Posts Categorized Uncategorized

Domestic Assault Dismissed for a Veteran

Hennepin County, MN The politics of domestic assault continue to ignore the rights of the accused and minimize the need for investigation and common sense.  Flase charges are not uncommon, and the falsely accused feel helpless, having perhaps lost possession of their home, temporary custody of their kids, and had their movements and contact restricted.  It often politically incorrect to doubt the words of an accuser, particulary a woman.  Sadly, however, we have created a system that does provide incentive to manufacture domestic assault allegations.  Most of this surrounds the speed with which various mechanisms move when a domestic assault charge is made. However, with hard work and pressure, Alex De Marco secured a great result for a veteran.  He was accused of domestic assault, and his ex-girlfriend attempted to paint his client as some sort of dangerous person due to his diagnosis of post traumatic stress.  Alex detests the stereotyping of veterans as dangerous, knowing that many manage PTSD with no psychotic or violent symptoms whatsoever.  Alex was able to dig deep into the history of the alleged victim, and discovered she had made false accusations of domestic assault in the past, and not just against his client.  Alex subpoenaed officers involved in these cases who had noted the inconsistencies of prior stories.  Despite some concerning though inconsistent physical evidence in his client’s case, Alex secured an arrangement whereby his client would complete some programming, not plead to anything, and ultimately have his case dismissed in a year.  The client was able to keep his honorable discharge and is now a successful small business owner. If you’ve been charged with domestic assault, you need the services of a criminal defense attorney right away.  In particular, veterans and active duty military face consequences for their discharge and their firearm rights and ability to serve.  It’s about more than beating a charge.  It’s about honoring those who have served, and taking into account their unique interests.  Contact Alex De Marco today at 651-503-8394. Domestic Assault Dismissed for a Veteran was last modified: October 13th, 2016 by Alex DeMarco

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 {+}

Terroristic threats: The Catchall Felony

“Touch me again, and I’m gonna knock you out.”  We’re Americans. We live in a society and in a culture that is no stranger to confrontation. The fact is we love fighting. We love to watch smack talk in sports. We love to see a baseball or football coach take an umpire or referee to task, spitting and yelling with the glare of rage in their eyes. We love watching guys in a movie engage in macho banter back and forth, and this aids in character development. Even our political discourse has become a dog fight, with right and left pundits yelling over each other, and the media purposefully seeks out confrontational and divisive topics less for our information than our entertainment. For better or for worse, this affects our interaction in everyday life. When we get pissed off, and when we’re looking to make a show and stir some drama up, we use fighting words. We put on a fighting face and take stand as a character of sorts. The frank truth is nobody takes it too seriously, and everyone knows it’s mostly hot air. You would think that wouldn’t be a crime. You would think actually hitting a guy in the face and giving him a black eye, or stealing, or damaging someone’s property would be a worse action. But guess what? At the most basic level, those are misdemeanors. Turns out going Joe Pesci with your mouth gets you charged with a Felony, a thing called Terroristic Threats.  That’s right. You might as well have kept your mouth shut and socked the dude in eye, because that’s only a misdemeanor, presuming you don’t have prior assaults and you don’t break any bones.  Now you’re a terrorist.  Ok, so punching a guy is not my legal advice. You want free advice? Here it is: Anyone who “unlawfully and feloniously directly or indirectly threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or in a reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror” commits a terroristic threats. The critical distinction on which criminal activity turns in Terroristic Threats in Minnesota is the scienter requirement, or “mens rea.” That was for the other lawyers out there or the Catholic School kids that actually had to take Latin. That means your mindset. It doesn’t say “intentionally”, but in common language, it means you have to actually mean what you say in order to really be guilty of terroristic threats. You have to seriously and immediately mean that you’re going to hurt someone or their property, or you should have known that someone was going to be genuinely fearful you would cash the check your mouth is writing. In other words, it can’t be just posturing. “The test of whether words or phrases are harmless or threatening is the context in which they are used.” United States v. Prochaska, 222 F.2d 1 (7 Cir. 1955); United States v. Pennell, 144 F.Supp. 317 (N.D.Cal.1956). “ Thus the question… Read more {+}