Minnesota Hit and Run Law

    | Read Time: 2 minutes

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. 

Read More

Minnesota Extradition Laws

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

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.

Read More

Understanding Reckless Driving in MN

    | Read Time: 2 minutes

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.

Read More

Reckless Discharge of a Firearm in MN

    | Read Time: 2 minutes

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.

Read More

Home Depot Workers’ Compensation Overview

    | Read Time: 2 minutes

Home Depot is a favorite for do-it-yourselfers, but employees face workplace hazards every day while serving customers. Work accidents can easily occur, leaving an employee injured and facing mounting medical bills. Fortunately, if you are an employee injured at Home Depot, you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.  What Is Workers’ Compensation? Workers’ compensation is a special type of insurance for employees. If you suffer an accident in the scope of your employment, workers’ compensation can provide benefits to ease financial strain.  If you’ve been injured while working at Home Depot, contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.  Available Workers’ Compensation Benefits Minnesota Home Depot workers’ comp can cover various expenses related to your workplace accident and injuries. These include: Medical expenses, Disability, Lost wages, and  Rehabilitation benefits.  You may not be aware of what benefits you are entitled to. A Minnesota workers’ comp attorney can review the details of your case and help you get what you deserve. Common Home Depot Workplace Accidents and Injuries Home Depot is always bustling, and there are many opportunities for workplace accidents to occur. Some common types of workplace accidents include: Falling objects, Slip and falls, Equipment accidents, and Falls from heights. Injuries can vary in severity, depending on the type of accident. Resulting injuries could include: Lacerations, Fractures or broken bones, Head and neck injuries, and Back and spinal cord injuries. Whatever your accident and resulting injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Be sure to file a Home Depot injury claim. What to Do After a Home Depot Work Accident To get the benefits you deserve, there are specific steps you should take after a Home Depot workplace accident. What you do after your accident can impact your ability to collect benefits. Get Medical Help Always put your health and well-being first. If your injuries are severe, call 911. Otherwise, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Explain the details of your accident, and let them know you are there for a Home Depot workers’ compensation claim. Your doctor will have to complete a Report of Work Ability form with details of your accident, injuries, and resulting limitations. Be sure to give your employer a copy of the completed form.  Report Your Workplace Accident Home Depot workers’ compensation policy requires you to report your accident as soon as you can. Aside from getting medical treatment, this is the most important step. Failing to report your accident to a supervisor or manager can result in your inability to receive benefits that you would be entitled to. After you report your accident, your supervisor will need to fill out a First Report of Injury (FROI) form.  Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Home Depot work accidents can come with physical and financial burdens. Help ensure you’re getting every benefit you’re entitled to by contacting a workers’ compensation attorney.  A Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You The Criminal Defense Attorney and Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka has been proudly representing injured clients for over a decade. We approach every case compassionately while fiercely representing our clients and their rights. Our firm strives to be transparent and easily accessible, allowing our clients to feel confident and secure. We offer free case evaluations. Contact us today.

Read More

Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines

    | Read Time: 7 minutes

Overview of Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Though judges may seem to have considerable leeway in sentencing individuals who have been convicted of crimes, real-life circumstances are very different from what you see in films. Minnesota, several other US states, and the federal government have implemented sentencing guidelines to assist judges in handing down punishment. These sets of rules are designed to ensure fairness and consistency, so that bias doesn’t adversely affect basic principles of justice. Like their counterparts in other jurisdictions, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines are extremely complex and take various factors into account in determining penalties for a conviction. For this reason, it’s important to retain experienced legal counsel as early on in the criminal process as possible. Your Minnesota criminal defense attorney can defend your interests in the underlying crime and will strive to obtain a favorable outcome when it comes to sentencing. In addition, you may find it useful to review some basic information about how sentencing works under Minnesota criminal laws. [DOWNLOAD] Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines E-Book MINNESOTA SENTENCING GRID FAQ Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Chart Below is the Minnesota sentencing guideline chart showing severity levels of crimes, the MN point system, and the felony point system in MN. Overview of Minnesota Sentencing Commission and Guidelines Back in 1978, Minnesota lawmakers enacted the first legislation in the US regarding a set of rules to assist judges in sentencing. The statute created the Minnesota Sentencing Commission, a government body that implemented another first in the country: The Minnesota sentencing guidelines went into effect in 1980. Since that time, the number of convicted felons who were sentenced according to the rules grew from 5,500 to 18,288 felony offenders in 2017 – according to the Commission’s 2019 Report to the Legislature. The Commission is charged with establishing the Guidelines and updating them on an annual basis, with the primary goal being public safety. A secondary objective of the sentencing system is to promote uniformity and ensure that decisions on punishment are not motivated by race, gender, or other constitutionally protected classifications. By applying the guidelines, sentencing is more likely to be neutral, logical, and consistent. As will be described in further detail below, the Minnesota sentencing guidelines encompass a grid system that assesses the severity of the crime and the individual’s criminal history. The product of this analysis is a presumptive sentence, though a judge can exercise some discretion within a limited range of potential punishments. Under designated – mostly rare – circumstances, a court can depart from the presumptive sentence. Over the decades since the Guidelines went into effect, they have been largely successful in meeting the stated objectives of the Commission. The 2019 Report indicates that Minnesota has consistently ranked in the top three US states with the lowest imprisonment rates; the state has earned this accolade in all but one of the 37 years spanning from 1980 – 2016. In addition, Minnesota’s imprisonment rate in 2016 was around 190 for every 100,000 residents in the state. This number is less than half the rate of all other states, which was 387 per 100,000 residents. Because the system created by the Guidelines results in some of the lowest rates of incarceration, your situation may not be as grim as you think. Of course, the outcome will depend on the specifics of your case. A skilled criminal defense attorney can work to develop a strategy that takes the best possible advantage of the Guidelines. SENTENCING GUIDELINES IN MN FAQ Presumptive Versus Maximum Sentences The Minnesota sentencing guidelines are developed around the concept of “presumptive” sentences. The term comes from the fact that the punishment is presumed to be appropriate for all typical cases, after accounting for the individual’s criminal history and the severity of the offense for which he or she was convicted. Within the presumptive sentence, there are two important factors: The presumptive duration, which is a defined sentence length as measured in months; and, The presumptive range of punishment, starting from a point 15 percent lower and 20 percent higher than the presumptive duration. When applying the factors of the two-part test explained below, the judge will come to a designated spot on the sentencing guidelines grid – which contains the presumptive duration and presumptive range for individuals convicted of Minnesota felonies. In a typical case, one that doesn’t encompass unusual circumstances, the judge will use the presumptive duration. However, where there are factors that reflect unfavorably on the convicted individual, the court can sentence up to the presumptive range limit. Likewise, when the person’s actions justify a reduced sentence, a judge may issue a sentence on the low end of the presumptive range. In addition, the court is required to abide by rules related to the statutory maximum sentence. For Minnesota felonies, the statute will usually use the phrase “imprisonment for not more than X years.” This language defines the maximum sentence a judge can issue. MINNESOTA SENTENCING FAQ Two-Part Determination Under Minnesota Criminal Laws The core of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines is the Grid, a table with a horizontal and vertical axis. The axes incorporate two separate factors that a court applies when determining a sentence. Severity Level: Here, the focus is the crime for which you were convicted in the current case. On the vertical axis, the severity level is an assigned ranking starting on the high end at Severity Level 11 – mostly murder cases. The lowest is Severity Level 1, which incorporates certain assault felonies. Criminal History Score: Your past criminal record is the key consideration with this part of the test, making up the horizontal axis of the Grid. For purposes of your Criminal History Score, you accumulate points for: Prior felonies; Your custody status at the time of the offense, i.e., whether you were on probation or otherwise within the Minnesota criminal justice system; Prior to certain misdemeanors; and, Previous juvenile matters. MINNESOTA SENTENCING GUIDELINES FAQ Specific Rules for Certain Offenders The standard sentencing grid applies to all felony cases except for...

Read More

5th Degree Drug Possession in MN – What Are the Consequences?

    | Read Time: 5 minutes

What is 5th Degree Drug Possession in MN? If you are facing 5th degree drug possession charges in the state of Minnesota, you might be unsure of what to do. Because of the complicated categorization of drug offenses, it can be confusing to understand your charges. It’s always important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. Your attorney can go over your charges with you and mount a strong defense. At Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., we have decades of experience handling these types of charges for our clients. In this article, we’ll discuss 5th-degree drug charges in Minnesota, as well as possible consequences and defenses. Remember that with the help of a criminal defense lawyer, you might be able to reduce, or eliminate charges. If you face drug possession charges, we strongly recommend that you contact us as soon as possible. Being charged with drug possession can be a complex legal process. Fill out the free and confidential form below with some brief details of your charge so we can review the details of your drug charge. What Are 5th Degree Drug Charges in MN?  In the state of Minnesota, there are five different degrees of drug charges. The degree of the crime depends upon the amount of substance in question. It also depends upon whether someone is selling or manufacturing the substance. 5th degree drug charges are the least serious. 5th degree drug charges only include those for possession or sale. However, 5th degree drug charges can be either a felony or gross misdemeanor.  Felony 5th degree drug charges in Minnesota are for the sale of drugs or possession of larger amounts of drugs. Gross misdemeanor charges are those for possession of a small amount of drugs. In other words, if the cops arrest someone because they were selling marijuana, mixed drugs, or one of the drugs on Minnesota’s Schedule IV list, they might charge the person with felony 5th degree drug sale. If they arrest someone who was in possession of any of the drugs on the schedule I, II, III, or IV list (in greater than the amounts listed for gross misdemeanor charges), they might charge the person with felony 5th degree drug possession. If it is someone’s first offense, and they possess less than 0.05 grams of heroin or less than 0.25 grams (or one dosage unit) of another controlled substance, they might charge the person with 5th degree gross misdemeanor possession.  What Are the Consequences for 5th Degree Drug Possession?  The consequences for 5th degree drug possession in Minnesota will depend on whether the charge was a felony or gross misdemeanor.  Gross misdemeanor possession charges are punishable by up to one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, oandr forfeiture of property related to the crime, like cash obtained. Felony 5th degree drug possession charges are punishable by up to five years in jail or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.  However, the consequences you face outside the justice system may be worse. You may experience difficulty adjusting to life after your conviction. It could be difficult to find work or housing. You may also lose certain privileges, such as voting rights or the ability to lawfully possess a firearm. Because the consequences of 5th degree drug possession can be so severe, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.  Choosing the Right Drug Offense Attorney Your choice of attorney will be the single most crucial factor in defending your drug charges in Minnesota. Several defenses may be available. The experienced attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A. will thoroughly investigate your case and work tirelessly to defend you. Possible strategies for defense include the following: Investigating Entrapment Depending on the situation, entrapment may be a viable defense if officers tricked you into buying or selling drugs. Analyzing the Chain of Evidence We analyze the chain of evidence to assess whether the drugs were actually in your possession. Examining Due Process  We determine whether law enforcement complied with due process. We ensure that the arresting officers did not violate your constitutional rights, such as your right to be free from unreasonable searches. Assessing Legal Possession If you had a legal prescription for the substance but were not able to present it at the time of your arrest, you may still be able to get the charges dropped later. Contact Arechigo & Stokka, P.A. If you’ve been arrested on a 5th degree drug charge in Minnesota, contact the experienced attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A. We offer free consultations and will aggressively defend your case. Our Case Results Our drug defense attorneys have had a number of drug charges dropped or reduced after a thorough investigation into the police conduct that resulted in the discovery of the drugs. Charges drop or reduce because of the unlawful search of a motor vehicle, insufficient probable cause to support a search warrant to search a home, unlawful seizures and pat searches of an individual, and unreliable informants providing information to police. Our criminal defense lawyers have also kept clients convicted of serious 1st degree drug crimes out of prison after successful downward dispositional arguments. Felony Drug Possession Felony Drug Possession Charges Dismissed For Unlawful Police Entry of Home THE FACTS: Client was charged with felony drug possession for drugs found during a search of his home. Police responded to a report of an injured female in the front yard of the residence. A bystander was with the female and had called the police. The caller did not provide any information concerning any activity at the residence. Responding officers recognized the female and knew her boyfriend was the client. The officers also knew the client had a prior history of drug charges and lived at the nearby residence. Officers walked up to the front door of the residence and found the door unlocked. The officers did not bother asking for any permission to enter the home....

Read More

Minnesota Self-Defense Laws | What Are They?

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

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

Read More

Is a DWI a Felony in MN?

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

When is a DWI a Felony in MN? Not every DWI is a felony in Minnesota. You can face charges for felony DWI, but a series of aggravating factors is required to trigger a felony DWI in Minnesota. In fact, a large percentage of DUI/DWI crimes in MN are felonies. But even if the court finds you guilty of a misdemeanor, the penalties you face can be life-changing. In addition to the potential for going to jail, you will have to pay substantial fines as well as court costs and fees. You could lose your driver license, your license plates, or even your vehicle. With the help of a DUI defense attorney, these charges can potentially be reduced or eliminated. Contact our office today to discuss your specific case and possible defenses. What Is a Misdemeanor DWI? Typically, you will face misdemeanor charges for your first DWI offense. If any aggravating factors apply to your arrest, however, the court could charge you with a gross misdemeanor. Aggravating factors include: Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16 or above, Having a child age 16 or under in the car, Refusing to submit to BAC testing, and Having prior DWI convictions. Upon conviction for misdemeanor DUI/DWI, you could face 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Although penalties are less harsh than the penalties for a felony, a gross misdemeanor DWI conviction could earn you up to one year in county jail. You will also face monetary fines up to $3,000 as well as a lengthy suspension of your driver license. What Is a Felony DWI in MN? In Minnesota, you will face felony DWI charges under any of the following circumstances: You have a prior felony DWI conviction on your record; You had a prior felony vehicular injury or homicide conviction involving impairment; or You had three or more DWI convictions in the past ten years. Although you may associate DWI with drinking and driving, you face the same penalties if you drive while under the influence of a Schedule I or II drug in any amount. Costs & Consequences of Felony DWI Upon conviction for a felony DWI in MN, you face up to seven years in a state prison and as much as $14,000 in fines. If you have prior felonies on your record, your penalties could be much worse. Further, the prosecutor can tack on additional charges based on the circumstances of your arrest. With a felony conviction, you also face years of supervised probation, long-term alcohol monitoring, and a host of administrative penalties. Administrative penalties may include: The cancelation or revocation of your driver license, The requirement to install an ignition interlock device on all your vehicles, Impoundment of your license plates, and/or Forfeiture of your vehicle. You will have a permanent criminal record, which can interfere with your ability to get a job or rent a home. You will also struggle to find affordable insurance coverage as a convicted DWI offender. When Should You Contact a Minnesota DUI Lawyer? Any DWI arrest – felony or misdemeanor – can substantially affect every aspect of your life. Don’t risk your future by agreeing to a deal with the prosecutor or trying to represent yourself in court. The Minnesota felony DWI lawyers of Arechigo & Stokka understand how frightening this experience can be, and we are here to help you. We have assisted hundreds of clients facing misdemeanor and felony DUI/DWI charges. Let us put our extensive knowledge, experience, and resources to work for you. Still have questions to see if your Minnesota DWI charge is a felony? We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to answer your questions and help you make the right choice for your future. Contact us today to learn more.

Read More

Changing Workers’ Comp Lawyers in MN | What to Know

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

When you experience a workplace accident, you need someone on your side to help you navigate the legal path to compensation. You may trust your workers’ compensation attorney to fight for you. It’s understandable if you feel betrayed when your lawyer doesn’t put forth an adequate effort. What can you do when you have a bad workers’ compensation attorney? If you’re wondering how to fire your workers’ comp attorney, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we present several tips for finding the right attorney and getting the money you deserve. Can I Fire My Workers’ Comp Attorney? You can always fire an attorney, though the reverse isn’t true. A lawyer can’t always abandon a client. Before you fire your attorney, you’ll want to think about the consequences of that action. Also, you want to make sure that you have a good attorney to take over your claim. Why Should I Fire My Attorney? Clients usually want to fire attorneys who aren’t doing a good job. Sometimes, delays or other inconveniences in the lawsuit process occur despite the attorney’s best efforts. Other times, an attorney may lack the knowledge or motivation to give your claim the attention it deserves. Here are some of the top reasons why clients fire workers’ compensation attorneys: The case is taking too long, The attorney doesn’t understand the details of workers’ compensation, The attorney seems lazy, and The attorney doesn’t communicate well. Though any of these are valid reasons to fire an attorney, you should not rush to sever your relationship. Find out if your perception of your attorney’s incompetence is accurate before taking action and changing workers’ comp lawyers. Questions to Ask Before Firing Your Attorney Before firing your attorney, you should ask a few questions to determine whether the relationship is worth saving. These questions should give you a better understanding of whether your attorney is giving their best effort to your case: What is causing the delay in my case? Is there anything you can do to speed up the claim resolution? Why haven’t you communicated with me regarding updates on my claim? Can we schedule regular phone calls or conferences to update me on my claim? How many workers’ compensation cases have you handled? Can I speak to any former clients who may be willing to share their experience regarding your representation? What steps have you taken to resolve my claim? Sometimes, the answers to these questions will convince you that your attorney is doing their best. All legal matters require patience, and you may be blaming your attorney for delays caused by red tape. However, if your attorney’s answers to these questions put you further on edge, it may be time to look for better representation. Consequences of Firing Your Attorney While firing your attorney may be necessary for your claim to succeed, the action does have potential consequences. Be aware of these risks before you fire your attorney: It could delay your claim, as a new attorney takes time to catch up on the process; You could lose money on attorney fees; You could wind up with a worse attorney; and It may be challenging to find another attorney, as they may see you as a difficult client. In addition to viewing you as a difficult client, other attorneys may hesitate to take your case if they think it won’t pay well. That’s because most workers’ compensation attorneys work on contingency, meaning you don’t pay them until they win your case. At that point, your attorney takes a portion of your settlement (usually 10-20%) as their payment. When you fire one attorney, that attorney is entitled to payment for the portion of work they performed. A second attorney knows they’ll have to split attorney fees with someone else and may hesitate to work for less pay than they usually get. Speak to Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys If you are unhappy with your legal representation, call the experienced attorneys at the Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers’ Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka. Our lawyers have been representing injured workers for over a decade. We’re willing to take over workers’ comp cases where other lawyers have failed because we think every injured worker deserves superior legal representation. Contact us for a free consultation. You can ask any questions, and we’ll let you know if we can help with your claim.

Read More