Frequently Asked Questions
What area of law do you practice?
Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation.
What is this going to cost me?
Each case varies depending on the level of the charge, how it was charged out, and the legal and collateral issues. There are several factors to take into consideration when determining the amount of time that might be necessary for a particular file. The free initial consultation is so important because it gives you an opportunity to talk with an attorney about the details of what are often times very complicated matters. We accept cash, check, credit card, and we can work with you on payment plans.
What do I wear to court?
The manner in which you present yourself in court can directly effect the outcome of your case. A nice pair of slacks, a blouse, or even a a business suit and tie, are all appropriate, as well as proper grooming. A few examples of what not to wear: hats, shorts, or sandals. You want to make the impression to the Court that you understand the seriousness of the matter. A good rule of thumb: always present yourself in a respectable manner.
Can I reach you after hours?
Yes. Dial 507-345-4545, and our zero feature allows you to connect with an attorney 24/7.
DUI vs DWI - What's the difference between a DUI and DWI?
DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Impaired) are basically two different terms to refer to the same charge. DWI is the term most often used in Minnesota. Minnesota Statute 169A is known as the Driving While Impaired statute. A person does not necessarily have to be “drunk” to be charged with a DWI/DUI, they merely need to be “under the influence of alcohol” or other “controlled substance” while operating a motor vehicle (MS 169A.20, Subd. 1 & 2)
Other legal terms used to refer to what most people think of as “drunk driving” (and that may be more commonly heard in other states): DUIL (Driving Under the Influence of Liquor), DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle with Intoxicated), DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) OWI (Operating While Intoxicated), and OUI (Operating Under the Influence).
All of these terms are used to refer to various forms of alcohol related driving incidents. Though the elements of each of these crimes may vary slightly, they may be used to enhance the level of any subsequent alcohol related driving charge occurring within 10 years of the prior.
What is Ignition Interlock Program?
An ignition interlock device won't allow a car to start if it detects an alcohol concentration higher than 0.02. The new laws starting July 1, 2011 will allow a person to receive a restricted license during the revocation period. Under the restricted license, a person can only use a vehicle with an ignition interlock installed, except in very limited circumstances. Tampering with the ignition interlock will result in additional periods of revocation.
What is "Good Time"?
"Good time" is what you earn when you are in jail or in prison. Usually, it is awarded at the rate of one day for every two days served. Consequently, if you serve a twelve month sentence, you will have to do eight months of the sentence, if you qualify for good time. When you are under the supervision of the sheriff, good time is normally determined by the sheriff, or the sheriff’s deputies. This can include the jailers.
What is the definition of an Omnibus (Rule 11) Hearing?
An Omnibus Hearing is held to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest you and whether any of your constitutional rights were violated during the arrest process. Generally these hearings take only 15 minutes and it will not be necessary for you to testify, however your attendance is required. Initially these hearings are helpful because it provides an opportunity to speak directly with the prosecuting attorney to get your case resolved (see "Legal Terms" page for more information on legal process and types of hearings).
What should I bring along to my free consultation?
Any documents you may have received from the Court such as: Warrants, Complaints, Summonses, reports and statements; Any medical documentation; Names, addresses, phone numbers or descriptions of any witnesses; all notes you have made from the incident.
Often times, it is helpful to bring a friend or family member. They can be an extra set of ears to help process the enormous amounts of information that can often be discussed at the initial consultation. These legal matters are often unfamiliar and daunting for many people. The support of friends and family can be key to getting through these challenges successfully.
Why do I need to hire an attorney?
We, at the Calvin P. Johnson Law Firm, LLC, believe that all individuals need an experienced attorney to guide them through the intricate maze that is the criminal justice system. The state has their own expert attorneys. Individuals deserve the same.
What is the difference between a Petty Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor, a Gross Misdemeanor and a Felony?
Petty Misdemeanor: A Petty Misdemeanor is defined as “not a crime,” under the law. The maximum fine is $300. There is no jail that can be imposed. Consequently, you are not entitled to a Public Defender for this kind of offense.
Misdemeanor: A crime punishable by up to 90 days in county jail, a $1000 fine, or both. You are entitled to a lawyer when you are charged with a Misdemeanor, even if you cannot afford one.
Gross Misdemeanor: A crime punishable by up to one year in county jail, a $3000 fine, or both. You are entitled to a lawyer when you are charged with a Gross Misdemeanor level offense, also.
Felony: A crime punishable by more than one year of incarceration. When you are sentenced under a felony, and the sentence is executed, then you go to prison.