Understanding the Difference Between an Arrest and Detainment in Minnesota

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Blog

An arrest in Minnesota is wholly different from detainment, but sometimes the two can feel like the same thing. Understanding the differences between the two can help if you find yourself facing either situation.

When Law Enforcement Detains You in Minnesota

If an officer stops you, whether on foot or in a car, then that officer is detaining you. During detainment, you’re not technically free to go. The officer will use this time to ask you questions or investigate a suspicion further. Some important facts to remember about detainment include:

Should You Choose A Jury Trial?

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Blog

If you are accused of committing a crime in the United States, you have the right to a trial to determine whether you are guilty or not. In Minnesota, you also have the right to choose to have a jury trial or a bench trial.

When you have the option of whether to choose a bench trial or a jury trial, you may have many questions. Continue reading to learn more about which option may work best in your case.

What Is a Jury Trial?

A jury trial is the traditional court trial involving members of the community selected to be on the jury. The jury will listen to both sides of the case and make a determination of guilty or not guilty based on Minnesota state laws.

Why Your Teen’s Criminal Charges Are a Big Deal

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Blog

Teens getting themselves into trouble is nothing new. Unfortunately, the days of a police officer just calling a teen’s parent for things like underage drinking are gone. Nowadays, teens often face serious consequences for the crimes that they commit, even if the crimes seem relatively minor. If your teen is facing criminal charges, you should take the situation seriously. Here is why.

Teens Can (and Do) Go to Jail

Many people are under the misconception that teens are given lighter sentences when they get convicted of crimes. Even though this does happen sometimes, you shouldn’t assume that your teen only faces community service or probation.

Can the Court Retry You for the Same Criminal Charges?

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Blog

Once you have your criminal charges dismissed, you can typically breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the prosecution can attempt to bring you up on the same dismissed charges later. Here is what you should know.

The Fifth Amendment and Double Jeopardy

The Fifth Amendment is one of the more well-known amendments to the U.S. constitution. You probably already know it protects you from incriminating yourself.

The Fifth also contains the Double Jeopardy Clause. This clause flatly states you cannot go through a retrial after you already received an acquittal or conviction. If your case falls under any of those prohibitions, then you’re safe.

What to Expect When You’re Caught Driving With a Suspended License

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Legal Advice

Driving is a critical part of adult life. From work to school, it’s vital you can drive to the places you need to be. If your license is suspended due to a DWI conviction, unpaid citations or child-support payments, or an excessive number of traffic violations, then you know firsthand the consequences of a license suspension.

However, the effects of these challenges should never cause you to disregard this suspension and get behind the wheel. If you’re caught driving with a suspended license, you will only face a more challenging road ahead.

Driving During a Suspension Is a Crime

When the court suspends, revokes, or cancels your license, this is a legal judgment. When you ignore this and drive anyway, you are committing a crime and will be charged accordingly. If your license is suspended, meaning you only lose your ability to legally drive temporarily, then you could face up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.

If your license is canceled, meaning the decision is permanent, you face a larger fine and up to one year behind bars.

You Weren’t Aware Teens Were Drinking Under Your Roof: What Can Happen Next?

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Legal Advice

Underage drinking is not only prevalent (around 11% of 8th graders have reported taking part in binge drinking), it’s also very dangerous. Around 5,000 people under the drinking age succumb to an alcohol-related death every year.

You’ve recently discovered teenagers have been drinking under your roof. While you’re incensed at the activity, you’re also relieved: nobody was apparently hurt and hopefully the teens involved have learned their lesson from the foolish act. There are many reasons you should be concerned about underage drinking in your home, even if it wasn’t approved by you or you weren’t even aware of what happened until after the fact.

You Are Liable As the Social Host

If one of the teenager’s parents find out that their child was drinking alcohol under your roof, they can press charges. Even if you didn’t serve any of the teens alcohol or didn’t know they were drinking in the first place, you are considered the Social Host of the occurrence.

What’s the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Legal Advice

Most people know that a felony is a punishment for a serious crime that can affect the perpetrator for years after conviction. But if you set up a list of crimes and asked the average person which ones were felonies and which ones were less serious, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell you.

What are felonies, and how do they differ from misdemeanors and other less serious crimes? In this blog, we discuss the differences between a felony and a misdemeanor.

Types of Crimes

The law provides classifications for different degrees of crime. That way, serious crimes come with serious punishments, while lesser crimes are punished more leniently.

Important Considerations for When You Get a Traffic Ticket

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Blog

Getting a traffic ticket is more than a nuisance. Besides the obvious fees and fines, a traffic ticket can result in higher insurance premiums and even the revocation of your license. Your life without the use of a car is likely to be more difficult.

While it’s not mandatory, legal counsel can help you get your ticket reduced or even dismissed in traffic court.

Types of Traffic Violations

Probably the most common traffic violation is speeding. Two types of speed restrictions exist — those that restrict your speed based on the setting, such as a residential street or a school zone, and those that restrict your speed according to driving conditions, such as rain or snow.

Another common traffic violation is running a red light or a stop sign, and this violation is considered a particularly dangerous one. So is distracted driving, such as texting or even looking at your smartphone map. These often result in stiffer penalties and fines.

Reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident are even more serious violations. Reckless driving is subjective, but it comes down to whether the police officer thinks you were driving with a disregard for the safety of others.

Caught Trespassing: What Will Happen Next?

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Legal Advice

Many people don’t think twice when they see a “No Trespassing” sign on an old fence or out in the middle of nowhere. Trespassing does not really seem to be a crime that people think much about because no one is hurt and no property is actually damaged.

As a result, a trespassing charge can come as a surprise to first-time offenders. If you’ve been caught trespassing or have been accused of or charged with trespassing, here’s what you need to know about this crime.

Understanding Trespassing

In simple terms, trespassing is when you enter private property without invitation. However, this definition can be extended to include:

Guilty or Not Guilty: How Should You Plead?

Written by Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A. on . Posted in Legal Advice

If you have committed any crime, you have the right to claim your own innocence before the court. The way you plead will direct the rest of your case, including whether or not your case will go to trial by a jury. How you should plead depends entirely on your own personal circumstances, the nature of the crime and the details or your arrest.

If you are wondering how a plea will affect you, and what it means for your case and your future, here is some information that can help.

Types of Pleas

There are essentially only two types of pleas: guilty and not guilty. However, each of these pleas require some explanation. For example, you might have committed the crime, but you also might not have fully understood your actions because of mental illness. Therefore, you could enter a “not guilty” plea on the basis of insanity.

Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A.
2601 Coon Rapids Blvd
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
Phone: 763-754-5555