Frequently Asked Questions
There are four different levels of offenses in Minnesota and are defined by the possible sentence you could receive if convicted of the offense.
- Petty Misdemeanor — a non-criminal offense punishable by a maximum $300 fine.
- Misdemeanor — punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and/or a $1000 fine.
- Gross Misdemeanor — punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $3000 fine.
- Felony — punishable by over one year in prison and/or more than a $3000 fine.
If you are the suspect in an investigation, you should not speak with any law enforcement officer without speaking to an attorney first. The primary goal of law enforcement is to build a case strong enough to send to the local prosecutor for charging. If you are asked questions by the police, tell them that you would like to call your attorney before talking.
If arrested, know you have rights guaranteed to you by the Constitution -one of those is the right to an attorney. Respectfully tell the officer that you want to have an attorney present prior to answering any questions. Also, decline to submit to field sobriety tests as this will only be used as evidence against you. While the law enforcement officer will most likely place you under arrest, you will have prevented yourself from giving the police any incriminating evidence. Throughout the process, remain as polite and courteous as possible.
If you are taken to the police station, tell the police you want to call Keil Defense before you submit to any further testing. Do not answer any questions about where you were going or coming from, whether you were drinking or not, what you were drinking or how much, or whether you feel impaired.
You have the right to have an attorney represent you. You do not have to talk to police about the crime you have been charged with, but if you choose to, you have the right to have an attorney present with you.
You have a right to a trial by either a judge or a jury depending on the charges. At the trial, the State would have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you choose to have a jury trial, all members of the jury would have to agree that you are guilty. The State must bring their witnesses against you into court and you have a right to question those witnesses. You have the right to subpoena witnesses to come into court and testify on your behalf, and you have the right to either testify at your trial or remain silent. If you choose to remain silent, neither the prosecuting attorney nor the judge may comment to the jury on your decision.
An experienced lawyer understands the criminal justice system and can obtain more favorable results for your case. Keep in mind that not all lawyers are well suited to handle criminal matters, so be sure to contact a lawyer that practices only criminal defense. If you find yourself charged with a crime, you should contact a lawyer to assess your case and determine what defense strategies you have. At Keil Defense, our top priority is always getting your case dismissed. If that option is unavailable, I will build a defense that forces the prosecution to compromise. No matter what the outcome, Keil Defense can reduce the stress of facing a criminal charge and get the best resolution for your case.
Depending on what type of charges you are facing, you might have to pay bail before you can be released from jail. If you are charged with criminal offense, the Court must set reasonable bail or conditions of release. If you or someone you know is charged with a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss your bail situation. An experienced lawyer can help get bail set, argue for reduced bail, explore alternative conditional release options or arrange for a bonding agent to help get you released.
A criminal conviction will become part of your record once you enter a guilty plea or you are found guilty of a crime by a court or jury.
In Minnesota, there are several crimes that are enhanceable, which means subsequent charges will become worse if you have a prior conviction within the past ten years. Specifically, DWI/DUI and assault charges are enhanceable. A DWI/DUI or drivers license revocation can be used to enhance any new DWI/DUI charge. For assault cases, any prior assault-related conviction can be used to enhance your current charge. The enhancement could take what would be a misdemeanor charge and turn it into a gross misdemeanor or felony charge, depending upon an individuals’ record.
You should contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case before entering a plea to any charges.
There are many ways to reduce the impact of a charge, and many of my clients have been able to resolve their cases without a conviction appearing on their records. Call me to discuss your specific case — a consultation is always free.
In many cases, especially for first-time drug offenders, Keil Defense can keep permanent felony charges from going onto a client’s record. Keil Defense can also recommend resources to help individuals address addiction and chemical dependency.
If you have been charged with a crime of any kind (with the exception of minor traffic offenses) you will likely have to go to court. Petty misdemeanors are not considered to be crimes, and you do not have to attend court to resolve them. To resolve a petty misdemeanor, you can generally call the court administrator in the county in which a ticket was issued and either pay a fine by phone or meet with a hearing officer to discuss the ticket. You can also call the court administrator in the county where the alleged offense occurred and ask if there is a court date scheduled for the case.
Contact Keil Defense to receive a “no-strings-attached” consultation and learn how we can work together to get the result you deserve.
Call, email, or write to us at our Hennepin or Ramsey County locations:
P.O. Box 44295
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
332 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101