Call for a Free Phone Consultation at (612) 339-1024

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


If you have been charged with a first time DWI test failure or test refusal, and are 21 years of age or older, there is a way to shorten the period of your driver’s license revocation in Minnesota by pleading guilty to the DWI. Before you consider this option, it’s important to first seek the advice of your attorney regarding the strength of the state’s case against you. Your attorney may advise you, for example, that the police stop of your vehicle was illegal and that a defense motion should be filed to dismiss the criminal charge and that a petition should be filed to reinstate driving privileges.   Your attorney may also alert you to other grounds that can be used to seek the dismissal of the criminal charge and the reinstatement of your driving privileges such as when the police officer does not have probable cause to arrest you for DWI or when your refusal to submit to chemical testing was reasonable.
After careful review of all the state’s evidence and consultation with your attorney, you may decide that there is no legal basis that is likely to succeed in challenging the DWI charge or in seeking the reinstatement of your driving privileges. In that event, you may want to consider a way to cut your losses by shortening the period of your driver’s license revocation. 
If you are charged with a first time Third Degree test refusal, a gross misdemeanor, and you are 21 years of age or older, you may want to consider entering a guilty plea to the Third  Degree DWI. This technique will allow you to shorten the period of your driver’s license revocation from one year down to 90 days. The better result would be to get the prosecutor to allow you to plead guilty to the amended charge of misdemeanor Fourth Degree DWI. This tactic would reduce the period of your driver’s license revocation even further; from one year down to 30 days.
If your are 21 years of age or older and are charged with a first time misdemeanor Fourth degree DWI for a test failure,  you can shorten the period of your driver’s license revocation  from 90 days down to 30 days by pleading guilty to the Fourth Degree DWI.  This should only be done where your blood alcohol content was too high for a prosecutor to offer you a plea to the amended charge of careless driving.
If you have been charged with a DWI offense, or any other crime, you should hire a skilled Minneapolis criminal defense attorney to defend your freedom. Robert J. Shane has over 27 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and will use his experience to provide you with The Best Defense. For more information and tips for suspects in a criminal case, or to discuss your case, please call Robert J. Shane at (612) 339-1024 or visit my website at

Sunday, December 12, 2010


        What is the best defense against receiving a misdemeanor ticket for minor consumption in Minnesota? As every person under the age of 21 knows, it is against the law for you to consume alcohol in Minnesota. The only exception to the rule is when you are granted permission by your parents to drink at home. This almost never happens. More likely than not, you are at a concert or house party and decide to drink alcohol, hoping not to get caught.
        What can you do to reduce the odds of a conviction? Let’s say you are at a house party having a good time when a neighbor calls the police complaining of a loud party. The next thing you know the police are knocking at the door.  The owner should go to the door, open it, but not too far. You don’t want the police to see anything inside the house such as intoxicated minors, scattered beer bottles, or controlled substances. Plain view observations of illegal activity may create probable cause for a police entry into the house party without your permission or even a search warrant. If the police officer asks for your consent to enter, simply say no, not without a warrant.  This is your constitutional right. Consent to enter is one way the police can avoid the time delay involved in obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge.
        Let’s say it’s too late and the police gain access to the house party. Officers will begin to question anyone looking under the age of 21. The first questions a police officer will ask you is whether or not you have been drinking alcohol.  If you say yes, you have just made an “admission” against your own interest. The officer can now testify at trial that you admitted to drinking alcohol. The next question will be about your age.  If you admit that you are under 21, you have just made your second admission against your own interest. The police know that a prosecutor needs to prove that you are under 21 before you can be convicted. You are under no legal obligation to respond to police questioning. You have a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself. Use it.
         Finally, the police will ask you to submit to a preliminary breath test. Minnesota law allows for the results of a preliminary breath test to be used against you in court during a prosecution for minor consumption. The proof of the presence of any amount of alcohol in your system, no matter how small, is powerful evidence against you.  Why provide the prosecution with valuable evidence that will only be used to convict you?  You don’t have to incriminate yourself. Politely refuse a police request to submit to the preliminary breath test. This quiet refusal will weaken the State’s case against you and provide you with The Best Defense.
        If you have been charged with minor consumption or any other crime, you should hire a skilled Minneapolis criminal defense attorney to defend your freedom. Robert J. Shane has over 27 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and will use his experience to provide you with The Best Defense. For more information and tips for suspects in a criminal case, or to discuss your case, please call Robert J. Shane at (612) 339-1024 or visit my website at

“The Best Defense”
900 IDS Center
80 South 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 339-1024
Fax: (612) 455-4574

Friday, December 10, 2010

Electronic Home Monitoring Made Easy at the Hennepin County Workhouse

        Now that a judge has authorized you to serve your sentence on electronic home monitoring (EHM), how do you make sure to take advantage of this great alternative to a jail sentence? The first step is to report to the workhouse on time. If you fail to do so, a judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. You may also be considered to be in violation of the terms of your probation and could be subject to a longer jail sentence.  So be on time. If you are unable to arrange for transportation to the workhouse, report to the Sheriff’s Department in downtown Minneapolis and a police officer will transport you to the workhouse.   
         Secondly, don’t forget to bring your identification with you such as a driver’s license or state ID. No identification, no EHM.
        Thirdly, if you are ordered to serve straight time EHM with no work release privileges, you should report directly to either the Men’s or Women’s section of the Adult Correctional Facility in Plymouth. Be prepared to pay a booking fee of $30.00 and a placement fee of $125.00. You will also need to have an address where you will be staying that can be verified by the staff. For EHM to properly work, your phone line must not have any features like voice mail, an answering machine, call waiting, three-way calling, blocked calls or caller ID. If you do have these features, make sure you have them removed by your phone company well in advance of your reporting date.  Your cell phone will not work with the EHM equipment.
       Should you have any other questions, concerns or need legal representation in a criminal case, please call attorney Robert J. Shane at (612) 339-1024 or refer to the criminal F.A.Q’s section on my website located at

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hunters, Restore Your Gun Rights!

If you have been convicted of a crime of violence, Minnesota law prohibits you from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm. This law has a devastating effect on the  rights of all Minnesota hunters  who have made a mistake at some point in  their past but have since become  law abiding citizens. A crime of violence includes felony convictions for offenses such as murder, kidnapping, assault, and criminal sexual conduct. A person who violates the statute can be sentenced to not more than 15 years imprisonment or to a payment of a fine of not more than $30,000.00, or both!

If you are an avid hunter and are prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, you should contact an experienced Minneapolis criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights. Robert J. Shane has over 27 years of experience as a  criminal defense attorney  whose winning record can be viewed at A person who has been convicted of a crime of violence can file a petition with the court for relief from this  oppressive law.  This news is welcome relief for all of the many thousands of hunters across our great state who want to restore their hunting rights. A skilled criminal defense attorney can file a petition with the court on your behalf for the judicial restoration of your right to possess a firearm and to hunt again. A court may grant relief upon a showing of just and good cause to do so. An aggressive Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer can help  restore your right to hunt again in Minnesota. For more information please contact Robert J. Shane at  

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The most important time for you to hire an attorney is when the case is still under investigation. A skilled Minneapolis criminal defense attorney can have a direct  influence on the decision by a police officer  to  refer the case to the prosecuting attorney  for formal charges. A simple polygraph test may do the trick. If the criminal lawyer can convince the officer  not to  refer your case  for prosecution, the case  goes no further than the facts recited in a police report resting  calmly at the bottom of a  police file drawer.   A criminal lawyer who is retained at the pre-charge stage of the case will immediately notify the investigating  officer that he is representing the suspect and advise the officer that no further communication should occur between the officer and  client. This tactic will prevent police calls to your home or work and stop the police from dropping by unannounced for a "friendly"   interview. The pre-charge criminal defense attorney may also be able to work with  the prosecuting attorney to negotiate a favorable resolution of the case at an early stage of the proceedings and avoid the time and expense of a formal prosecution. If a  prosecutor does decide to proceed with formal charges, a pre-charge criminal attorney may be able to convince the prosecution to issue a summons instead of a warrant for your arrest as private counsel has been retained and the likelihood of a nonappearance by a defendant in court has been significantly reduced. If you are a target in a criminal investigation, you should hire a skilled Minneapolis criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. For more information and tips for suspects in a criminal case, please go to my website at

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why not Expunge your Criminal Record?

Sealing Arrest Records

Minnesota law allows you to expunge your criminal arrest record under certain conditions. A successful expungement will prevent prospective employers and landlords from learning about mistakes you made in the past. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and many other state agencies will seal your arrest records upon your request in a  case where you were arrested, but not charged,  under the  following conditions:

a. You must not have  been convicted of a felony or gross misdemeanor within 10 years following the  arrest; and

b. All charges against you were dismissed before there was any finding of probable cause against you.

The applicable law on this point is located at Minnesota Statutes Section 299C.11.

Statutory Expungement

Minnesota law  allows for the sealing of your records where probable cause has been found to support the charge against you, but you were never convicted of the crime. The following persons are eligible: 

a. A first time controlled substance offender who receives a discharge and dismissal under Minnesota Statutes Section 152.18;

b. A juvenile offender who is certified as an adult and  convicted  may file for an expungement and prevail upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that  sealing the records would yield a benefit to the offender equal or greater to the disadvantages to the public and  public safety.

c. Also certain proceeding that resolve in the petitioner's favor are eligible for an expungement such as the dismissal of a grand jury indictment, a continuance for dismissal after  successful completion of probation, and where a person is found not guilty by a judge or jury.

The Court's Inherent Authority to Expunge Criminal Records

When a court proceeding has not been resolved in your favor, the courts still have the power to grant your petition for expungement under circumstances where your constitutional rights have been seriously infringed. If there has been no infringement of your constitutional rights, the court will use a balancing test to determine whether or not the expungement will yield a benefit to you that is equal with the disadvantages to the public from the sealing of the record and the burden on the court system in issuing, enforcing, and monitoring an expungement order.

Certain Crimes are not Eligible for Expungement

Minnesota law prohibits the expungement of certain types of offenses including murder, kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct offenses, DWI's, and traffic offenses. See Minnesota Statutes Section 609A.02, subd. 4.

What Records can be Sealed in an Expungement Proceeding?

a. You can seal all of the arrest records when you have been arrested, but not charged. A  separate demand must be sent to each agency;

b. When a statutory expungement is successful, you are allowed to seal all agency records;

c. If an agency  has not been served with a copy of the expungement petition, the records can not be sealed;

d. If the proceeding was not resolved in your favor and an expungement is granted, the courts have discretion under appropriate circumstances to expunge court files and agency files, including  BCA records.

It has become very difficult for persons with criminal records to obtain housing or employment. Make sure you  take advantage of applicable law and seal your past for good.