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St. Cloud Criminal Defense Law Blog

Minnesota man charged with possession of child pornography

Some criminal offenses have the potential to damage a person's reputation and professional prospects, not to mention limit their freedom, more than others. This is often the case with sex offenses, which can engender a very negative public response if the criminal charges are publicized or made known in some way. Sex offenses can include acts such as sexual assault, exposing oneself in public, distribution or possession of child pornography and solicitation, among others.

In northern Minnesota, a man accused of distribution of child pornography now faces felony-level criminal charges related to the alleged possession of pornographic work involving minors. The man is specifically accused of having and distributing videos involving juveniles and showing sexual acts. He faces seven counts altogether and each charge could result in a $5,000 fine and five years prison time. According to the criminal complaint, incriminating evidence was found on the man's laptop and a CD in his possession.

Minnesota man faces charges related to online solicitation

Despite the frequent warnings and news stories regarding the potential problems that can result from activities conducted online, many Minnesota residents still fail to absorb the full risk of internet crimes. Many people naively believe that their online activities can go unnoticed or cannot be traced and are somewhat surprised to find themselves facing criminal charges later.

A 24-year-old man from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, is now facing two criminal charges for internet crimes related to sexual solicitation of a minor. The man allegedly sent Facebook messages and created fake online accounts to chat with underage girls, reportedly for the purpose of soliciting nude photos from the minors. He has been charged with soliciting a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct and engaging in electronic communication relating to sexual conduct with a child. He is currently in custody in Douglas County. If convicted, potential penalties for each charge include a jail sentence of three years, a $5,000 fine or both.

Declining numbers of juveniles prosecuted in Minnesota county

Some Minnesota residents suffer disproportionate negative effects when they are charged and convicted of a felony. Juveniles are one of these groups. It is, unfortunately, not uncommon for teenagers to find themselves charged with a felony or a misdemeanor after committing an act on impulse or in seeking a thrill. The consequences of a criminal conviction for such charges can have long-lasting penalties beyond simply jail time, however. Fortunately, there are some options for juveniles that can prevent some of the more serious consequences.

New statistics have revealed that fewer juveniles faced prosecution for committing felonies or misdemeanors in Dakota County, Minnesota, in 2013. For approximately the last decade, the number of juvenile prosecutions had seen a decline, with the exception of a sharp increase from 2011 to 2012. The number of 2013 prosecutions is the lowest in ten years. This decrease in criminal prosecutions affecting juveniles comes at the same time as population levels have seen an increase, which makes the reduced numbers even more noteworthy.

Rape trial starts in Minnesota

When two Minnesota residents have a relationship, there is a lot about that relationship that the outside world may not know about or understand. People have interactions that only they are privy to. When allegations of rape or other sexual misconduct result from these private interactions, it can be difficult to really ever know the truth. Sometimes, there can be legitimate disagreements over whether consent was given for a particular sexual act. Evidence that consent did -- or did not -- exist may only come in he-said, she-said form.

In a recent Minnesota case, a 19-year-old man has been accused of rape. According to police, he and a juvenile girl met on Facebook and struck up a relationship. Overtime, the pair agreed to meet in person. During their initial meeting, police claim that the girl was sexual assaulted -- including raped. Police also claim that the girl was chocked during the incident.

Drug overdoses leads to four arrests in Minnesota

Sadly, drug addiction affects many Minnesota families; losing a loved one as a result of a drug overdose is a devastating and painful experience. While the families of those who died may want answers, it is important that police stay within the bounds of the law when making drug-related arrests.

Recently, four individuals in Minnesota were arrested in connection to the overdose deaths of a 22-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl. The suspects are both male and female and their ages range from 15 to 30. The four are accused of selling a synthetic psychedelic known as 2C to the overdose victims. Police supposedly found the same blue baggie covered with multiple gold crown images at the homes of both victims and traced it back to the accused. After raiding the home shared by two of the accused, police purportedly found multiple blue baggies containing capsules of a white powder, Ziploc bags with various powders, clear bags with the labels "2CE" and "2CI," possible marijuana, possible psilocybin mushrooms, a digital scale, a pill crusher and other suspected drug paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana or snort powder. Police stated that they are continuing to investigate the incidents and are likely to make more arrests.

Minnesota priest scrutinized for alleged criminal behavior

Those in a position of authority in Minnesota often have access to their employing organization's important tax records, bank statements and other financial documents necessary to properly run their groups' affairs. Managers are also the subject of intense scrutiny and are often the first ones blamed when something goes wrong.

A Minnesota priest is facing pressure from the state and from the Catholic Church. An archbishop removed the priest from his position following a complaint about the priest. He faces criminal charges related to the supposed embezzlement of funds from his church. The Archdiocese claims that his suspension from all ministerial duties is not related to the embezzlement charges.

Bill seeks to close defense option for hit-and-run criminal cases

It is not uncommon for Minnesota drivers to hit inanimate objects in the roads. From construction markers to debris, sometimes collisions with objects are simply unavoidable. Collisions can also occur when drivers hit wild animals that attempt to cross highways and streets.

Collisions between cars and humans are less common but still do occur across the state. While in some cases the drivers of involved vehicles stop to offer assistance to injured pedestrians, in other cases drivers continue to operate without stopping after an impact. While the decision to drive on may sometimes be malicious, in other cases a driver may simply not know that he hit another human being.

Teen charged with a felony following snowball fight

Kids in states like Minnesota that have long winters of heavy snows have long enjoyed building igloos and participating in snowball fights. However, overzealous police officers may have a problem harmless snowball fights.

An eighth-grader in another state, for example, was recently charged with a felony after allegedly throwing a snowball. Police claim that the 13-year-old boy threw a snowball at a police officer, but the boy counters that he was falsely accused of the crime. About 15 children were gathered outside of the school, some of whom were throwing snowballs, and the accused believes that he was wrongfully singled out. The boy also argues that the police officer was not struck by the snowball -- the squad car was. Some local residents believe the felony battery charges are "ridiculous" and "overboard." The boy must attend an upcoming juvenile court appearance to address the pending charges related to the snowball incident, and he also faces suspension from school.

Minnesota woman claims peeping Tom looked through her window

Many Minnesota residents may be familiar with the concept of "peeping Tom." The phrase originates with the story of Lady Godiva. As legend has it, she used to ride her horse through England's streets. A seemingly harmless act, but Lady Godiva like to ride naked and covered only by her long hair. She requested that the townspeople stay inside with their doors and windows closed. Legend has it that an individual named Tom drilled a hole in his home in order to steal a glance at Lady Godiva as she rode past.

Accusations of peeping Tom's still exist today. One south St. Cloud woman lodged a complaint with police claiming that a white male in his 40s was looking at her through her window at 1:00 am. The woman alleges that the man was 5 feet 9 inches tall. She described him as wearing a dark jacket. After searching the area, police did not find a suspect. Purportedly, police found a "homemade" ladder propped up against the woman's home. No arrests have been made.

Minnesota teen faces jail time

There are many intricacies in the Minnesota criminal justice system. A successful criminal defense hones in on these different intricacies to highlight holes and deficiencies in the prosecution's case. When the fact finder concludes that the prosecution has met its burden, however, a person charged with a crime can face severe consequences.

This is true for one Minnesota teenager. The 18-year-old was accused of punching and killing a 20-year-old man near St. Cloud University. The incident began as the 20-year-old was walking down an alley with some friends. The investigation reveals that one of the friends may have touched the vehicle of the 18-year-old, which spurred him to get and throw a single punch at the 20-year-old. The 18-year-old claims that the death was a complete accident. The 20-year-old fell, hit his head and later died at the hospital.