Posts Categorized Drug Crimes

How to Avoid a Probation Violation and Stay Free

OK, so you got a great deal. Maybe you didn’t get a great deal, but hey, your lawyer said it was a good idea, so you went with it. Case over. Now you’re on probation. No sweat, right? Guess what, now the work is up to YOU, not a lawyer. Minnesota, relative to other states, has a pretty generous sentencing structure. First and even second time offenders can often have most or all of their jail time stayed pursuant to certain “conditions.” Our justice system views this as a “second chance”, a chance for the defendant to reform their ways and demonstrate law abiding behavior. Unfortunately, sometimes a probation violation can happen faster and easier than one thinks. Once a person is arrested or summoned on a probation violation, the very real danger of jail time is at hand. Jail time was stayed on particular conditions, and if those conditions have been violated, it is presumed by many courts that jail time will no longer be stayed. It’s a system of second chances, but it does not tend to be a system of third and fourth chances. So if you’re on probation, here are some very concrete steps you can take to avoid probation violations, or empower an attorney to beat a probation violation if one is filed. These steps can mean the difference between freedom and jail. 1. They keep a file with your name on it, so make a file of your own. One of the greatest problems lawyers face when representing someone in a probation violation is a lack of memory by the defendant and the absence of a timeline. Too often we hear from clients “I called and called my probation officer, and told him about my situation, but they never got back to me.” This is an actual problem. We hear it too often for it to be just manufactured out of thin air, and the fact is probation officers, like attorneys or anyone else, sometimes get too busy, or they just get lazy and don’t do their job. But in order for us to put the probation officer in their place, we need to be able to ask “isn’t it true that my client, Steve, called you on this day and this day?” Keep a running file on everything relevant to you probation. It should serve as a detailed journal of sorts. Log every phone call you make to your probation agent by date and time. Look at your phone. Screen capture the outgoing call. If you want to be REALLY proactive, download an app to record your calls, and notify your probation officer that you record calls. In order for it to be admissible, you have to notify them in advance that the calls are recorded. Save every piece of mail they send, and every letter you reply with. What’s that? You don’t write to your probation officer? That’s a shame, because while voicemails can be ignored and deleted, paper mail should be… Read more {+}

DWI For Taking Prescription Medications

In Minnesota, a person can be charged with a DWI/DUI for having more than alcohol in their system; they can also be charged for being under the influence of drugs even if they have a valid prescription for them. Controlled substances can impede a person’s ability to drive a motor vehicle. Even if the drug is prescribed, it can still be illegal to drive while under the influence of it if it is a Schedule I or II controlled substance. Here are some instances of how a person can receive a DWI in Minneapolis while under the influence of controlled substances: An individual sustains an injury in an accident and her doctor prescribes her Vicodin so she can tolerate the pain. She gets in her car to run to the store for milk, but an officer notices that she swerved left of center, so he pulls her over. He suspects her of driving under the influence, so she submits to the requested tests and it is found that she has narcotics in her system. Because Vicodin is a Schedule II drug, it is illegal to drive after taking it, even if it is prescribed. A college student goes to a party and smokes marijuana. He declined alcohol since he didn’t have a designated driver. On his way home, a patrol officer notices he has a broken headlight, so he pulls him over. The officer determines that the student may be under the influence of a substance, so he has the student submit to urine testing. When the marijuana is found in his system, he is charged with DWI. A gentleman decides to get his ATV and go mudding with some of his friends. He has a friend to pick him up because the side effects of the Adderall. He hits the trails with his friends, but he flips the ATV and someone calls the police. Because Adderall is a Schedule II controlled substance, he can be charged with DWI although he has a prescription. Many individuals throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul do not have prescriptions for the prescription drugs that they take. They may steal them off of family members, friends, or they get them illegally on the Internet. Either way, there is a need for a Minneapolis DWI attorney to help defend against the charges. There are times when a prescription drug DWI charge can be successfully challenged. Minnesota statute 169A.46 subd. 2 offers an affirmative defense when a person is charged with a prescription drug charge. There is a clause in subdivision 1 that states a person can prove that they were taking their prescription according to the orders of their doctor. If this fact is presented, then it is possible for the charges to be dismissed. The only downfall to this defense is most defendants will testify in their own defense, which means the burden of proof leaves the shoulders of the prosecution and moves to the defense. Your attorney will provide you with advice on what… Read more {+}