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.

3 Myths Regarding a DUI Charge – Debunked

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

While it is never okay, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a common charge in the United States. An estimated 1.5 million people are arrested for drunk driving each year.  Whether under the influence of prescription pain medications, alcohol, or another drug, you should never get behind the wheel. With the proper understanding of a DUI charge, you may finally be able to learn the physical, emotional, and financial dangers of driving under the influence. By debunking these common myths, you will have a better understanding of a DUI charge.

DUI Is a Minor Offense

One of the most common misconceptions about a DUI charge is that it is a minor offense. In the past, paying a small fee would get you out of a DUI charge. This penalty punished you slightly, allowing you to continue driving without any worry of the charge affecting your criminal record.

The Many Effects an Underage DUI Arrest Can Have on Your Future

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

If you have a DUI (driving under the influence) arrest, it’s important to talk to an attorney who can explain your options before you enter a final plea to the charge. How you decide to handle the situation can have a lasting impact on your continuing education and future employment opportunities. Even a misdemeanor, or first offense, drunk driving conviction can have far-reaching consequences. Here’s a look at just some of them.

Police Interrogation and Arrest: Know Your Rights

Written by WebAdmin on . Posted in Blog

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The majority of people only know about arresting rights because of law enforcement television shows, the most famous being the right to remain silent. However, many people are unaware of what their rights are during the arrest and interrogation process, especially if they have never had trouble with the law before. 

It’s important to understand that you are still protected in the legal system, even if you’ve been accused of a crime. Here is what you should know about your rights, and what it means for your case if those rights are ignored. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media After an Arrest

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

captureIf you are arrested for any crime, the first thing that you need to do is to contact a criminal defense attorney who can work in your best interests. Whether you are innocent or guilty, this is an essential step to protect yourself. You then need to consider your next actions very carefully since mistakes can cost you dearly.

With social media’s increasing presence in everyone’s daily life, it may seem like posting on social media is a good idea in such a situation, but it rarely is. Live tweeting an arrest won’t do you any favors! Neither will long, angry rants. Keep in mind these do’s and don’ts for using social media if you have been arrested.

Do Keep in Mind That Private Profiles Aren’t Truly Private

You may feel safe posting on Facebook if your posts all have the privacy setting of “friends only.” However, no social media profile is truly private. You don’t really know how safe your information is even among friends who appear to truly care, and it is easy for people with nefarious intentions to send you a friend request under the pretense of being someone else. Consider anything you post to be public.

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.

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