Minnesota Criminal Law Questions & Answers

Q: If I am not told that an interview with a police investigator is being recorded, is it still submissible as evidence?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Jan 15, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
The most common reasons confessions and statements to police are suppressed are: (1) involuntary or coerced; (2) no Miranda warning where suspect is in custody and being questioned by police; and (3) no valid waiver of rights. In Minnesota, courts also want police to audio record statements. But in Minnesota, pretty much anyone can lawfully record their own conversation without disclosing the fact that it's being recorded. Recording other people's conversations without notice is illegal...

Q: If you get caught shoplifting at Walmart can they check security cameras from prior visits to see if you were

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Jan 14, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
I'm not an expert on Walmart security and loss prevention practices. It seems reasonable to assume that they don't keep massive video files of the store for years. Days? Weeks? I don't know. But if they have the video still, that would allow them to use it, right? I'm not sure whether simply video evidence would be enough to charge someone though. To have a solid case, they should have some other, corroborating evidence. In the end, the specific facts of an actual situation would be...

Q: I was caught shoplifting at Walmart. They said I had 50 or 80 dollars worth of items that didn't get scanned.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Jan 12, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
What will happen will depend upon you, and what you do. Most people facing a first-time criminal theft charge want to keep their record clean. And usually I'm able to help my clients do that. But other people go to court without a lawyer, talk to the prosecutor, plead guilty, and get a criminal record for theft. That can make it hard to get a good paying job or apartment. I'd suggest: get a lawyer and keep a conviction off of your public court record.

Q: wondering about the process of being assigned a court appointed lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Jan 3, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
In Minnesota, the court asks people to fill out a public defender application form with some basic financial and other information - first thing at the First Appearance. That is how it is normally done. It can be done later, too. You could contact the public defenders' office before that, but 99% of the time there is no real reason for doing so. Unless there is an unusual, urgent circumstance, it's best to wait until you get to court.

Q: Can a Probation officer change the terms of a court order? And is there a way to prove said terms are unjust/unreasonab?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Domestic Violence and Probate for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 31, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
A Probation Officer does not have authority to change the written terms of judge's explicit, written conditions of probation. But from a practical perspective, judges rely heavily on probation officers and give them a lot of discretion. A defendant have trouble with a probation officer is better of trying to reach a better understanding of what is expected. Probation officers have a lot of discretion in interpreting probation conditions set by the judge. In extreme cases, the defendant can...

Q: My lawyer got disbarred and misrepresented me im disabled and want to know what to do to to file a complaint

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Personal Injury and Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 30, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
If the lawyer has already disbarred, I'm not sure what more the Minnesota Lawyer's Board of Professional Responsibility could do. But you may wish to contact them and find out.

If you want to look into your conviction, you may want to ask a private criminal defense attorney or public defender's office to help you with that.

Q: When did the USA start requiring bar certification for federal public defenders

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 28, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
This has always been required. A lawyer cannot practice in Federal Court absent being a licensed attorney.

Q: Probation

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 26, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
North Dakota. You could be locked up in Minnesota pending transport, for a bit.

Q: What to expect at a 1st Appearance of Carry/Possess Pistol w/out permit in Minnesota. Offense level of Gross Misd.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 19, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
Booking is a process where you are photographed and fingerprinted. Depending on the county that might occur at the courthouse or at the jail. But that does not mean that you will be held in jail for any period of time.

Q: can I get charged for theft if someone gave me a discount that I dint ask for my buddy just did it and told me to go

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 18, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
If you have been charged with a crime, the question is how best to defend against it. If you have not been, you might consider returning the item for a refund of what was paid. Rather than trying to guess odds, better to take action to reduce risk. A person's honor and reputation are valuable.

Q: was in a work release facility back in 2016 i "escaped" Can we work this out I'm a resident of Minnesota

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Probate for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
You may want to check to see if there is an active warrant. If not, it may be best to let it ride unless there is a reason not to. If there is an active warrant and you need it cleared, you'll need to turn yourself in and get booked in order to clear the warrant and get a court date. After that, your lawyer can help you resolve the case favarably.

Q: So how would you know your crime is a petty Misdemeanor or Misdemeanor?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
One way is to look up the statute charged, by section number. It should say the penalty in the statute. Most traffic violations are petty misdemeanors, but some can be charged as misdemeanors. Or call me!

Q: I stole $47 of clothing, but have a clean record. How would I negotiate it down to just a petty misdemeanor?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
You can either hire private counsel or apply for a public defender. Your attorney can then negotiate with the prosecutor to have the matter reduced down from a misdemeanor

Q: I stole $47 of clothing. I had a clean record before this. I have a court hearing next month. What will happen?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 11, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
The charge starts out as a misdemeanor. My hope would be that you can negotiate it down to a petty misdemeanor which is not a criminal offense. I would suggest bringing funds with you to the court date to pay off the restitution and that should increase the likelihood that you can get it reduced. A petty misdemeanor is not a criminal offense and does not go on your record.

Q: So my boyfriend is in jail, he went to court and was released w/o having to pay. It was put in the system incorrectly

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Dec 7, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
There should be a written release order signed by the judge. You need to get a hold of that because that will indicate what the Court actually ordered.

Q: I'm going to be charged with felony wrongfully abstaining public assistance due to not reporting earned income /55000

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Public Benefits for Minnesota on
Answered on Nov 28, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Executed jail time is unlikely for a first-time offender convicted of a low-dollar value theft crime. If it did happen, it would likely be short time. It can help in these cases to pay the money back, though it's best to do that through your attorney. Avoid making any statements or consenting to any search prior to consulting a criminal defense lawyer first. If you think you might qualify, apply for the public defender.

Q: Can a theft of $70 considered a petty Misdemeanor or Misdemeanor? Please help me out, really wanna know! Thank you

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Nov 27, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
As of now it is a misdemeanor charge. You would have to negotiate it down with the prosecutor to get it treated as a petty misdemeanor.

Q: What would be your conviction for theft? And What is considered as petty Misdemeanor or Misdemeanor?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Nov 27, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
A petty misdemeanor does not carry stayed or actual jail time - only a fine. It does not go on your criminal record. A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Q: What are the charges if you pleaded guilty for theft of $70.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Nov 27, 2018
Jonathan Matthew Holson's answer
I am somewhat unclear on what you are asking, but your conviction would be for theft. Unless the charge was reduced it would be a misdemeanor and carry a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Q: My son was caught with Liquid THC in school, what charge should we expect and what are the probable outcomes.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Nov 23, 2018
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
More than 0.25 grams THC would be a felony to possess. Outcomes will depend upon many things, including his defense attorney. I have a lot of information on marijuana and THC cases on my web site, and am more than happy to discuss by phone. I could say more with more information provided.

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