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Minneapolis Criminal Law Blog

The genetics of criminal behavior

In any criminal matter where charges are filed, factors related to evidence, motive and intent must be thoroughly investigated and considered. Professionals like criminologists and psychologists are routinely called upon to investigate criminal activities to determine why an individual may have committed a crime and how to prevent similar crimes from occurring. However, what if some individuals are genetically predisposed to engage in criminal activities?

A recent study conducted by Swedish researchers looked at the role genetics may play in predisposing some individuals to engage in violent criminal acts. The study's findings are noteworthy as researchers identified two distinct genes that appear to be linked to an increased penchant for engagement in violent behavior.

There should be no room for interpretation in a prenuptial agreement

Drafting and executing a prenuptial agreement prior to marrying can immensely benefit both an individual and couple down the road. The process of drafting a prenuptial agreement can serve to bring a couple who plans to marry closer as they go through the process and openly discuss their life and financial realities, fears and goals. Having such a legal document also aids a divorcing couple in expediting the division of assets, saving both spouses time and hassle.

While there are many benefits to having a prenuptial agreement, it's incredibly important to ensure that such a document is clear and explicit in its terms. Even in cases where a prenup seems ironclad, an ex-spouse may choose to contest a prenuptial agreement for a number of reasons.

For teens, sexting may lead to criminal charges

Today's teenagerss and young adults have grown up during the Internet and mobile age. For these youths, communicating and sharing photos via the Internet and cellphones has become second-nature. However, when it comes to sharing images that are considered to be sexually-explicit in nature, the potential social, academic and legal consequences can be severe. 

Teens who choose to take nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves or others and share those photos via a cellphone or the Internet may face criminal charges related to child pornography. 

Child custody in Minnesota

In any break-up or divorce where minor-aged children are involved, matters related to child custody must be determined. When possible, parents are advised to set aside their personal differences and attempt to come together for the benefit of a shared child and resolve child custody issues. When possible, a child benefits from the emotional and financial support of both parents and no child should be deprived of the opportunity to know and form a relationship with his or her mother or father.

In Minnesota, decisions related to both legal and physical custody of a child must be determined. Legal custody relates to a parent's legal rights to make important decisions about how to raise a child with regard to matters like education and medical care. Physical custody involves decisions related to a child's daily routine which is largely dictated by where a child lives.

Minnesota's expungement law affords some a fresh start

We are all human and throughout life, make mistakes. It's from these mistakes that we learn about how our behavior and choices impact others and the resulting consequences. In cases where an individual faced or was convicted of certain misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, long after the matter is resolved, he or she is likely to experience negative implications from the fact that a criminal record exists.

Potential employers and landlords routinely request background checks. In many cases, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension maintains copies of criminal records including those that resulted in criminal charges being dismissed or a not guilty verdict. Consequently, discovery of the criminal record of a job or housing applicant may result in an individual losing a job or apartment.

Study reveals how feelings of love change over the years

Love is one of the strongest of all emotions and is the basis of any strong and lasting romantic relationship or marriage. Or is it? A recent study conducted by YouGov.com sheds light on how love, or perhaps how an individual defines love, changes over time.

For the study, more than 2,000 British men and women who are in committed relationships or marriages were surveyed. Survey participants included those individuals who were in new relationships spanning to individuals who have been married for 50 or more years. Respondents were asked a series of questions related to how they would categorize their love of a significant other as well as how often they actually profess their love to a partner or spouse.

Alternative sentencing programs provide hope for juvenile offenders

Growing up, every Minnesota resident can likely recall doing something they shouldn't have done and that may have even been illegal. From underage drinking to breaking and entering, teens sometimes make mistakes that can have serious and far-reaching implications.

In Hennepin County, cases involving teens under the age of 18 who are facing criminal charges are handled in Juvenile Court and treated as delinquency matters. From misdemeanors to felonies, a juvenile court judge presides over the cases and, if found guilty, makes decisions related to the sentencing terms of juvenile offenders.

Can you really find lasting love online?

Today, many young adults and not-so-young adults in the U.S. have more opportunities and options than did their counterparts 20 or more years ago. More women than ever are pursing higher educational degrees and choosing to work and advance careers over getting married and having children at a young age. Additionally, the Internet and mobile technology has greatly changed how people communicate and interact.

With so many people leading busy lives and primarily communicating via the virtual world, it makes sense that a growing number of men and women in the U.S. are turning to the Internet and online dating websites in hopes of making a connection and finding love. As evidence of just how prevalent online dating has become, an October 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center found that among single adults in the U.S. who are actively seeking a partner, 38 percent "used online dating at one point or another."

Billions at stake in couple’s dispute over validity of prenuptial agreement

Every divorce has the potential to become drawn-out and contentious. In divorces involving individuals and couples of considerable means, the likelihood of a divorce becoming a bitter dispute often increases. With often millions of assets at stake, high asset divorcees have a lot to potentially gain or lose in a divorce settlement.

Citadel hedge fund founder, Ken Griffin is worth an estimated $5 billion dollars. This past summer, Griffin filed for divorce from his wife of 11 years Ann Dias-Griffin. Since then, both have taken legal steps over the validity of a prenuptial agreement as well as custody of their minor-aged children.

Case illustrates the importance of abiding by marriage license laws

A marriage license is an official document that a couple must obtain in order for a marriage to be legally recognized. Rules and requirements with regard to how a couple who plans to marry must go about obtaining a marriage license and fulfilling its terms vary state to state and procedures and fees may even vary by county.

For example, in Hennepin County a couple who intends to marry must obtain a marriage license five or more days prior to a wedding date. Upon being issued, a marriage license is valid for use within a six-month timeframe. So what happens if a couple fails to follow the requirements set forth in a state’s marriage license statute?

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
© 2012 Aspatore Books from
Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Reproduced by permission