Recent Posts

Controlled Substance Sale within a “School Zone”

Did a sale of a controlled substance occur within a school zone?

Minn. Stat. Section 152.01, subd. 14a defines “school zone” as “(1) any property owned, leased, or controlled by a school district or an organization operating a nonpublic school,” and “(2) the area surrounding school property as described in clause (1) to a distance of 300 feet or one city block, whichever distance is greater, beyond the school property…”  When the area surrounding a school property is organized in a city-block system, “one city block” creates a zone that includes the entirety of “first-ring” city blocks. Therefore, a school zone would include each of the city blocks that is adjacent or diagonal to the city block containing the school property. See Edward John Lapenotiere, Jr. v. State, No. A17-0456, 916 N.W.2d 351 (Minn. 8/1/2018).

Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License?

Are you stuck in a never ending cycle?  Is your license suspended or revoked and you don’t know why?

If you get a ticket and fail to schedule a court appearance or pay it within 30 days, your driver’s license will be suspended.  You will need to pay the fine (along with a $20 reinstatement fee to the MN DPS/DMV) before you will be valid again.  If you disagree with the ticket and want to go to court on it, you will need to ask the court to reopen the case.  This is not a simple process.  I can help you with this process and represent you in court at the hearing.

If you receive a no proof of insurance ticket and pay it, you have just pled guilty and your driver’s license will be revoked for at least 30 days.  This means if you just forgot to put the most recent insurance card in your car, DO NOT pay the ticket.  You will need to provide proof to the court.  Review the instructions on the ticket for the contact information.

If you receive a no proof of insurance ticket and you misplace it or forget to schedule a court date, your driver’s license will be suspended.  If you pay the ticket, your driver’s license will switch from suspended to revoked.  Depending on how much time has passed since the offense date, you MAY be able to ask the court to reopen your case.  This is not a simple process.  I can help you with this process and represent you at the court hearing.  Give me a call at 612-444-9779.

Traffic Stop

So, you see a police car in your rear-view mirror with it’s lights on. Your stomach drops and you swear out loud. Here are some guidelines to ensure the interaction goes well.

First, when it is safe to do so, signal your lane change to the right shoulder of the road. If you are in the left lane, signal your lane change to the right lane, and then signal your lane change to the shoulder of the road. You want to park as far over to the right as possible. The officer will not pull up directly behind you, but will park to the left of your vehicle by a couple feet so that he creates a “safe-zone” for him to walk up to your car and speak with you. Sometimes, if there is a lot of traffic, the officer will approach your vehicle on the passenger side. It is up to the officer.

Once your vehicle is stopped, place it in park and get out your driver’s license and proof of insurance. Offer them to the officer upon his or her greeting. Be polite and answer his questions without arguing. If you know you were speeding, apologize and don’t offer excuses. Take responsibility. (S)he may still decide to issue you a citation (ticket). You won’t change his or her mind by arguing.

Once it is safe, signal your intent to move back into traffic as you slowly pull away. Once you get home, give me a call at (612) 444-9779 for legal representation!

Speeding in the Twin Cities Metro?

Minnesota State Patrol Troopers are not shy about giving tickets for speeding.  35W seems to be a common place for people to go 80, 90 or 100 mph, which converts this simply petty misdemeanor ticket to a misdemeanor charge.  If you are given a ticket for speeding, don’t just pay the ticket.  Call me for representation.  Think I will charge too much?  You won’t know until you call.  Not to mention, if your auto insurance increases based on the ticket as written, then it may pay to invest in a lawyer.  I may be able to keep the ticket off your driver’s license record or at least convince the prosecutor to amend the charge to a petty misdemeanor (if charged as a misdemeanor) and/or reduce the speed.

Traffic Accident Equals a Misdemeanor Charge

Many traffic offenses are petty misdemeanors, which means they are NOT a crime.  A petty misdemeanor is punishable by only a fine up to $300 plus fees and surcharges.  Some examples are: speeding, running a stop sign, failing to move over for an emergency vehicle, making an illegal U-turn, and failing to signal a turn.  However, when the police officer determines that you “endangered person or property”, (s)he can check the so-titled box on the citation, which enhances the petty misdemeanor to a misdemeanor.  A misdemeanor is a crime, punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.  Causing an accident essentially guarantees that the officer will check this box and means that you are facing a more serious offense than a “simple” traffic offense.  If at all possible, you want to keep these types of offenses off of your driving record.