If you have been questioned by the police for involvement in a crime, or if you have been arrested, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Below we answer some of the more pressing questions many criminal defendants have.
What Should I Do after an Arrest?
You should contact an attorney right away. Also don’t say anything other than, “I won’t answer your questions, I want to talk to my lawyer.” Anything you say could be used against you.
What is the Difference between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?
Felonies are usually more serious crimes. A felony could result in more than a year in prison if convicted. With a misdemeanor, you face less than a year in jail. Felony convictions also have more serious collateral consequences, such as causing you to lose your gun rights.
Do the Police Have to Give Me Miranda Warnings?
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, then the police do not need to give them, and any statement you make can be admitted into evidence.
Police officers sometimes neglect to give full Miranda warnings when required. If this happens, you might be able to suppress any incriminating statements you have made.
Will I Go to Jail if I am Convicted?
Jail is a possibility for many criminal offenses. However, there are many factors in play. For example, someone without a criminal history probably looks like less of a risk, so a judge might not impose a jail or prison sentence. It also matters what crimes you have been convicted of 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 certain records to be sealed, which means that an employer or landlord will not find the criminal record when doing a background check. Not all convictions or arrests can be sealed, however.
Do I Really Need an Attorney to Defend Myself?
No. You could also use the public defender. Minnesota has excellent public defenders. Unfortunately, they are usually overworked and rarely have the time to dedicate themselves fully to their clients’ cases. If you can afford to hire a criminal defense attorney, you should do so.
The type of individualized attention an attorney can give your case can reap huge dividends. A criminal defense attorney 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.
- Work with the prosecutor to get charges reduced or dismissed.
Contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Now
If you or a loved one has been arrested, you have no time to spare. Contact Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office today. We can go to the jail where your loved one is being held and ensure their rights are protected. Please call 507-625-5000.