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Minnesota Criminal Law Blog

What are the best drunk driving defenses?

Most people understand the risks associated with driving under the influence of alcohol. Even so, that doesn't mean they never make a mistake that leads to trouble with the law.

There are many steps you need to take if you find yourself facing a DUI charge. First and foremost, you need to learn more about your charges and the laws in your state. This will go a long way in helping you understand your legal rights and what to do next.

An overview of Minnesota DWI laws

Nothing ends a night quite like an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even if you only had a few beers with your friends after work, you could be at risk of a DWI if you get behind the wheel. While you know it is always better to call for a safe ride home, you, like everyone else, sometimes make mistakes. Unfortunately, a mistake like a DWI can result in a permanent mark on your criminal record.

If you do get a DWI in Saint Michael, do you know what to expect if the court hands down a conviction? For an overview of Minnesota DWI laws, read further.

Pleading guilty to a drug offense could change your future

You have plans, including growing your career and moving up in the world. Then, you get charged with a drug offense. Maybe you had prescription pills in your possession that you weren't supposed to, or maybe you've been charged with possession of marijuana. You may think these offenses are relatively minor and not something to worry about.

In fact, when you think about the hassle and time involved in going to court to fight these charges, you feel like pleading guilty is a better choice. After all, if you plead guilty, the courts may be more lenient on you when it comes to sentencing, you think. In reality, a guilty plea saddles you with a criminal record. Unless you have a written agreement that includes reduced penalties or charges for a guilty plea, failing to defend yourself could prove to be a major mistake.

How will a criminal conviction impact my future?

Criminal convictions can have a negative impact on your life, but this might be true in more ways than you realize. When you think about the consequences of a criminal conviction, there are two general types -- those imposed by the court and those imposed by society.

Court-imposed penalties are the ones that you learn about during the sentencing phase of your case. This can include incarceration, community service, fines, probation and other penalties. The consequences that are imposed by society are known as collateral consequences. These are much different from court-imposed penalties.

6 things to know about expungements in Minnesota

A criminal mark on your record can have a considerable impact on your life. Minnesota has a Second Chance program that enables some people who have criminal marks to seek expungement. An expungement can help you to feel a little better if you have a job opportunity or housing option that requires a criminal background check. 

What can I do to get a job after a felony conviction?

If you've committed a felony, , you know that it will be more difficult to get a job now. It is simply a fact that felons have a harder time finding work after a conviction. Depending on the nature of your conviction, you may not be able to work in certain fields. A sex crime would ban you from working in schools, while fraud would potentially ban you from working at financial institutions or with money.

So, what can you do to get a job after a felony? Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Criminal records expungement now easier in Minnesota

Hundreds of thousands of people in Minnesota have been convicted of crimes and served their punishments. However, these individuals are facing massive difficulties in trying to secure employment due to their criminal records.

This is partly because Minnesota law does not protect ex-convicts from being discriminated against during the hiring process, and many employers maintain the policy of not hiring anyone with any kind of criminal record. Although the "Ban the Box" legislation of 2013 stopped employers from performing criminal searches before the initial interview, they can still discriminate against ex-criminal offenders.

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