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Why you should avoid self-representation in a criminal case

When it comes to criminal charges and DUIs in Minnesota, it is important for you to understand the seriousness of the consequences you face. There are many reasons why you may decide to represent yourself in court. Self-representation is not advisable for every type of legal matter. Even if this is your first DUI/DWI offense, you should not expect to receive any leniency and mercy from the courts. There are far too many factors that can have an adverse impact on your situation.

Before you go to trial, take some time to learn about a few disadvantages of self-representation.

Women drivers, alcohol and DUIs

Many people in Minneapolis are aware that drinking and driving are a dangerous combination. That knowledge is not preventing some of them from receiving DUI charges. According to the Startribune.com, for every seven drivers on the road, one of them has a DUI on their record. Many of those drivers are women. The number of DUI-related arrests for women has increased throughout the years, while the number of male-related offenders has declined. Any woman who decides to drink socially and drive should learn how DUIs can affect her future.

Top 3 reasons you need an attorney when you are facing charges

If you are of legal age, you have every right to go out for a celebratory night with your buddies, enjoy a few beers while you watch the game and relax at a party. However, sometimes a good night out can lead to problems on the way home. Driving under the influence can come with severe consequences, but you may find yourself accused even if your blood alcohol concentration was under the legal limit. No system is perfect, and whether you are innocent or guilty, you should never blindly trust law enforcement officers without an attorney representing your side.

The difference between violent and non-violent crimes

When an individual is charged with a crime, it can fall into two categories in regards to violence: violent and non-violent crimes. The difference between the two is evident in definition, severity and sentences. Non-violent crimes are defined as a crime where no injury or force is used on another person. Non-violent crimes are often measured in terms of loss to the victim or economic damage. Non-violent crimes are most often some type of theft or larceny.

What you should do following a car accident

Picture this: You and your spouse are on your way home from a wedding reception at a local country club. You have had a couple of drinks and should feel relaxed, but instead feel tense because visibility is poor as you drive through a heavy rainstorm on unfamiliar roads. An SUV comes toward you out of the gloom and suddenly you find yourself involved in a car accident. What should you do?

What is a grand jury?

A grand jury is not like a regular jury. They are assembled, via random selection from registered voters, to determine if there is probable cause to prosecute. In other words, the pool decides whether there is sufficient reason to believe the person accused could have committed the crime.

Grand juries are reserved for severe federal cases. When the grand jury is assembled, they will hear evidence and arguments from the prosecutor. They will not hear evidence or statements from the defense. Once the prosecutor has concluded his or her presentation, the jury reviews the evidence and decides if the accused should stand trial. They do not determine innocence or guilt. 

Friday night lights: Getting pulled over for DWI

It's Friday night. The party died down in the wee hours of the morning and you set out for home in your car. It's been a few hours since you've consumed any alcohol and you don't feel intoxicated. As you cruise down the highway, thinking about the admirer you just met, red and blue lights flash brightly in your review mirror. Your heart leaps into your throat but you pull over to the side.

The officer asks you to get out of the vehicle and performs a sobriety test, which includes blowing into the breathalyzer. You wonder if you should consent. Minnesota has an implied consent law, which means the law assumes any driver who operates a motor vehicle anywhere in the state has consented to a chemical test of breath, blood or urine for determining blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of other substances just by getting into the vehicle. 

The 420 on your trip to Colorado

We get it. You went out to the marijuana capital of the world and had a bit of an adventure. Now that you are back in Minnesota, you may have some questions about what could happen in the event you are charged with a drug crime over certain souvenirs.

What if I am holding paraphernalia?

The federal law that defines what paraphernalia is and what makes it illegal is dependent on the item's primary use. For example, a hookah that is mainly used for smoking or vaping tobacco is not considered drug paraphernalia. However, if that same apparatus has any drug residue or was sold specifically as a bong, then the item can be classified as illegal and is lumped into possession.

After year-long drug crime suspension St. Olaf student returns to college

Anthony Bussa was the defense attorney for Riley Hedstrom, a St. Olaf student who faced two felony charges of fifth-degree possession, when he was caught by police with marijuana wax, LSD, ecstasy/MDMA (Molly) and additional paraphernalia in his dorm room.  Read the full article here

Earn a major in smarts by avoiding a minor in possession

They've graduated high school and are ready to live in their own place, miniscule as it may be. Your college-bound children may feel that they're leaving the realm of adolescence behind and will soon gain entry into the adult world, one teeming with new freedoms and rights: unlimited curfew, endless social engagements and myriad caloric options. If your child is still a minor, though, there are a few restrictions that can hamper the laissez-faire existence he's crafted for himself on campus.

Enticing as it may be, the lure of alcohol consumption is one that can lead to problems beyond a next-day hangover. Minors found drinking or having alcohol in their possession can be cited with possession as a minor (MIP) and charged with a misdemeanor, even if the minor is not driving. If your child is cited with alcohol possession, this charge could create long-term repercussions that impact your child's future. The enduring effects of misdemeanors have been mentioned earlier on this blog.

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