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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Can I Be Charged with a DWI for Being Parked with the Engine On?

Yes, you can be charged with a DWI for being "in physical control" of the car. This means that you are seated behind the steering wheel and have the ability to put the car in motion. The physical control DWI law is designed to prevent a drunk driver, who has stopped his car and pulled over to the side of the road, from continuing to drive drunk. This will be a 4th degree misdemeanor DWI charge for a first time offense with 0 to 90 days jail and a fine of up to $1,000.00. Probation could be for up to 2 years and your license can be revoked for up to 90 days.

You will need an experienced DWI defense attorney to defend your freedom and protect your reputation. Call Robert J. Shane for the best defense at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at

How Do I Know If My DWI Arrest was Legal?

A police officer only needs suspicion of criminal activity to justify a traffic stop. This standard is less than probable cause and an observation of an actual traffic violation is not necessary. If you were swerving in the lanes, an officer may be able to justify the stop. It all depends on the circumstances of each case. If the stop was illegal, the evidence obtained as a result of the stop can not be used against you.

You should have your case reviewed by an experienced Minnesota DWI lawyer to find the loopholes. Contact Robert J. Shane at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at

Can a Sober Driver be Arrested for Open Bottle when the Passengers are Drinking?

Yes, a sober driver can be be charged with an open bottle misdemeanor offense for allowing passengers to drink alcohol in the car. The officer is required by law to release you on citation instead of arresting you unless you have a history of outstanding bench warrants for failure to make your court appearances.

If you are charged with open bottle offense, contact Robert J. Shane, an experienced Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at

Monday, August 29, 2011

Is it Still A Felony to Flee a Police Officer When There Is No Pursuit?

Yes, it is a felony offense to flee a police officer in a motor vehicle when a person refuses to stop after being given a signal by the police officer to stop. An actual police chase is not required under the law to support a criminal prosecution. You will need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your liberty and reputation. Call Robert J. Shane, Esq. for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at

Friday, August 26, 2011

Can My Daughter be Charged with a Felony Assault for Defending Another Person from Attack?

Your daughter has a right under Minnesota law to use a reasonable amount of force to come to the defense of another person who is being assaulted. The legal issue in the case will be whether or not your daughter's use of a club agaisnt the attacker was a reasonable use of force. The prosecution has already filed a criminal complaint and charged your daughter with a felony offense. This means that a judge has already made an initial finding of probable cause based on his review of the criminal complaint.

A defendant in a criminal case has a right to file a motion to dismiss the felony charge against your daughter for lack of probable cause to believe that she in fact committed the charged offense. If the motion is denied, your daughter has a right to assert defense of another at a jury trial. The state will need to convince all 12 jurors beyond a reasonable doubt of all of the elements of the criminal offense before you daughter can be convicted of the felony.

My advice is to immediately retain an an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend her freedom and reputation. Call criminal defense attorney Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultaton at (612) 339-1024.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Can I Get an Out of State License After a Minnesota DWI Conviction?

Yes it is possible to obtain an out of state driver's license after a Minnesota DWI conviction. The problem is that you will need to first reinstate your driving privileges here in Minnesota. The reinstatement process includes waiting for the expiration of the license revocation period, taking a written DWI knowledge test, and paying a reinstatement fee. After your license has been reinstated here in Minnesota, you will be eligible for a "clearance letter" from the Commissioner of Public Safety. The letter must be submitted with your application for an out of state license. After these steps, you should be good to drive.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Can You Be Charged With A DWI After The Fact?

Yes, you can still be charged with a DWI after the fact. Even though you passed the preliminary breath test and you did not receive a ticket on the scene, the officer can still charge you with a straight DWI offense for up to three years after the date of offense. A straight DWI charge does not require the state to prove a subsequent failure of a blood, breath or urine test. The state will still need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of driving you did not possess the "clearness of intellect" to allow you to safely operate your vehicle. A no test case will be more difficult for the state to prove and will allow for more room to plea bargain. I would advise you to retain a competent DWI defense lawyer to insure the best outcome for your case.

What Do I Do in Court If I Was Charged with Theft and Receive Unemployment?

You may be able to enter a diversion program in order to keep the theft offense off your record and allow you to keep receiving unemployment benefits. These programs are available in many counties for first time offenders where the dollar amount of the theft is not excessive. Misdemeanor and felony level offenders are often eligible for diversion. A person who qualifies for the program is required to attend theft offender classes, complete community service, and remain law abiding. Upon completion of the diversion program, the charge against you is dismissed without a conviction.

Can I Get My Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Conviction Expunged?

Yes, it is possible to expunge a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction from your record. The Court will need to make a finding that the benefit of granting you expungement relief outweighs the detriment to society in not knowing about your conviction. The relief granted by the Court in a successful expungement proceeding where there is a conviction is limited to sealing the courthouse file. The judge has no authority to order the sealing of local police department or BCA records.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Happens if I Missed My Court Date and Reside in Another State?

The judge may have issued a "body only" warrant due to the missed court appearance. With this type of warrant, you can not post bail or reset the court date. You would need to turn yourself in at the local jail and see the judge the next morning to set bail.

My advice would be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney with the goal in mind to negotiate a resolution of the case without requiring your personal appearance in court back here in Minnesota. This would hopefully include an agreement that the bench warrant would be recalled. Please call me for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Can the Owner of a Household be Penalized if a Resident has Drugs?

The homeowner could only be charged if the prosecution can prove that he or she "constructively" possessed the drugs. Constructive possession is a theory used by the prosecution when a suspect is not found to be in actual physical possession of the drugs. The state must prove that the homeowner knowingly possessed the drugs with the resident and that the homeowner knew that the drugs were in fact a prohibited controlled substance. The state would need to establish facts showing that the drugs were found in a location were others had access and that the homeowner knowingly exercised physical control over the drugs.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Could a DWI Lawyer Help if There is Overwelming Evidence?

The problem is that only a DWI attorney can determine whether or not your case is worth fighting. An experienced criminal lawyer may uncover defenses that are unknown to a lay person, even when the evidence against you appears overwhelming. There are many cases where an experienced DWI lawyer can make the difference between a permanent conviction on your record and the complete dismissal of the charge. Why open yourself up to pleading guilty in front of a hanging judge when you could have been advised by your lawyer to judge shop?

How Long Does the State have to Press Charges for a Criminal Offense?

For most crimes in Minnesota, there is a 3 year statute of limitations.

What is the Criminal Law on Questioning a Minor?

Parents should normally be contacted before the police interview a minor. The police can still legally interview a minor without the parents being present but this may provide a basis for challenging the validity of the confession. A minor has the same right as an adult to assert his or her right to remain silent under the 5th Amendment. This is often the "Best Defense."

If you need an experienced juvenile defense attorney, contact Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Should I Turn Myself in after Committing a Crime?

By turning yourself in to the police, you will be subject to questioning and will be informing on yourself. The matter may never come to the attention of the police if the victim doesn't alert them to a potential criminal case. The police are the investigative arm of the prosecution. When a report is made to the police, they will conduct an investigation and may decide to refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney for further review and possible charges. Your Best Defense in this case is to not turn yourself in to the police.

If you need an experienced attorney to represent you at the pre-charge stage of a criminal case, contact attorney Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024.

Can I Prevent My Husband from Going to Jail in a Domestic Abuse Case?

There are no guarantees that your husband can stay out of jail but there are things he can to lessen the chances. The first thing to do is hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Many times the defense lawyer will have had prior cases with the same prosecutor or may know the judge and his sentencing policy. This knowledge and experience can prove invaluable when defending a criminal case. If your husband represents himself, he will be an easy target for the prosecution because he poses no threat standing alone.

The second thing to do is to immediately enroll your husband in an anger management program so that he can get some counseling sessions under his belt before the first court date.

Third, tell your husband to have a chemical dependency evaluation done and tell him to begin to follow its recommendations. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to refer you to a defense oriented evaluator who will recommend the least restrictive alcohol treatment for your husband.

Finally, if you do not want to see your husband prosecuted, you should make this position known to the prosecutor. No one wants to push the case to trial with an uncooperative witness. Following these steps will give him "The Best Defense."

If you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you against charges of domestic abuse, contact Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website for more information at

What Should I Say to Police if a Girl Claims Sexual Assault?

Please do not provide any statements to police officers or investigators regarding the facts of your case. You should not even discuss the case with any other person who may have an axe to grind against you. Any statement you make is called an admission and the person who took the statement or heard you make the statement can testify in court as to what you said, even if you were misunderstood or their recollection is not accurate.

A criminal sexual misconduct case is a serious felony level offense. A conviction can be obtained based on the testimony of the victim alone as it does not need to be corroborated by any other evidence. Why give the prosecution a rope to hang you with?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Can the Police Forfeit my Car for Transporting Controlled Substances?

If your car is used to transport controlled substances, Minnesota law authorizes the forfeiture of the vehicle under certain circumstances. The controlled substance being transported must have a retail value of either $75.00 or $100.00, depending on the type of forfeiture proceeding, and the drugs must be associated with a felony level offense. The possession of any amount of cocaine, methampetamine or exstasy is a felony. Marijuana must weigh more than 42.5 grams to be a felony.

A forfeiture proceeding can be commenced as either an administrative or judicial forfeiture proceeding. In an administative proceeding, the police must serve you with a Notice of Intent to Forfeit Vehicle stating that you that you have 60 days to file a demand for a judicial forfeiture hearing. If you fail to file a demand for a hearing within 60 days, the forfeiture of your vehicle will become automatic. A judicial forfeiture proceeding requires the county attorney to file a civil forfeiture complaint within 60 days from the date of the vehicle seizure. If the county fails to do so, your car must be returned to you but the county can still file the forfeiture complaint at a later time.

If your vehicle has been seized by the police, you can regain possession during the forfeiture proceeding by surrendering the certificate of title or by posting a bond in the amount of the retail value of the car.

There are defenses in a vehicle forfeiture case. If you need an experienced vehicle forfeiture attorney, call Robert J. Shane for a free phone consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at for more information.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Happens at a Criminal Jury Trial?

For most people, a criminal jury trial is a totally unknown and scary prospect. What is likely to happen and how can you prepare yourself?

The case will begin with jury selection. A jury panel will be brought into the court room and seated in the gallery. All of the prospective jurors on the panel will be sworn in. The clerk will call the names of 21 jurors in the case of a felony or 15 jurors in the case of a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor. The prospective jurors will be seated in the jury box and the judge will begin asking questions of the entire panel and each individual looking for bias. After the judge has finished, questioning will be turned over to the defense lawyer and finally to the prosecutor. The lawyers will then exercise what are called peremptory challenges and systematically strike or remove unwanted jurors from the trial of the case. The criminal defense lawyer will want to remove all jurors with an agenda who may negatively influence the remaining jurors. In Minnesota, the defense has 5 challenges and the prosecution has 3. The jury will consist of the remaining jurors who have not been removed by the lawyers. In a long trial, there will usually be one alternate juror to replace any juror who gets sick or can not continue to attend the trial for some reason.

The jurors will be given some preliminary instructions by the judge and the case will then proceed to opening statements. The prosecutor address the jury first followed by the defense lawyer. Opening statements are for the purpose of providing the jury with a road map of what each party expects the evidence to show.

Next, the prosecution will present its case by calling witnesses and introducing evidence during the trial. The prosecution is required by law to prove all of the elements of the criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Once the prosecution has finished presenting evidence and rests its case, the defense may call witness and introduce evidence but has no obligation to do so as a defendant in a criminal case is presumed to be innocent of the charges and does not have to prove his innocence.

After each party has presented its case, the jurors will hear closing arguments from the lawyers beginning with the prosecution. The criminal defense attorney will argue next and will usually expose the weakness in the prosecution case followed by the strengths of the defense case. In Minnesota, the prosecution will have an opportunity to make a rebuttal argument after the defense argument. The prosecution will have the last word in the case. A Minnesota criminal defense lawyer has no right to make a rebuttal argument.

The jury will be given its final instructions by the judge and retire to the jury room to deliberations. The defendant and his or her lawyer will be required to stay close by the courthouse in order to promptly return if the jury has any questions or has reached its verdict.

If you are charged with a crime and need an experienced Minnesota criminal defense lawyer, please contact Robert J. Shane for a Free Initial Consultation. Mr. Shane has 28 years of criminal defense experience and will defend your freedom. Call now at (612) 339-1025 or visit his website for more information at