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Minneapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

You can defend yourself against DWI charges in Minnesota

Mid-level DWIs, which are those prosecuted with a gross misdemeanor in Minnesota, used to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.2. Today, that has changed. A BAC of .16 is enough to land you with a gross misdemeanor DWI charge.

While that 0.4 percent difference doesn't seem significant, it really is. It's believed that it could lead to around 3,000 more gross misdemeanor DWIs in a single year than if the level had stayed the same. That 71 percent increase could cause significant problems for some.

Involuntary manslaughter: What it means in Minnesota

You were driving when you hit another vehicle. You never intended for anyone to get hurt, but someone was thrown and ended up with fatal injuries. Now, you face criminal charges. What kinds of charges could you face, and will you be looked at as a murderer?

You're likely to be charged with involuntary manslaughter, and it's not the same as someone who is charged with murder in any way.

Woman charged for welfare fraud, claims innocence

Welfare fraud is a serious crime, because it takes money out of a very necessary system and away from those who need it. It's there for people who can't work or who are struggling to live. When someone takes advantage of the system, the authorities have the right to act.

This case recently came to light in the news on March 29. Authorities charged a woman, a mother of eight, for welfare fraud in Fridley. She had allegedly received over $118,000 in government aid over the course of a year-and-a-half, but she supposedly lied on her documentation. While she said that her husband was not employed, living with her or supporting the family, the opposite is alleged to be true.

Are tax return mistakes the same as tax evasion?

You received a notice in the mail that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) found errors in a past year's return. Now, they want to perform an audit. You're worried you could be accused of a crime like tax evasion if your returns come back inaccurate.

Are mistakes considered to be tax fraud? I made errors on my tax return because I didn't understand the tax code.

1 dies, 2 suffer injuries in serious drunk driving collision

Driving while intoxicated is against the law, and most people understand that. There are cases when people seem drunk and aren't due to medical conditions, have had a drink but are tested positive with a malfunctioning Breathalyzer or have gotten drunk without knowing they've had anything to drink. People in these situations have a strong defense against charges, even if they're involved in an accident.

Drunk driving accidents are horrible for everyone involved. In this case in Minnesota, a man rolled his vehicle over and then got a ride to a local McDonald's. The March 23 report states that the man failed to call 911, even though his friend was at the scene dying from his injuries.

What you can do if your rental car had drugs in it

When you chose to use a rental car, the last thing that you imagined was that there would be drugs in your vehicle. You happened to get pulled over because of reports of a similar vehicle being involved in a drug-related incident. You knew you didn't do anything wrong, so you let the police search your vehicle. Unfortunately, they found what you didn't know was in your car, a secret stash of drugs ditched to avoid an arrest. Now you face the arrest.

This perhaps are not as uncommon as you may think. In fact, especially on the borders, the authorities do search for drugs and can arrest you if you're found to have them in your possession. The police cannot search your vehicle without a warrant or just cause, which could help your case. However, if you gave permission to them to search, then you need to know your defensive options.

Man sentenced to 1 year in prison for threats against mosque

Making a threat can get you into trouble with the law, even if you have no intention on following through with them. Words are not just words, especially when another person fears for his or her life or the lives of others.

In a March 9 report, it is stated that a Minnesota man has been sentenced to a year in prison and an additional three years on supervised release after he threatened to blow up a mosque in Minneapolis. The man pleaded guilty to the charge against him on Nov. 30. The charge was for obstruction, by threat of force, the free exercise of religion.

Is there a difference between criminal and civil harassment?

Criminal and civil harassment are different, and charges for these actions range from misdemeanors to felonies. Usually, criminal harassment simply refers to a person who targets someone else and then behaves in a way that terrorizes, annoys or otherwise alarms the person. The behavior must be a credible threat for it to be considered harassment.

Civil harassment is not criminal in nature, but a civil harassment lawsuit can mean that you have to go to court to defend yourself. The alleged victim in a civil trial is claiming that harassment of some form has resulted in discrimination against him or her. For instance, civil lawsuits might be used in workplace discrimination cases. There are no criminal charges that go along with a civil lawsuit, since it's just the other person suing you, but you could face both a civil and criminal trial at the same time depending on your situation.

Blood or breath tests: Why a blood test requires a warrant

Imagine being told that you must submit to a blood test or face a criminal charge. The police have no warrant for your arrest or the blood test, yet the law states you must oblige. That's not fair, and it's not constitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court determined that a Minnesota law that forced individuals to submit to blood tests without a warrant was illegal. According to the 2016 ruling, the state may not force individuals to submit to a test, but it may penalize those who do not, using the criminalization of the act to force each person's hand.

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