Client was charged with felony First Degree Burglary, misdemeanor Trespass and Theft. Defense, by showing other contributing factors, was able to procure a continuance for dismissal. With conditions, including voluntary acceptance of appropriate medical care, client avoids conviction and keeps record clean.
We presented a M’Naghten defense, that is, not guilty by reason of mental illness. Competence was first examined, and medical treatment of schizophrenia proved successful.
At the age of seventeen client was convicted of felony Terroristic Threats and Fifth Degree Assault. Working with client, now as an adult, we were able to successfully show the court that client was deserving of expungement of his juvenile record. Prior to expungement, client met with challenges in different arenas of his life. Removal of this record will enable client to avoid these challenges and to succeed professionally.
Client was charged with felony 5th Degree Sale and 5th Degree Possession of Marijuana. Through case negotiations, we were able to get a dismissal of the sale charge and a stay of adjudication of the possession charge. Client served two days of jail and sentence to serve, but is now able to get a dismissal of the possession charge, once probation is completed. His record will remain clean.
Client was charged with felony Aggravated Forgery and gross misdemeanor Giving Peace Officer False Name of Another Person. We argued the scope of search exceeded powers granted to police. We were able to procure a dismissal of both charges. This protected client’s ability to pursue a change in his immigration status.
Client was charged with felony 5th Degree Possession Schedule 1, not small amount of marijuana. By arguing the existence of faulty probable cause, we were able to get a stay of adjudication for client. Upon successful completion of probationary period, the charge will be dismissed from his record.
Client was charged with five counts of felony Possession of Firearm by one convicted or adjudicated delinquent for crime of violence, calling for mandatory prison sentence. Through our investigation, legal research, and continued negotiation, we were able to garner dismissals of four of the five counts, and a stay of adjudication on the fifth. Client was thus able to avoid jail time and keep this charge off of his record.
Client was charged with felony Cruelty to Animals. Through case investigation, we were able to show sufficient basis for a dismissal of charges. Client’s record was kept clean.
Client was charged with felony First Degree Damage to Property and felony Dangerous Weapon, Reckless Discharge. Client successfully completed reparations and demonstrated through personal accountability and actions to garner a Continuance for Dismissal to maintain a clean record.
Client was charged with DWI, a first time offense. We conducted a contested evidentiary hearing on our motions to dismiss and suppress. The Court ordered suppression of the urine test result and dismissed the charge of operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration over .08, on the basis that the client did not voluntarily consent to the test. Client pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of Careless Driving. The DWI was dismissed. The implied consent license revocation was also reversed, by Order of the Court, and client was eligible for a refund of the $680 driver’s license reinstatement fee.
Client was accused of having fallen asleep at a stop light, and charged with DWI after providing a positive blood test showing the presence of a controlled substance in his body. Attorney Calvin Johnson argued that because the implied consent statute was invoked, it should be followed. Because the implied consent statute prevents a test from being taken if a person refuses, when the officer also obtained a search warrant, the officer denied our client his right to refuse. The matter did not require a litigated pretrial hearing. We negotiated a plea to a Careless Driving. The DWI was dismissed. Client maintained a valid license, as there was no DWI conviction or implied consent license revocation.
Client successfully argued for a Stay of Imposition of Sentence, after the Court had previously imposed a Stay of Execution of a prison sentence.
This means that the client now has the opportunity to exit probation with a misdemeanor on his record, and not a felony.
This will hopefully improve future employment options and opportunities.
The words of the Court are instructive and demonstrate one of the main reasons why I enjoy practicing law:
Minn. R. Crim. P. 27.03, subd. 9, allows the district court to modify a sentence during a stay of execution or imposition of sentence so long as it does not increase the period of confinement. Such a modification is within the discretion of the district court. State v. Hockensmith, 417 N.W.2d 630, 633 (Minn.1988). The district court “sits with a unique perspective on all stages of a case, including sentencing,” and is uniquely well-suited to evaluate an offender’s conduct and weigh its sentencing options. State v. Hough, 585 N.W.2d 393, 397 (Minn. 1998). The parties agree that the relief requested by Defendant is extraordinary and should not be granted lightly.
The Court understands the State’s concerns that modification of Defendant’s sentence may set a precedent for other defendants and, in particular, other successful Drug Court graduates. However, the Court believes that Defendant’s conduct following his conviction has been exceptional and exemplifies the mission of Drug Court to reduce crime through the rehabilitation and recovery of drug and alcohol offenders. Defendant’s achievements following his conviction epitomize the success that someone who commits to Drug Court can have in breaking the cycle of substance abuse, addiction, and crime. Based on comments from his probation officer and this Court’s own observation of Defendant’s successes in Drug Court, Defendant is a unique individual who has taken all of the opportunities given to him to truly rehabilitate himself and become a contributing member of society. While Defendant is not the only person to successfully complete Drug Court, he does appear particularly committed to continue his education and ultimately give back to society.
Based on the support for Defendant’s request from his probation agent and the particular circumstances of this case, it is appropriate to modify Defendant’s sentence from a stay of execution to a stay of imposition.
Client pleaded guilty by default to No Insurance and Failure to Transfer Title for the motor vehicle. Without fully knowing, he paid the fines when he was arrested on a warrant that he did not know existed. As a result of the conviction, client found it nearly impossible to find insurance. By way of a motion and proposed order for the Court and Prosecutor’s review and approval, our team was able to achieve an agreement to Vacate the Conviction and enter a stay of adjudication. The Court approved, and the conviction was removed from client’s record, without the need for a single court appearance.
Client was charged with 3rd Degree DWI, a Gross Misdemeanor (with 3 prior DWIs on record, all outside of 10 years). The test result obtained was greater than .20. The motor vehicle (a snow mobile) was subject to forfeiture, based on client’s cancelled license status. However, it was determined that a person cannot be charged with Driving After Cancellation/Inimical to Public Safety (DAC/IPS) for driving a motor vehicle that does not require a driver’s license to operate. Consequently, the DAC/IPS charge was dismissed, the vehicle was returned to client free and clear, and the DWI was negotiated down to a misdemeanor, with no jail.
1st Degree Drug Charges Reduced, no adjudication of guilt – Client was charged with four counts of 1st Degree Drug Sales and Possession. Our criminal defense attorneys negotiated a settlement for a Discharge and Dismissal on an amended charge of 5th Degree Aiding and Abetting Drug Possession. In other words, the court did not accept the plea of guilty, and there is no criminal conviction. Upon successful completion of probation, the matter will be dismissed, and client’s record will remain clear.
Gross misdemeanor dismissed – charge reduced, no probation. Client was charged with Gross Misdemeanor Violation of Restricted License. We negotiated for the charge to be reduced to a petty misdemeanor ("not a crime" and no probation). The client paid a minimal fine and the matter was resolved.
DWI Dismissed – Stay of Adjudication on Careless Driving – Client was charged with 4th Degree DWI. We negotiated a Stay of Adjudication on a Careless Driving. In other words, the conviction was not reported for insurance purposes. Consequently, client was saved from paying significant insurance costs. The DWI was dismissed.
Multiple Assault Charges Dismissed – Client was charged with two counts of Domestic Assault, as well as felony level charges of 2nd Degree Assault and Terroristic Threats. Our attorneys were able to negotiate a reduced charge of Disorderly Conduct. All assault charges were dismissed. Client was placed on minimal, unsupervised probation, for one year.
No Jail on 3rd DWI - Clients plea to 2nd Degree DWI (third in lifetime), required his successful participation in the Veterans Court program (a structured program involving bi-monthly court appearances, aimed at helping Veterans meet their probationary obligations, including mental health and chemical dependency treatment). The Prosecuting Attorney wanted client to serve jail time, as the standard sentence in the county for this type of case is normally 45 days. We argued for no jail, over the Prosecutor’s objection. The Judge continued the sentencing hearing for three months, and based on client’s significant progress, decided that client would serve no jail time, as long as he remained successful on probation.
DWI Reduced to Careless Driving, No Drivers License Loss - Client was charged with DWI, alleging a combination of alcohol and marijuana in his system. After thorough review, the case was negotiated to a Careless Driving. As a result, there was no revocation of client’s driver’s license.
No Jail on 3rd DWI in 1 Year - Client was charged with a third DWI in a 12 month period. The prosecuting attorney wanted client to do 30 days jail, and an additional 60 days subject to EHM (Electric Home Monitoring) over the course of probation. The cost of EHM is a severe financial burden. Client is already required by the State of Minnesota to complete 3 years of the ignition interlock program, in order to get his license back. We argued for ignition interlock instead of jail, or EHM. The prosecutor was insisting that client do some jail time. The judge ordered no executed jail, and waived the EHM requirement, in lieu of ignition interlock. In the process, we saved client hundreds of dollars in monitoring costs.
Driver's License Revocation Administratively Reversed - Client was sanctioned for failing to have his ignition interlock device calibrated, while in jail, without work release. The State intended to extend his ignition interlock participation by 6 months, for the alleged violation. We requested administrative review from the Department of Vehicle Services. The department declined to admit error, and upheld the revocation. Consequently, we petitioned to the district court and requested a hearing before a judge, so that the Court could hear testimony from our client regarding his case. Ultimately, short of having a litigated the hearing, based on a review of the file by the State’s attorney, the Attorney’s General office agreed to rescind the revocation, and immediately reinstate client’s driver’s license.
DWI Charge Reduced to Careless Driving - Client was charged with misdemeanor DWI, but should have been charged with Gross misdemeanor DWI, due to a prior conviction within 10 years. The prosecuting attorney threatened to amend the charge to a Gross misdemeanor (with jail time as a potential), if the client did not plead to the misdemeanor DWI outright. We brought pretrial hearing motions to dismiss and suppress. On the day of the contested hearing, through continued discussion of our legal issues and arguments, the prosecuting attorney capitulated to our continued request for a Careless Driving. Client was placed on unsupervised probation for one year, with no executed jail time.
Underage Drinking and Driving Charge Dismissed - Our client, a prospective medical school student, was arrested for misdemeanor Underage Drinking and Driving, which requires a 30 day driver’s license revocation, if convicted. We negotiated the charge down to an Underage Consumption, without any element of driving. As a result, the client was able to maintain a valid driver’s license. The matter was deemed a petty misdemeanor, which is not considered a crime in Minnesota. Client was able to have the matter resolved with a $100 fine, plus fees, without ever stepping foot in the courtroom. The original Underage Drinking and Driving charge was eliminated from the official public court record, preserving future job opportunities
Felony Drug Possession Charge Dismissed - Client was originally charged with felony possession of Black Tar Heroin, based on a false positive in a field test conducted by the arresting officer. The substance was later tested in a lab and identified as a wax oil containing Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), commonly called marijuana dabs, or wax. The State amended the Complaint to reflect Possession of THC, a felony. We argued the proper charge is a Petty Misdemeanor, under the exception for possession of a small amount of marijuana (up to 42.5 grams). Through discussions with scientists from the State crime lab, as well as negotiations with the prosecutor, we convinced the State that it could not prove that the substance was not a small amount of marijuana. The prosecuting attorney again amended the charged to a petty misdemeanor, as we requested. Our client paid a small fine, and avoided a felony record.
DWI Reduced to Careless Driving - Client was charged with 4th Degree DWI. It was reduced to a Careless Driving with a $50 fine, plus conditions. No loss of drivers license, no reinstatement fee required. No implications on CDL and no jail imposed on our client.