Is Resisting Arrest a Felony or Misdemeanor in MN?

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

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?

    | Read Time: 2 minutes

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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What is Maximum Medical Improvement in Minnesota (MMI)?

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At some point in your workers’ compensation case you will run into the term “maximum medical improvement”. Depending on the timing of this designation it can, and most likely will, effect your benefits. What is Maximum Medical Improvement in Minnesota? Maximum medical improvement in Minnesota is defined as “the date after which no further significant recovery from or significant lasting improvement to a personal injury can reasonably be anticipated, based upon reasonable medical probability.” In most cases, this designation of being at maximum medical improvement will occur after an Independent Medical Examination.  However, in some cases, your treating doctor will submit a report stating that you, the employee, has reached maximum medical improvement. There are specific requirements that must be adhered to by the doctor and insurance company to place you at maximum medical improvement, such as: there must be a medical opinion indicating the employee has reached it, It must be served on the employee and attorney, and It must contain specific identifying information such as name, SSN, date of service, and other statutory requirements. After an Employee Receives the Report After an employee receives the report indicating she/he has reached maximum medical improvement, the next issue is to determine how this will effect your benefits. If you are receiving temporary total disability benefits, these will continue for an additional 90 days.   Medical benefits will continue if you have been given a permanent restriction by your treating doctor and the IME report does not contain information to the effect that there are no lasting effects from the work injury. The designation of maximum medical improvement will not effect your temporary partial disability benefits unless the IME doctor states that your symptoms are not the result of the work injury. When to Contact an Attorney When you receive a letter from the insurance company indicating you are at maximum medical improvement, it is important to contact an attorney. Certain timelines are applicable and an attorney will need to submit certain information to the Department of Labor or the Office of Administrative Hearings before these deadlines pass. Additionally, many doctors and insurance companies try to prematurely place you at maximum medical improvement.  If this is the case, we will fight to get your benefits back. No attorney fees are associated with hiring an attorney under Minnesota workers’ compensation law unless there is a successful resolution of disputed benefits or there is a settlement of your case.  And as always, there are no out of pocket fees.

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

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

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?

    | Read Time: 4 minutes

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?

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

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?

    | Read Time: 2 minutes

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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What Happens If I Miss My Court Date for a Misdemeanor?

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Missing a court date for a misdemeanor is not something to take lightly. Courts take missed court appearances very seriously. Depending on the reason you missed it, the judge could take additional legal action against you. Defendants who have legitimate reasons for missing a court appearance could have their hearing rescheduled, but you want to take immediate action. If you missed a court date for a misdemeanor, please contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney right away.   What Happens If I Miss My Court Date for a Misdemeanor? Understandably, people want to know what happens if you miss a court date for a misdemeanor. Depending on the charges, you could be required to appear in court several times. Failure to show up to any of the scheduled hearings could result in the judge charging you with contempt of court or marking you as a failure to appear. You could be facing fines, jail time, and more. Possible Consequences of Missing Court Date for a Misdemeanor Consequences for missing a court date for a misdemeanor will vary depending on the circumstances and the judge. The judge will mark you as a failure to appear, and they could also order any of the following: Bench warrant—this is a warrant for your arrest, which means if the police stop you, you could be arrested; Bail revoked—the judge could revoke your bail, which means you would forfeit your original bond and remain in jail until your trial; Harsher sentence—the judge could impose a harsher sentence in your case if you failed to appear at a sentencing hearing and a negotiated plea agreement was contingent on your appearance Driver license suspension—Often used in traffic offenses, the judge could notify the DMV of your bench warrant, which could give you a deadline to resolve your case or they will suspend your license. There’s no way to know what the judge will do until you appear in court again. Please don’t risk your future by missing a court date, even for a misdemeanor, unless it’s an emergency. What Should I Do If I Just Missed My Court Date? If you just missed your court date, act quickly to show the court you are serious about your case. Waiting will only make your situation worse. If you don’t get it resolved, you could be arrested at your job, at home in front of your family, during a routine traffic stop, etc. Courts tend to be more lenient if you can show you are committed to resolving an outstanding bench warrant, rather than just ignoring it. If you do not have a lawyer on your case, you should call the court clerk’s office and ask if your case can be rescheduled to a future court calendar. This is not always possible, though. Your best option may be to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you and resolve the outstanding warrant. Can an Attorney Help Me? Contacting an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney is crucial in these situations. At Arechigo & Stokka, we know how best to handle a missed court date. We can immediately contact the court clerk and try to get your case rescheduled. Our goal is to minimize any legal repercussions and get your appearance rescheduled. If you missed a misdemeanor court appearance, contact our office right away. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start working with the court to get a bench warrant dismissed and your hearing rescheduled.

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Public Defender vs Private Attorney | Which Is Better?

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Being arrested and charged with a crime can be a terrifying experience. You may be thinking about legal representation and wondering what the differences are with a public defender vs private attorney. There are pros and cons to each, which is why it’s imperative to weigh your options carefully. In most cases, hiring a private attorney is better, especially if you are facing serious charges. To learn more, contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney today. What You Get with a Public Defender One of the most common things people ask at their initial consultation is, Is it better to have a public defender or a private lawyer? With a public defender, you are represented by someone who is paid by the government. You cannot choose who your public defender is. The upside with a public defender versus private attorney is you are not paying out of pocket for legal fees. Public defenders also work with the same prosecutors regularly, so they may be well-positioned to negotiate favorable plea agreements. Unfortunately, public defenders are almost always overworked and underpaid. With a heavy caseload, you aren’t likely to get a lot of time with your attorney. You may find yourself feeling like you have not had enough time to discuss your case with your lawyer. And not everyone is eligible for a public defender. You must fill out an application asking for a public defender to represent you. A judge will review your personal financial circumstances and determine whether you qualify for a public defender. What You Get with a Private Attorney When you hire a private attorney, you can choose your own lawyer. That means you can interview multiple attorneys and find the one you connect with most. You can also choose someone with experience defending clients with charges similar to yours. With a public defender, you have no idea what types of cases they’ve handled in the past. A private attorney may have a lower caseload, and they can devote the time necessary to get a favorable outcome in your case. Usually, you will have an easier time contacting a private attorney than a public defender. The only real downside with a private attorney is the cost. You will be paying for legal fees and expenses, whereas a public defender is assigned to those who can’t afford to hire their own counsel. Why a Private Criminal Defense Attorney May Be Your Best Choice In almost every criminal matter, hiring a Minnesota criminal defense attorney is the better option. You have the benefit of an attorney who has the necessary skills and experience, and they aren’t struggling with unmanageable caseloads like most public defenders are. Your private attorney should have more time to investigate your case. Most public defenders are rushing from case to case, and may not have the time to carefully consult with each client. Serious criminal offenses require serious choices to be made during the course of the case. It’s important that you have time to talk through options with your lawyer before making impactful decisions. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Minnesota, contact Arechigo & Stokka today to schedule an initial consultation. We have over a decade of experience helping clients just like you. Let us put our knowledge and expertise to work for you and build the best defense possible.

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MN Sexual Assault Vs Sexual Battery – Laws and Remedies

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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 Under Minnesota Law 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 does 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 a Criminal Attorney in St. Paul 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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