Jump to Navigation

St. Cloud Criminal Defense Law Blog

High Court to decide whether police need warrant to search hotel registries

The integrity of police searches and seizures is an important issue in criminal law, not only because of the potential threats to the privacy of suspects but also because of the potential of an illegal search or seizure to positively benefit a defendant’s case. Because of this, criminal defense attorney have to keep up-to-date on changes in law both at the federal and state levels.

Readers may remember that the nation’s highest court, the U.S. Supreme Court, issued a decision over the summer that police generally need to have a warrant in order to look at data on a criminal suspect’s cell phone. Now, the high court has agreed to take a case involving the issue of whether police officers may search hotel and motel guest registries without obtaining a warrant. 

Should I submit to a breath test during a drunk-driving arrest?

One of the questions people sometimes have for criminal defense attorneys is whether or not one should submit to a chemical test when one is pulled over on suspicion of DUI. It is a good question, and it might be helpful to clarify the bases on which DUI charges can rest. From there, the question of refusing a test might be clarified.

There are various circumstances under which police can make an arrest for DUI, but two are quite common. The first is when an individual is suspected of compromising their ability to operate a motor vehicle safety due to alcohol intoxication. From the time officers first suspect an individual of driving under the influence, they gather as many observations as possible to support that conclusion, including all traffic violations and the appearance and demeanor of the driver. If enough of these observations pile up, police can gain probable cause to make an arrest, which can then support criminal charges. 

State drug charges against shop owner dropped

A business owner who had faced nine felony charges from the state in connection to the sale of synthetic drugs out of his Superior shop has reportedly had those charges dropped. The reason for the dismissal of the charges is not, however, due to lack of evidence but because the man has already been convicted on 51 federal drug charges and sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison without parole. The state apparently feels he has been sufficiently penalized.

The man is currently appealing his sentence, so the case is not yet over. Charges against his son are also being dropped for the same reason—he has been convicted at the federal level and sentenced to three years of probation. The man’s former girlfriend, who was also implicated in the allegations, is also filing an appeal of a five-year sentence. 

Unjust accusations of domestic violence should be met with strong defense

Domestic violence is an important public health issue, and one which has been gaining increased attention in recent years on a variety of fronts, particularly with respect to professional athletes. States, of course, have various approaches for dealing with the issue, including housing and employment protections, protecting the identity of residents of domestic violence shelters, and broadening the definition of abuse.

One of the areas where states are falling short, according to experts, is in focusing on at-risk demographic groups. Different groups face different risks when it comes to domestic violence investigation. For instance, African American women are more likely to be killed by a partner than victims in other groups, whereas women who are unable to speak English are more likely to be unable to communicate to police officers to give an accurate version of incidents. Hispanic women are less likely to seek help from a shelter, while Native American women are more likely to be in a situation where police are unable to arrest a battering partner. Each of these unique challenges has to be met if the problem is to be adequately addressed.

Protecting your rights from internet crime allegations

As more and more people log on and obtain access to the digital world, many of you in Stearns, Minnesota, may find it convenient to communicate with others and be entertained. But you must be careful about certain setbacks, though. The accessibility of many computers may sometimes lead to crime. In fact, cyber crimes, such as computer hacking, caused a stir recently, following the leaked nude photos of many Hollywood celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Vanessa Hudgens. Because of acts like these, the federal government, together with local authorities, is aggressively prosecuting cybercrimes, regardless of the nature and damage inflicted.

Our firm believes, however, that not all cyber crimes are prosecuted correctly. We are aware that computer-related crimes can be very complex because of the Internet, which can be accessed by anyone. Nowadays, people have different means to create fake accounts and disguise themselves as a defendant. We also believe that the prosecution sometimes uses different tactics to create more charges that can be levied against the defendant. In these cases, it is important for the defendant to always be aware of his or her rights. A defendant's rights should be protected from unfair handling. It is also a defendant's right to be presumed innocent until he or she is proven guilty in a court of law.

Minnesota man needs criminal defense after armed robbery arrest

Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense really clouds the accused's future. This is true for any level of crime, considering that a small misdemeanor accusation can complicate employment records and student loan applications. Severe consequences may be expected if the charge is armed robbery.

Take, for example, the recent criminal case involving an incident in Minnesota. According to sources, a Minnesota man has been taken into custody for suspected armed robbery at the Minnesota State Fair. The police reported that the alleged robbery occurred at the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Exhibit in the Agriculture Horticulture Building after hours. The police claimed that the robbers fled from the scene with at least $10,000 after subduing two exhibit employees. Authorities refused to disclose the identity of the accused but arrested one of the suspects later on a charge of possession of a firearm. The Minnesota State Fair and St. Paul Police Departments continued the investigation of this incident, which was not the first of its kind in the history of the fair, along with other violent crimes and thefts.

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.