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Criminal Defense Archives

Minnesota Law Allows You to Seal Criminal Records

In 2015, Minnesota revised its expungement law. The revised law makes it easier to seal criminal records. The revised law also allows, for the first time, meaningful expungement of criminal records relating to certain felony offenses. Before delving into the analysis of which records can be expunged and how easy or difficult it is to expunge the records, it is important to understand what expungement does.

A Defendant's Constitutional Rights in a Criminal Case

Criminal defendants have constitutional rights during the course of a criminal case. The most significant, and likely most well-known, is that a criminal defendant is presumed innocent until the government proves a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is exclusively with the government-a criminal defendant does not need to prove anything.

Sexual Assault Charges Dismissed

Yesterday, the Olmsted County Attorney's Office dismissed sexual assault charges against Stanley Fieseler of Chatfield, MN. A jury trial was set to begin in the case when the State of Minnesota informed Mr. Fieseler that it would not  be going forward with the charges. Mr. Fieseler was facing one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Mr. Fieseler vehemently denied any wrongdoing in the case. 

ACQUITTED: Bird, Jacobsen & Stevens' Client Found Not Guilty in Felony Firearms Case

Yesterday, a Houston County jury found Elizabeth Sanness not guilty of five criminal charges, four of which involved the use of a firearm. Ms. Sanness was charged with Felony Assault in the Second Degree-Use of a Firearm, Felony Stalking with a Firearm, Felony Threats of Violence While Brandishing a Firearm, Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault-Use of a Firearm, and Misdemeanor Domestic Assault.

What Does a Judge Consider When Setting Bail?

Last week, we published a blog about bail--specifically, we looked at the purpose of bail and mechanically how it works. This week, we examine a related topic: factors a judge considers when setting bail.

What is Bail and How Does it work?

Bail is money that a court requires an individual to pay to get out of jail. The purpose of bail is to assure judges that the individual will appear for all their court hearings in a criminal case. A judge will set bail if he or she has concerns about a defendant's ability to appear for court or concerns about public safety. If an individual misses a court appearance, a judge can forfeit any bail posted.

Six Tips for Talking with a Police Officer

This blog post--which is the last in a three-part series involving the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution--provides six tips on how to handle yourself when talking with a police officer.

What Does it Mean to "Plead the Fifth?"

This blog post is the second in a three-part series exploring the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. To see the other posts in this series, click here 

Understanding Your Miranda Rights

Clients often ask why they weren't read their Miranda rights during police questioning. Sometimes, they ask why they weren't read their Miranda rights when they were placed under arrest. In DWI/DUI cases, clients sometimes ask why they weren't read their Miranda rights prior to a request for a chemical test of their blood, breath, and urine.

Introduction to Bird, Jacobsen & Stevens, P.C.'s Blog Series Involving the Fifth Amendment

In speaking with criminal clients, I am always surprised to learn how many misconceptions exist regarding criminal law. One significant area of misconception involves the issue of offering unfavorable statements against yourself to police. People often have wrong ideas about what their Miranda rights entail, about what "Pleading the Fifth" entails, and about what needs to be said or done during a confrontation with a police officer.

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