Mankato Criminal Defense Lawyer

Anyone arrested for a crime or facing criminal charges in Minnesota should be thinking seriously about the best defense strategy for their case. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony offense, knowing that a criminal conviction can have life-altering consequences is critical. Not only can you face jail time and a significant fine, but you can also lose your ability to obtain credit in some cases, live in certain areas, or be eligible for particular jobs depending upon the details of your conviction.

If you are facing charges in Minnesota, it is critical to begin working with experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. From DWI/DUI defense to serious drug and sex crimes, our criminal defense law firm in Mankato and Rochester is here to assist you through exceptional legal representation. Do not hesitate to contact one of our Rochester or Mankato criminal defense attorneys at Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., for help with your criminal case.

Types Of Criminal Defense Cases We Handle

At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., we represent clients in a wide range of criminal cases in Mankato, Rochester and throughout southern Minnesota, including but not limited to the following:

  • Assault
  • Domestic assault or battery, or domestic violence
  • Drug offenses
  • Expungements and record sealing
  • Firearm cases
  • Juvenile offenses
  • Manslaughter
  • Prostitution
  • Sex crimes
  • White-collar crimes charged under state or federal law

No matter the situation, under the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, everyone has the right “to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” We will help you through the criminal trial process, the legal system, and all other steps to help you in your case. Call us today at (507) 625-5000 for your private consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense

Our Mankato criminal defense attorneys receive a range of questions from clients following an arrest, during a criminal investigation, and after authorities file charges. We also welcome questions from family members who want to know more about what to expect and how they can help. The following are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive, followed by our answers:

How Can A Criminal Defense Attorney Help To Minimize Jail Or Prison Time?

Whatever your charges, your Mankato criminal defense attorney can take a strategic approach to your case that can help minimize jail or prison time by:

  • Challenging evidence and presenting a strong defense at trial
  • Negotiating plea deals that call for probation instead of prison
  • Exploring alternative sentencing options such as community service, rehabilitation programs and treatment courts that address addictions and mental health issues

In the event of conviction, an attorney can present evidence to the court before sentencing that can serve to mitigate your sentence and eliminate or reduce the penalty you face.

What Is The Role Of A Criminal Defense Attorney In Plea Bargaining?

The vast majority of criminal cases today are resolved through plea bargaining, where a defendant agrees to forgo their right to a trial and plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge or a reduced sentence.

However, prosecutors rarely, if ever, negotiate directly with defendants. Even if they did, your Mankato criminal defense attorney is better able to protect your interests because:

  • They can assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and identify potential weaknesses. That allows them to negotiate on your behalf from a position of strength.
  • They can advocate for alternative sentences and probation instead of jail or prison by using any mitigating factors relevant to your case to influence the prosecution toward a more favorable deal.

Finally, a lawyer protects your constitutional rights throughout the plea bargaining process. They can also advise you on whether the proffered plea is fair and the implications of that plea for your future.

What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony Offense?

Whether you face arrest in Rochester, Mankato or anywhere in southern Minnesota, it is critical to know misdemeanor and felony offenses can result in significant penalties and a criminal record if you are found guilty. Generally speaking, felony offenses are more serious, resulting in lengthier jail or prison sentences and more significant monetary fines. In addition, felony convictions can have more critical limitations on your life after you serve your sentence, affecting your professional life in some circumstances and even your residence.

What Are Miranda Warnings? Why Are They Important?

You probably know about Miranda warnings from watching Law & Order or another TV show. Police must give these warnings before a custodial interrogation. However, if you are not in custody, the police do not need to give them, and any statement you make can serve as evidence. Police officers sometimes neglect to give full Miranda warnings when required. If this happens, you can suppress any incriminating statements you have made.

When Do Police Have The Right To Search My Property?

You have rights under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution even before your arrest. Police must have reasonable suspicion to stop you and reasonable cause to search you or your property. Otherwise, they can’t use anything they obtain during a stop and search against you.

What Are The Penalties If I Am Convicted Of A Crime In Minnesota?

Under Minnesota law, both misdemeanor and felony convictions can result in jail time and monetary fines. A misdemeanor conviction can result in up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A gross misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000. If you receive a felony offense, you can face prison time ranging from one year to a lifetime sentence.

Can I Appeal My Conviction?

It may be possible to appeal your conviction in some circumstances. Still, you will need to have grounds for an appeal. You must do so within the timelines set by the Minnesota Court Rules of Criminal Procedure (30 to 90 days following a conviction). You cannot appeal because you are unhappy with the outcome or your conviction. Instead, you will need to show that an error occurred in your trial or a legal procedure violation occurred.

When Can I Have My Criminal Record Sealed Or Expunged In Minnesota?

Certain types of criminal records can be eligible for expungement, or record sealing, in Minnesota. It is important to be clear that the term expungement in Minnesota does not mean the destruction of your criminal record as it does in some states. Rather, expungement means that your record is sealed from the public. Even though a person might not be able to learn about your criminal history following an expungement in a job application, for example, federal, state, and local law enforcement officials will still be able to access your criminal record in many circumstances. You should seek advice from a Minnesota criminal defense attorney about whether your record is eligible for expungement.

Can I Get My Charges Dropped?

Getting the charges against you dropped will depend upon the specific facts of your case, whether the prosecution has sufficient evidence against you, and whether you can show that authorities violated your rights surrounding the arrest.

Where Will They Hear My Case?

It can depend upon where police arrested and charged you and whether you face state or federal charges.

Will I Have To Register As A Sex Offender?

Minnesotans convicted of certain sex crimes may have to go on the sex offender registry. Your requirement to register can depend on the details of your charges and conviction.

Will I Go To Jail If I Am Convicted Of A Crime?

Jail is a possibility for many criminal offenses. However, there are many factors at play. For example, someone without a criminal history may look less risky, so a judge might not impose a jail or prison sentence. It also matters what criminal charges you have and whether there were aggravating factors. Meet with an attorney for an individualized case review.

Can I Get My Conviction Sealed?

It’s possible. Minnesota law allows record sealing, meaning they can hide criminal background checks from employers and landlords. However, there are some criminal convictions they can’t seal.

What Is A Criminal Appeal?

Beyond knowing the applicable deadlines, it is also vital to understand how the criminal appeals process works. A criminal appeal is neither a retrial nor a new trial. Instead, a criminal appeal in Minnesota is an opportunity to raise specific grounds on which the lower court made an error in your case. You must raise specific grounds for appeal. Some examples include:

  • Legal error
  • Misapplication of law
  • Abuse of judicial discretion
  • Juror misconduct
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Other procedural violations

What happens if you bring a successful appeal will depend on the specific facts of your case. The outcome of a successful criminal appeal could be a retrial or a new trial. Though, when warranted, a Minnesota appeals court could also provide a defendant with other forms of relief. A Minnesota criminal defense lawyer can help you determine your case’s best course of action.

What Are The Deadlines For Minnesota Criminal Appeals?

A defendant must act before the relevant deadline expires to appeal a criminal conviction in Minnesota. Notably, there are different deadlines for appeals for different criminal offenses. The Minnesota Court Rules of Criminal Procedure states the following deadlines to appeal:

  • Misdemeanor or Petty Misdemeanor: You must appeal a conviction for a misdemeanor offense or petty misdemeanor offense in within 30 days.
  • Felony or Gross Misdemeanor: You must appeal conviction for a felony or gross misdemeanor offense within 90 days.
  • A Petition for Post-Conviction Relief: You must appeal a denial of a petition for post-conviction relief within 60 days.

Defendants must take these appeal deadlines seriously. Failure to start the appeals process in time could result in you missing your opportunity to challenge an unfair decision. If you have any questions about the deadline in your case, contact a Minnesota criminal lawyer for help.

Do I Really Need A Criminal Defense Attorney To Defend Myself?

No. You could also use the public defender. Minnesota has excellent public defenders. Unfortunately, many have large client loads and can rarely dedicate their time and resources to your case alone. You should do so if you can afford to hire a criminal defense attorney. The type of individualized attention an attorney can give your case can reap huge dividends. Working with a Rochester or Mankato criminal defense attorney at our law firm can:

  • Find errors the police made in gathering evidence and either get it thrown out of court or cast doubt on its value.
  • Identify contradictions made by witnesses and confront them with these conflicting statements, which reduces their credibility.

We can work with the prosecutor to try and get charges reduced or dismissed.

Contact An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you are under arrest or are facing criminal charges, it is critical to begin working with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Mankato or Rochester as soon as possible. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions can have serious consequences, including jail time. Accordingly, it is essential to start on a defense strategy today tailored to your case’s facts. Contact us online today for assistance with your defense or call us at (507) 625-5000.


“This law firm is very experienced, very effective, and yet very personable when interacting with me throughout my nerve-wracking legal process. I’m completely satisfied with the outcome of my case. I would hire the Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office again without hesitation. And, I have since recommended them to several friends and acquaintances.”

– Past Client

Put Our Solutions On Your Case Put Our Solutions On Your Case Put Our Solutions On Your CasePut Our Solutions On Your CasePut Our Solutions On Your CasePut Our Solutions On Your Case