What to expect at court in Misdemeanor Charges

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

Arraignment

The defendant is formally notified of the charges filed, advised of his or her rights, and bail is set. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, a public defender is appointed by the court to represent the defendant. The pre-trial and trial dates are set. If the defendant pleads guilty, he or she will proceed directly to sentencing.

 Pre-Trial

At this hearing, a judge decides if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. If the defendant pleads guilty, he or she will proceed directly to sentencing. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case proceeds to trial. Often a plea agreement is discussed at this time.

 Trial

At the trial, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney present their case to a judge or a jury. Both sides may call witnesses to testify. At the end of a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

 Sentencing

If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty following a trial, a judge may proceed directly to sentencing or schedule a separate sentencing hearing. A pre-sentence investigation (PSI) is not automatically ordered, but one may be requested.

 Note: This is the standard process. Additional hearings may be scheduled at the request of either party.

What to expect at court in Gross Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

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

First Appearance (Rule 5)

The defendant is formally notified of the charges filed, advised of his or her rights, and bail is set. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, a public defender is appointed by the court to represent the defendant. The pre-trial and trial dates are set.

 Omnibus / Pre-Trial (Rule 8)

At this hearing, the judge decides if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial. If the defendant pleads guilty, he or she will proceed directly to sentencing. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case proceeds to trial. Often a plea agreement is discussed at this time.

 Contested Omnibus (Rasmussen)

If the defense attorney raises questions regarding legal issues on the case, this hearing may be scheduled. The judge may hear oral testimony and may request written arguments from both attorneys.

 Trial

At the trial, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney present their case to a judge or jury. Both sides may call witnesses to testify. At the end of a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

 Sentencing

If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty following a trial, the judge will order a pre-sentence investigation (PSI). The PSI will include the defendant’s criminal history and personal background. The individual conducting the PSI (usually a probation officer), may contact the victim of the crime to determine how they have been impacted by the defendant’s actions. The PSI enables the judge to learn more about the defendant so that he or she is better able to impose the proper sentence.

 After the PSI has been completed, the defendant comes before the judge for sentencing. The judge can only impose a sentence that falls within the boundaries of state law or the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Keeping those boundaries in mind, and weighing all the facts of the case, the judge then sentences the defendant.

 Note: This is the standard process. Additional hearings may be scheduled at the request of either party.

Our Service Areas

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

While we frequently practice in Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Pine, Ramsey, Sherburne, Scott and Wright Counties, we do provide representation throughout the State of Minnesota and other counties.

If you live in Minnesota, give us a call so that we can discuss your case. Let Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices help you protect your rights.

Stopped by the Police? Understand Your Constitutional Rights

Written by WebAdmin on . Posted in Legal Advice

When encountered by a police officer, you have constitutional rights.  The most important right is to remain silentSpeaking to police can only harm, not help you.  You cannot talk your way out of a charge, so do not try.  Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s) or a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) is not mandatory when pulled over for suspicion of DWI and you cannot lose your driver’s license for refusing to do them.  The only test that is mandatory is the test offered to you after you have been read the Implied Consent Advisory and have had a chance to speak with a lawyer.  Under every circumstance, if contacted by police or arrested, consult with an attorney immediately to understand our options.  When encountered by police, provide only your identification.  If asked questions you state, “My attorney has advised me not to answer any questions or to do any tests until I speak to him.”

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