Minnesota Hit and Run Law

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You’re involved in an accident. Maybe you hit another car, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian. You panic and flee the scene. What are the consequences? Will you be arrested? Fined? Put in jail? Minnesota’s hit-and-run law spells out the potential consequences for leaving the scene of an accident.  Driver Obligations Under Minnesota’s Collision (Hit-and-Run) Law Minnesota’s traffic statutes set forth what drivers of a motor vehicle must do when involved in a collision. First, drivers in Minnesota must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the collision and investigate what they hit. Drivers should try not to obstruct other traffic following an accident. If it is necessary to stop a short distance from the collision, that is acceptable. Second, if the driver believes they may have injured someone or caused damage, the driver must stay at the scene of the accident. The driver may leave the scene only after they have shared their information with all individuals involved in the collision.The driver must provide his or her: Name, Date of birth, and Mailing address or e-mail address. The driver also must provide the license plate number of the vehicle being driven. If asked by a police officer, the driver must show their driver license. In addition, if requested, the driver must provide the name and address of the insurance company and agent that provides liability insurance for the vehicle. If the driver does not provide insurance information at the accident scene, the driver must provide it within 72 hours after the accident. Finally, when a collision causes injuries or death to another person, the driver must notify the police and file an accident report. Minnesota Hit-and-Run Law Involving Property Damage or Unattended Vehicles Drivers who are involved in an accident with an unattended vehicle or one that causes property damage are similarly required to stop their vehicles. They too must reasonably investigate any damage they caused. In these circumstances, the driver must try to locate and notify the owner of the unattended vehicle or damaged property. The driver then must provide his or her name and address to the owner and report the collision to law enforcement. If the owner cannot be found, the driver must leave a note on the car providing this information. Minnesota Hit-and-Run Penalties If you leave the scene of a vehicle accident, you could face significant criminal charges. The extent of the penalties for a hit and run in Minnesota depend largely on the severity of the injuries and property damage caused. For a misdemeanor hit and run, you may face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in prison. For cases involving severe injuries or death, you could face fines of up to $5,000 and up to three years in jail. In many hit-and-run cases, the state may revoke your driver’s license.  Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in Minnesota If you have been involved in a Minnesota hit-and-run accident, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to obtain the best possible outcome of your case. Contact us today for a free hit-and-run consultation. We are committed to providing each client with personal attention while understanding that every hit-and-run case can be unique. We will listen to the facts of your case and pursue options designed to meet the needs of you and your family. 

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Minnesota Extradition Laws

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A person can become a fugitive from justice if they are no longer in the state where an alleged criminal offense occurred. In some cases, a person may move to a different state without knowing the state has filed criminal charges against that person. Being a fugitive, however, does not mean the state cannot bring that person back to the state to face criminal charges. Most states have laws that allow the police to send a person accused of a crime back to the state where the crime occurred to stand trial. Minnesota is one of those states.  What Is Extradition? Extradition allows one state to turn over a person accused or convicted of a crime to the place where the person was charged or convicted. Importantly, this can involve two countries or two states. The laws of the countries or states involved in a particular transfer will determine how extradition takes place. What Laws Govern Extradition in Minnesota? When extradition involves the United States and another country, a criminal will be extradited according to an extradition treaty. But if there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and the other country, the suspect or convict may avoid trial or prison. Therefore, fugitives facing extradition to a foreign country should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows extradition treaties between countries. For extradition between Minnesota and another U.S. state, the individuall may be extradited under numerous laws. First, the U.S. Constitution includes an extradition clause that applies to all U.S. states. That clause requires states to return a person who has been charged in any state to the state having jurisdiction over the crime. Second, the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA) sets forth processes and requirements for extradition between the states. Minnesota is one of the forty-eight states that have adopted the UCEA. In particular, Minnesota’s extradition law provides that “it is the duty of the governor of this state to have arrested and delivered up to the executive authority of any other state of the United States any person charged in that state with treason, felony, or other crime, who has fled from justice and if found in this state.” How Does the Minnesota Extradition Law Work? Minnesota law enforcement will extradite a fugitive under the following general process: The state from which the fugitive fled issues an out-of-state arrest warrant; That state enters the arrest warrant into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which allows Minnesota police to access it; Minnesota police arrest the fugitive and notify the issuing state; The issuing state requests return of the fugitive; The fugitive may choose to waive extradition (meaning he/she voluntarily agrees to return to the original state); If the fugitive does not voluntarily agree to return, the governor of the original state must request extradition from the governor of Minnesota; If both governors approve the extradition request, Minnesota holds an extradition hearing where a judge decides whether to grant or deny extradition; and If granted, Minnesota officials transport the fugitive back to the demanding state. The same process is usually followed if an individual accused of a crime in Minnesota is living in another state and Minnesota wants that person returned to face prosecution. Throughout this detailed process, law enforcement may mistakenly violate the fugitive’s rights. That’s why it is so important to contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at the earliest hint of extradition. Your Minnesota Criminal Extradition Lawyer At the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka, we know when and how to defend against extradition. Minnesota Lawyer has recognized criminal defense lawyer, John Arechigo, as an attorney of the year multiple times, including awarding him with the exclusive Circle of Excellence in 2019. Contact us today for your free consultation to discuss your options.

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Understanding Reckless Driving in MN

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If you have a driver’s license, you know that there are many traffic laws that drivers must obey. Many are aware of what constitutes speeding or a DUI, but do you understand what constitutes reckless driving? Do you know what the penalties are? Or why you might need an attorney if you get charged with this offense? Since reckless driving charges can impact your driving privileges and potentially even your freedom, these are important concepts to understand. What Exactly Is Reckless Driving in Minnesota? Under Minnesota statute section 169.13, reckless driving is defined as driving in a way that poses a substantial, significant, and unjustifiable risk to the welfare and safety of others. For driving to qualify as reckless, the vehicle operator must be aware of this risk and consciously disregard it. The risk may be to another person’s well-being or property. In other words, the driver must exhibit a deliberate disregard for other people’s safety to be charged with this crime. Racing is one example of reckless driving that the statute addresses explicitly. Penalties The penalties for reckless driving are fairly straightforward. Standard reckless driving in MN is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. However, be aware that if your driving record has prior infractions, you could also lose your driving privileges. The amount of time you stand to lose your license depends on whether you had prior traffic vioaltions. Furthermore, if your recklessness resulted in serious bodily injury to someone else, your charge will likely be upgraded. Standard misdemeanors can be upgraded to gross misdemeanors, which carry sentences of up to one year in jail and up to a $3,000 fine.  Do I Need a Lawyer? As far as traffic offenses go, the need for a lawyer is perhaps never so great as when an officer charges you with reckless driving in MN. That is because the laws prohibiting such behavior are quite broad and can be misconstrued by law enforcement. Imperfect officers can see something that appears to be reckless when, in fact, it is not. Only experienced criminal defense attorneys can properly assess the facts of your case and determine whether reckless driving was the appropriate charge. It is possible that the circumstances more accurately reflect the less severe charge of careless driving or speeding.  We Can Help Traffic offenses may not seem serious at first. But criminal traffic infractions can result in jail time, steep fines, and a tarnished driving record. When so much is at stake, you need an experienced attorney by your side. The Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka has decades of experience in defending people just like you from criminal charges that threaten to upend their lives. First, we closely examine the evidence in your case. Then we seek to lessen the severity of the charges or defend against them completely. One thing is certain: We will make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way. So call us today at 651-222-6603, or contact us online to set up your free initial consultation.

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Reckless Discharge of a Firearm in MN

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If you are a gun owner, you probably enjoy using your gun in a variety of ways. Some people keep their guns on hand solely for safety purposes, while others like to hunt. Some enjoy target practice. Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your gun, you must first learn how to use it properly. That involves practice, and practice means discharging your weapon. But where and how you choose to fire your gun can have consequences, so it is important to know Minnesota firearm discharge laws. Minnesota Firearm Discharge Laws Minnesota statute section 609.66 addresses which actions involving dangerous weapons constitute a crime. Some crimes are misdemeanors, such as: Recklessly handling a weapon or firearm in a way that could potentially endanger other people; Pointing a gun at someone, even if the gun is not loaded; and Manufacturing, selling, or possessing a dangerous item with the intent to use it unlawfully as a weapon against someone else. Other actions are considered felonies. Section 609.66 (1a)(3) states that firing or discharging a firearm recklessly within a municipality in the state of Minnesota is a felony. Reckless Discharge of a Firearm Sentence A judge can sentence you to up to one year in jail and impose up to a $3,000 fine for the misdemeanor offenses listed above. Minnesota Statutes Section 609.66 (1b)(1) and (1b)(2) address the felony penalties for recklessly discharging a firearm. Essentially, you can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and receive up to a $10,000 fine if the discharge occurs in: A park zone, A public housing zone, or A school zone. Courts consider it less severe if the discharge happens almost anywhere else, imposing a lesser sentence of up to two years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. With so much at stake, it is important to understand the reckless discharge of a firearm sentence that might apply to you. Recklessness The law states that reckless discharge of a firearm in Minnesota is a crime. But this statement can leave you wondering what the term “reckless” means in this context. A person is said to have acted recklessly if they knew or should have known that their actions could cause harm to others. To help determine if specific actions were reckless, the court employs both a subjective and an objective test. The subjective test asks whether a specific person in a specific situation knew or should have known that their actions could cause harm to others. The objective test asks whether a “reasonable person” would know that their actions were dangerous.  We Can Defend You Gun charges are serious and can affect your ability to own firearms well into the future. If you find yourself charged with a gun crime, it is important to hire an experienced gun rights attorney. The Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka has decades of experience defending your right to bear arms, and we will make sure that your rights are protected every step of the way. So call today, or set up a free consultation online.

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Minnesota Drug Trafficking Penalties

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Drug trafficking is generally known as the most serious drug offense that carries the stiffest penalties. Drug trafficking charges refer to the weight of the drugs either sold or possessed. Although Minnesota’s drug law prohibits selling, possessing to distribute, or possession of narcotics, it does not reference a drug trafficking charge by name. But like other states and the federal government, Minnesota reserves the most severe punishments for drug crimes that involve a high weight of the narcotics.  If you or a loved one faces drug trafficking charges in Minnesota, then you need a tough, experienced, and highly skilled drug trafficking defense lawyer to represent you. A seasoned Minnesota drug trafficking attorney with decades of experience knows how to create a defense strategy that minimizes your chances of spending many years in prison. What Is Drug Trafficking in Minnesota? Minnesota categorizes its drug crimes by the weight of the narcotics. The state’s most serious drug crimes are first-degree controlled substance crimes. A person violates Minnesota’s first-degree controlled substance crime drug trafficking law by either selling more than a threshold quantity of drugs within 90 days or possessing more than a threshold amount of drugs. The various thresholds for first-degree drug crimes depend on the type of drug. Trafficking By Selling Narcotics Under this section, a person is guilty of a controlled substance crime in the first degree by selling on one or more occasions during the previous 90 days: 17 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine; 10 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm or two aggravating factors; 10 grams of more of heroin;  50 grams or more of another narcotic other than cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin; 50 grams or more, or 200 dosage units, of amphetamine, phencyclidine, or hallucinogenic drug; or 25 kilograms of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol. Minnesota law allows prosecutors to include mixtures of non-narcotics in the total amount of drugs. Trafficking By Possession A person could be convicted of a controlled substance crime in the first degree by possessing a specified quantity of certain drugs as well. A person is guilty of controlled substance crime in the first degree by possessing: 50 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine; 25 grams or more of cocaine or methamphetamine while in possession of a firearm or two aggravating factors;  25 grams or more of heroin; 500 grams of a drug other than cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin, or 50 kilograms of marijuana or 500 marijuana plants. As with selling narcotics, the total weight includes the drugs and any other substance mixed in. How Much Jail Time for Drug Trafficking? The severity of the drug trafficking charges determines the amount of prison time a person could serve. A controlled substance crime in the first degree carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. The court could issue a fine of up to $1 million. However, the maximum penalty increases to 40 years if the accused has a previous controlled substance conviction. The law requires the person to receive at least four years in prison for a subsequent offense. The penalties increase if the state proves trafficking in the presence of aggravating factors. A person convicted of selling more than 100 grams or possessing over 500 grams of cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin must serve 65 months in prison. The minimum mandatory is 86 months if the crime involved a firearm or the presence of two aggravating factors. People Facing Tough Drug Trafficking Penalties Need a Tough Lawyer If you or a loved one is facing drug trafficking charges in Minnesota, we can help. The drug tracking defense lawyers with the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka will rely on their extensive trial experience to fight for you. Call Arechigo & Stokka today at 651-222-6603 to defend your drug trafficking charges aggressively.

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How Much Does a DUI Cost In Minnesota?

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The average cost of a DUI or DWI in Minnesota is much more expensive than one might expect. DUI fees can be staggering in Minnesota. You need to understand the potential financial impact of a DUI in Minnesota if you face DUI charges, in addition to any criminal penalties you face. A qualified Minnesota DWI defense attorney could explain all of the potential DUI fees you could pay if a court finds you guilty of DWI. The facts and circumstances of your case dictate the choices you could make. However, frankly discussing your DUI case with a seasoned and dedicated DUI attorney from Minnesota would help you make the best decision for you and your family. Average Cost of DUI No one appreciates the amount of money a DUI costs until facing DWI charges. How much does a DUI cost, can only be determined after a thorough analysis of your case. However, DUI fees begin to pile up immediately after a DUI arrest.  A person under arrest for DWI in Minnesota may need to post bond, depending on the severity of the DUI offense. A non-monetary conditional release might be appropriate for a person charged with a first-offense DUI without aggravating factors. However, you may have to post a monetary bond if you had an alcohol content double the legal limit, face a subsequent offense or caused an accident with injuries or death. State law governs bonds in Minnesota. Under Minnesota’s bond law, the bond for a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor is double the maximum fine. There are no maximum bond amounts for a felony DWI in Minnesota. DUI Ticket Price The DUI ticket cost can increase if you receive a conviction for DWI. During an initial consultation, many people ask, How much is a DUI fine? The DUI ticket price depends on the charges.  Minnesota categorizes DUI charges by degrees. The maximum fine depends on the severity of the charges. Maximum fines under Minnesota’s DUI laws are: $1,000 for fourth-degree DWI, which is a misdemeanor; $3,000 for second- or third-degree DWI and breath test refusal, which are gross misdemeanor charges; and $14,000 for first-degree DWI, which is a felony. The maximum fines do not include surcharges or court costs. Also, a judge may assess these fines in addition to any jail time ordered by the court after a DUI conviction. Additional DUI Ticket Costs Most people charged with DUI ask about the DUI fines a court can impose. They do not ask about the other costs included as part of the average cost of DUI. Additional potential costs associated with a DUI conviction in Minnesota include: Ignition interlock device for 12 months—approximately $120 to install and $100 per month for maintenance; License reinstatement fees—$680 plus a $26.25 application fee;  Towing or impound fees—approximately $180;  Probation fees; Chemical dependency and treatment fee—$25; and Penalty assessment of $1,000 for an alcohol content reading of 0.16% or greater. Other expenses included in the average DUI cost are insurance increases of approximately 37% and possible lost wages. Keep DUI Costs to a Minimum By Avoiding a DUI Conviction The financial cost of even a first-offense DUI is enormous if you are convicted. One way to avoid paying the average cost for a DUI is to avoid a DUI conviction altogether. Consulting a highly trained and experienced Minnesota DUI attorney from the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka could help you minimize your financial burden associated with a DWI charge. Call us today at 651-222-6603 to discuss your options.

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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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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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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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