Q: Declaration of Emergency - violate imposed curfew or the closing of businesses (crim/traf mandatory)
I was walking downtown to get food with my friends a few hours after Minneapolis sent out an amber alert (on iPhones) warning people that there was a curfew set. Curfew was set at 9:00 pm and we were downtown around 1:00 am. I was not in Minneapolis at the time the amber alert was sent, so I did not see this alert. I was unaware of the curfew.
While walking downtown a few swat trucks pulled around us and they shouted at us to get on the ground. We were taken to the Minneapolis Jail's garage, they gave us a ticket and we went home.
The ticket is showing up as crim/traf mandatory. Is this a misdemeanor charge? is there anything I can do to have the misdemeanor expunged? What are my chances of not having this show up on a background check? Should I hire a lawyer? are lawyers expensive?
A: A lawyer may be able to keep this off of your record. Every lawyer charges different fees but many of us offer free consultations so make a few calls and see why you think.
A: Most would want to keep a criminal charge from becoming a public conviction record. Lack of knowledge might be a viable defense at trial. But of course, it's better to avoid both a conviction and a trial, if possible (since a trial has more than zero risk). You maybe able to work out an agreement for resolution with the prosecuting attorney, but there is some risk in attempting to do so without having a defense attorney. But either way, an agreement to a "Continuance For Dismissal WithOut a Plea," with conditions, ("CWOP" or "CFD") could result in dismissal a year or less later. Typical conditions would include payment of "prosecution costs," waiver of a right to a speedy trial, and no new same or similar charges. But importantly, no guilty plea is required for a CWOP (CFD). Assuming the defendant makes it through the year without violating a condition, the charge gets dismissed eventually without any public record of conviction. So, set up a court date with the court. Decide whether you'll hire a lawyer. Then either secure an agreement which avoids conviction, or contest the charge in a trial. Call me with any questions.
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