state must prove that the defendant: Threatened to commit a crime of violence; and Made that threat with either Specific intent to cause extreme fear in another, or Reckless disregard of the risk that it would have that effect. THE MOST COMMONLY SEEN THREAT THAT LEADS TO A CHARGE OF TERRORISTIC THREATS IS A THREAT TO KILL SOMEONE. During an argument – domestic or otherwise – if a person tells someone, “I’m going to kill you,” or “You make me so mad, I could kill you sometimes,” or any type of similar threat to commit a crime of violence, the speaker will almost certainly face a charge of Terroristic Threats under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute. Speaker’s Intent and Defense Charges of Terroristic Threats The speakers’ intent and the context in which the threat was made both be a defense to a charge of terroristic threats. As noted above, the state has to prove that the speaker made the threat with either a specific intent to cause extreme fear in another or with reckless disregard of the risk of causing extreme fear in another. The context in which the threat was made is a factor in determining the speaker’s intent. In State v. Balster, the Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that the context in which it is uttered determines whether the speaker intends the literal meaning or a harmless expression of anger, frustration, or annoyance. This is sometimes referred to as “transitory anger.” “TRANSITORY ANGER” IS NOT FOUND IN THE MINNESOTA TERRORISTIC THREATS STATUTE, BUT IT IS A PART OF THE HISTORY OF THE CRIME OF TERRORISTIC THREATS IN MINNESOTA. Prior cases have concluded that the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute is designed to punish threats that are “more serious than would be covered by petty offenses like disorderly conduct or breach of the peace.” The statute is not intended to apply to “the kind of verbal threat which expresses transitory anger rather than [the] settled purpose to carry out the threat or to terrorize the other person.” Most Terroristic Threats charges will turn on whether the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant made the threat with the required intent to make the subject of the threat extremely fearful.   The defendant, through his or her lawyer, would most certainly urge the jury that the speaker’s threat was a harmless expression of anger, frustration, or annoyance. CONTACT US Contact our Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation if you or someone you know if facing a charge under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute.   We’ve had terroristic threats charges dismissed for clients. We know how to defend against this charge.

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Is Sexual Assault a Felony or Misdemeanor in Minnesota?

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Sexual assault, also called criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota, refers to alleged sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the consent of the victim. Allegations can include: Unwanted sexual touching; Forcing the victim to perform unwanted sexual acts; and  Penetration of the victim’s body. Minnesota law splits sexual assault into five degrees depending on the circumstances of the alleged act. First-degree through fourth-degree sexual assault are felonies, while fifth-degree sexual assault is a gross misdemeanor or felony depending on the situation. If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, you should contact a sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. First-Degree Sexual Assault First-degree sexual assault is the most serious form of sexual assault in Minnesota. It involves an allegation of sexual penetration of any person or an allegation of sexual contact with a minor under 13 years old. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a first-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16, the accused was in a position of authority over the victim, and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused had a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use the weapon to force the victim to submit to the act. First-degree sexual assault carries a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Second-Degree Sexual Assault Second-degree sexual assault covers alleged sexual contact under at least one of the circumstances also applicable to first-degree sexual assault. It carries a maximum punishment of up to 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. Third-Degree Sexual Assault Third-degree sexual assault involves sexual penetration of any person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a third-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than two years older than the victim; or The accused knew or had reason to know that the victim was mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. Third-degree sexual assault carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault Fourth-degree sexual assault involves sexual contact with another person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a fourth-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused used force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact. It carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Fifth-Degree Sexual Assault Acts that constitute an allegation of fifth-degree sexual assault include: Nonconsensual sexual contact; or Knowingly masturbating or exposing one’s genitals in the presence of a minor under 16 years old. When charged as a gross misdemeanor, it carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. When charged as a felony, it carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. Can I Get Sexual Assault Charges Dropped or Reduced? Depending on the facts of your case, an attorney might get your sexual assault charges dropped or reduced. However, getting your charges dropped or reduced can be difficult because key defenses do not apply in sexual assault cases. For example, consent is not an available defense to allegations involving minors and some cases involving alleged intoxication. The defense known as “mistake of age” is also generally unavailable in sexual assault charges involving minors. You should speak with a sexual assault lawyer today to get a betters sense of what defenses are available in your individual case. How the Sexual Assault Lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., Can Help You If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, our sexual assault lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed. We will thoroughly explain your options to you so that you can make informed decisions throughout your case. We have achieved many positive results for our clients because of our experience in the Minnesota criminal justice system and dedication to our individual clients’ needs. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Tips for Hiring the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in MN

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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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Minnesota Domestic Assault

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MINNESOTA STATUTE 609.2242 CONTAINS THE MINNESOTA DOMESTIC ASSAULT LAW. In Minnesota, Domestic Assault can receive a charge as either a Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor, or Felony.   The severity of a assault charge will depend on the offender’s prior criminal history, if any. Domestic Assault in Minnesota is referred to as an “enhanceable” offense.   This means that the more domestic assault convictions a person has, the more severe new charges become.  And, as you can imagine, increased penalties accompany a more severe charge. MN DOMESTIC ASSUALT FAQ A FIRST-TIME CHARGE OF DOMESTIC ASSAULT IN MN TYPICALLY GETS TREATMENT AS A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE. A person could face a Felony charge of Third Degree Assault if the victim suffered “substantial bodily harm.” A first-time Misdemeanor charge of domestic assault typically results from an act causing fear of immediate bodily harm in a family or household member. Or when intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon a family or household member.   The level of harm inflicted will control the severity level of the charge.  If the victim alleges the accused choked, strangled, or otherwise impeded the victim’s airway during an assault, the accused could end up facing a charge of Minnesota Domestic Assault by Strangulation. This is a Felony offense and is separate from a charge of domestic assault. In order to end up facing a charge of Misdemeanor Minnesota Domestic Assault, the alleged victim of the offense must be either a family or household member of the accused’s.   If the victim is not a family or household member, then the accused will most likely end up facing a charge of Fifth Degree Assault (assuming the victim did not suffer substantial bodily harm). If the current charge of Domestic Assault is the accused’s second domestic assault charge – and the accused was convicted of a prior Domestic Assault charge within the previous ten years – then the current offense will be charged as a Gross Misdemeanor offense.   Also, If convicted of a second Domestic Assault charge within a ten year period, the offender will face a minimum of 20 days in jail. The penalties can increase depending on the circumstances of each individual Minnesota Domestic Assault case.  Three MN Domestic Assault convictions in a ten year period will result in a Felony conviction. This will trigger significant penalties. MN DOMESTIC ASSUALT FAQ A MINNESOTA DOMESTIC ASSAULT CONVICTION ALSO TRIGGERS FIREARM RESTRICTIONS. If someone uses a firearm during the commission of the Domestic Assault offense, the court may order that the firearm be forfeited. This means the state would seize the firearm and the offender would no longer own the weapon. Even if a firearm was not used during the assault, an offender may be prohibited from possessing a firearm for up to three years following a Domestic Assault conviction. A MN Domestic Assault charge is a very serious criminal offense, even if it is a first-time Misdemeanor offense.  If charged with Domestic Assault, you need an experienced Minnesota criminal defense lawyer on your side.   Our St. Paul criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled numerous Domestic Assault cases. At Arechigo & Stokka, our aggressive criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your allegations. We take the time and have the experience to prepare a solid defense.   Contact us today if you or someone you know if facing a Minnesota Domestic Assault charge.

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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 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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Is Wax a Felony in Minnesota?

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Possessing marijuana wax in any amount qualifies you for felony charges in Minnesota.  You will also face felony charges if you distribute or sell wax (also known as “dabs”), THC oil, or other alternative forms of marijuana. If you are convicted, you will face substantial penalties that can seriously affect your life. Fortunately, a Minnesota drug possession lawyer can help you by building a strong case for your defense. What Are the Penalties for Wax Possession? Any offense involving the possession of marijuana in resin or hash oil form – including wax – can result in felony charges. Although possessing the plant form of marijuana in small quantities carries only petty misdemeanor charges, even the smallest amount of wax can send you to prison for years. The level of felony charges you face for possessing wax will depend on the quantity in question, your prior criminal history, and the circumstances of your arrest.  Even the least of the potential felony charges carries the threat of five years in prison and fines up to $10,000. For larger quantities, you could face up to 30 years behind bars and as much as $1,000,000 in fines. If you have prior convictions on your record, you can expect to face the maximum penalties. What Are the Penalties for Distributing Wax? Selling or distributing wax and other non-plant forms of marijuana carries even harsher penalties, especially when larger quantities are involved. The maximum penalty could lead to 35 years in prison and a fine of $1,250,000.  Any quantity sold to a minor or distributed in a school zone can lead to 15 to 20 years in prison and fines that range up to $250,000. Costs & Consequences of a Wax-Related Crime Upon conviction for a wax-related felony, you also face a variety of consequences in addition to fines and potential prison time. You will have a permanent criminal record, which can prevent you from getting a job, getting into a good school, holding a professional license, and more. You could lose your driver’s license, and in some cases, the state could even seize your property and assets, depending on the circumstances of your case. How Does Medical Marijuana Affect Wax? If you are medically qualified for marijuana use, you can legally possess small quantities of wax. To avoid facing misdemeanor or felony wax charges, you must be duly enrolled and in compliance with the applicable medical marijuana regulations. Potential Defenses Against Wax Charges Fortunately, drug crimes lawyers have many options when building a defense to felony wax charges. For example, an illegal search and seizure can render evidence inadmissible in court. Likewise, if the police fail to properly handle the evidence, it may also become inadmissible. Another effective defense strategy involves the location in which the police found the wax. If you did not have physical control of the substance (such as in a pocket or purse), your lawyer can potentially make the case that the wax wasn’t yours. If the police violated your legal rights at any time during your arrest or processing, you may also have grounds for getting your charges reduced or dismissed.   When Should You Call a Drug Crimes Lawyer? Being arrested for any drug-related crime is a serious situation. Before you make any statements or agree to any plea deal, talk to a Minnesota marijuana crimes lawyer. At Arechigo & Stokka, our criminal defense attorneys understand the seriousness of your situation. That’s why we offer a free consultation, so you can understand the charges pending against you and your potential options. Call us now for help.

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Maximum Sentence for Misdemeanor in Minnesota

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However, when speaking of possible sentences for misdemeanor criminal convictions in Minnesota, there is a broad range of possible sentences.   District courts have wide discretion in deciding which conditions to place on a person convicted of a misdemeanor in Minnesota.   THE MAXIMUM SENTENCE FOR MISDEMEANOR IN MINNESOTA IS 90 DAYS IN JAIL AND A $1,000.00 FINE These conditions can include random drug or alcohol testing, payment of restitution, and no contact with certain individuals, to name just a few. For the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor conviction in Minnesota, a court cannot impose more than a 90-day jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.   If a judge imposes the maximum sentence and orders the convicted individual to serve 90 days in jail, the judge cannot also impose conditions such as random drug or alcohol testing.   A person convicted of a misdemeanor in Minnesota has the option to execute the maximum 90-day jail sentence. If executed, the judge cannot order probation or additional conditions to be imposed after the 90 days have been served. SOME CRIMES IN MINNESOTA ARE ENHANCEABLE OFFENSES This means that the more you get, the worse the punishment gets.  DWI and Domestic Assault are probably the most common enhanceable offenses.   If a person is convicted of a first-time misdemeanor Domestic Assault offense, the maximum sentence that could be imposed is 90 days in jail.   However, if that same individual is convicted of a subsequent Domestic Assault offense within ten years of the misdemeanor conviction, that second offense will be enhanced to a gross misdemeanor and will carry increased penalties. In addition to a 90-day jail maximum sentence for a misdemeanor in Minnesota, there are additional penalties that could come into play for a conviction of certain types of offenses These additional penalties are commonly referred to as “collateral consequences.”   Again, DWI and Domestic Assault or probably the most common types of offenses that trigger collateral consequences if convicted.   For example, certain firearm restrictions are triggered by a misdemeanor domestic assault conviction in Minnesota and driver’s license revocation issues pop up if convicted of a misdemeanor DWI. If you or someone you know is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge in Minnesota, you need an experienced  Minnesota criminal defense lawyer.   Our St. Paul criminal defense attorneys will answer all of your questions about your misdemeanor charge.   Our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys will prepare a strong and effective defense that will help you avoid the maximum sentence for your misdemeanor charge.   Contact our St. Paul criminal defense lawyers today to schedule your free consultation.

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