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St. Cloud Criminal Defense Law Blog

What is Minnesota's definition of domestic violence?

In Minnesota, a person charged with a domestic violence crime may face heavy fines, jail time and may even have a hard time finding employment with a violent crime on his or her record. While it's important to aggressively defend domestic violence charges, it can also be helpful to understand what qualifies as domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse means that an act of violence is committed against a family member or household member, by another family member or household member. These individuals include, but are not limited to: spouses and ex-spouses, children, parents, siblings and any other person related by blood. Family or household members may also include parents who have a child together but are not married, a pregnant woman and the alleged father, and people involved in a sexual or romantic relationship.

What happens when you violate an order for protection?

When an individual is convicted or suspected of domestic abuse or domestic violence, certain consequences could result. In these cases, it is common for an order for protection to be issued. This usually occurs when a spouse first files a claim and seeks protection for themselves and possibly their children during the investigation and criminal process. If the order for protection remains, which is usually for two years, the defendant is required to uphold the terms of the order.

In Minnesota and several states across the nation, when an order for protection is violated, serious penalties could ensue. Criminal sanctions often result in order to deter individuals from violating the order. The violator could face different penalties and usually depend on the initial crime they were charged with. For violating the order, the violator could face a felony, misdemeanor, contempt of court or a combination of both. In Minnesota, being found guilty of contempt does not preclude a subsequent prosecution based on double jeopardy.

Understanding defense options when facing drug crimes

Being accused of a crime could impact the life of a defendant significantly due to the potential consequences a charge could have on the person's personal and professional life. Drug crimes could stem from various situations, and defendants in Minnesota not only face fines and jail time, but having a criminal record could impact their ability to obtain the employment of the choosing in the future. Furthermore, it could affect their approval for rental property or even purchasing a home or car. Our firm understands that drug crimes carry serious consequences and we know how important it is for defendants to establish a strong defense against the allegations.

Whether a defendant is arrested for possession of a drug, substance or paraphernalia, intent to sell, drug sales or other related drug crimes, it is important to understand the situation. Knowing the reasons for the arrest and charges could strengthen the defense strategy. The details surrounding the charges should be investigated. This could establish what evidence was uncovered and how.

Three arrested in St. Cloud during drug investigation

When a suspect is charged with a crime, it is important to understand the details of their situation. This not only ensures they understand the serious penalties they could face but also helps them devise a defense against the charges. Being knowledgeable about their rights could help the accused defend against the charges and help them reduce or dismiss the charges they face.

Authorities in St. Cloud recently arrested three suspects in connection with a drug investigation. According to preliminary reports, the Central Minnesota Violent Offenders Task Force obtained a search warrant to investigate two apartments located on Washington Memorial Drive in St. Cloud.

Knowledge of domestic violence and consequences is important

Domestic violence is a concern for our society with far-reaching consequences. According to a study completed in 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25 percent of women and nearly 15 percent of men were subjected to serious physical violence, carried out by their intimate partners. It is estimated that 10 percent of women have been stalked by an intimate partner. Additionally, almost half of all women have experienced psychological aggression from an intimate partner.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, it is estimated that 1.3 million women experience intimate partner violence each year. A decade ago, there was a reported 113 felony charges and 2,681 domestic assault cases in Minnesota. Today, the issue of domestic violence continues both nationally and locally. Alleged domestic violence incidents can have a significant impact on the lives of all of the parties involved.

Minnesota man faces manslaughter charges in teen's death

Facing criminal charges can be a very serious event in a person's life. In some situations, the defendant might face multiple charges or a single serious charge that could carry harsh penalties. Because the pending charges could significantly affect an individual's life and leave him or her with a damaged reputation, it is important to understand the impacts the charges will have, as well as their criminal defense options.

Authorities in Minnesota recently arrested a man in Mantorville for the death of a teen. He faces manslaughter charges after an autopsy and toxicology report indicated that the 15-year-old in the case died of hypothermia and drug intoxication. The suspect faces a felony second-degree manslaughter charge as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Junior hockey players await trial on sex offense charges

Hockey is a big deal in Minnesota. Many St. Cloud residents may follow the National Hockey League, as well as the U.S. Hockey League, which is a junior league. Two junior league players currently face criminal charges for sex offenses that allegedly occurred after a hockey game this February.

Prosecutors have accused the two boys, both 19-years-old, for distributing a sex video they allegedly made with an underage girl. The felony charges include distribution and possession of child pornography, as well as using a minor in sexual performance.

Sheriff's son charged after four wheeling incident in Minnesota

Young adults do not always make the best decisions, especially when left with a lot of time on their hands during non-school months. These poor decisions are usually harmless, but every now and then a bad call can lead to criminal charges. The potential consequences of criminal charges can impact a young adult's education or employment opportunities and create unnecessary hurdles.

Even the children of law enforcement officers are not immune from these poor decision-making skills. The 21-year-old son of a sheriff in Hennepin County, Minnesota, was recently charged with numerous counts of criminal damage to property.

St. Cloud offers identity theft training program

There are a number of crimes that fall under the umbrella of so-called "white collar crimes." For the most part, white collar crimes include things like embezzlement, tax evasion and other illegal activities that are often accomplished through deceit, and many times fraud. Fraud is another broad criminal category, but it generally occurs through the deceit of someone for financial gain. Identity theft is just one example of fraud and the St. Cloud Police Department is hosting an educational session to address identity theft in the community.

The police department is offering a number of these education sessions to teach Minnesota residents about the various ways local businesses, residents and the general public can prevent crimes. The "Identify Theft Awareness and Prevention Measures" session is part of the series and it specifically addresses the issue of preventing identity theft. Law enforcement officials hope to teach the public about how they can reduce their own chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.

New drug, Khat, invades St. Cloud

As the culture and times change, so do the types and methods of criminal activity. In this day and age, there is more focus on online criminal activity and Internet crimes than 20 years ago. So is the case with drug charges. While certain substances, like marijuana, are becoming increasingly legal, all the while new products are entering the scene. Law enforcement officers must adapt to these changes in the laws and climate of crime in our society.

St. Cloud, Minnesota, recently came to know a new drug, which is called Khat. A 54-year-old man allegedly brought the drug into the community from the Minneapolis area. Khat has similar effects to amphetamine use. The green leafy product is usually chewed to ingest the drug.