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Minneapolis Criminal & Family Law Blog

Extra police patrols and DWI enforcement planned throughout Minnesota for Super Bowl Sunday

While the Minnesota Vikings season ended weeks ago, football fans across the Minneapolis metro-area are likely still gearing up for this Sunday's Super Bowl. For many, a Super Bowl tradition includes having or attending a party where alcohol is served.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, an average of 190 drivers are arrested for DWIs on Super Bowl Sunday and into the early hours of Monday. It's never a good idea to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol and the state plans to have extra highway patrols out during and after the game attempting to identify and pull over drivers suspected to be under the influence of alcohol.

How can couples who live together account for shared property, assets and debt

According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2012, roughly 47 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 18 were not married. Of single U.S. adults, nearly 40 percent are divorced while the remaining 60 percent have never been married. Statistics from 2011 show that an estimated 12 percent of adult U.S. couples who live together are not married.

As evidenced by these statistics, more American couples are both choosing to forego marriage and choosing to live together while unmarried. Cohabitating couples fulfill and share many of the same roles and responsibilities as married couples. From purchasing a home together and sharing household expenses to sharing bank and savings accounts, much like married couples; cohabitating couples readily share assets, property and debts. The difference, however, is that individuals in cohabitating relationships are much more vulnerable to financial loss in the event a relationship ends.

Defending against sexual assault charges

From unwanted touching of a sexual nature to attempted rape, when pursing criminal charges, many states classify crimes of a sexual nature under the umbrella term of sexual assault. Depending on the nature of the accusations and ages of involved parties, charges related to sexual assault may be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. Any criminal conviction related to a sex crime has serious consequences and those facing such charges would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney.

When defending against sex crimes charges a criminal defense attorney will work with a client to present a defense to the charges or attempts may be made to negotiate a plea agreement. Defenses that are common in sexual assault cases include claims by a defendant of his or her innocence. When pleading innocent to any type of criminal charge, it's best to provide an alibi or some other type of compelling evidence.

Finding a way to heal and move on after a divorce

In this blog, we talk a lot about the divorce process and how individuals planning to divorce can best prepare. While discussing the legal aspects of divorce and factors related to dividing property and deciding child custody matters are certainly important and hopefully helpful, the truth is the divorce process doesn't really end once a settlement has been negotiated or a divorce decree signed.

The end of a marriage signals the beginning of a new chapter in an individual's life. Changes in living arrangements, financial standing, parental responsibilities and social circles can leave an individual feeling unsettled and lost. These changes, however, often end up being positive and serve to make an individual happier and more focused.

Why it's important to contact an attorney after a DUI arrest

Individuals who are facing criminal charges related to drunk driving often have many questions and concerns and are justifiably scared. As soon as possible after one's arrest on DUI charges, it's wise to contact a criminal defense attorney who can investigate the circumstances of one's arrest and evidence related to a case.

States like Minnesota have strict DUI laws and a drunk driving conviction may result in an individual paying hefty fines, loosing driving privileges and even spending time behind bars. Additionally, a DUI conviction may negatively impact an individual’s personal relationships, social standing and employment.

Handling debt in a divorce

When spouses choose to divorce, steps must be taken to untangle their shared finances and financial responsibilities. In many cases, divorcing spouses are able to avoid litigation and, with the help of their respective attorneys, work out the terms related to the division of marital property and assets. In addition to ensuring assets are divided, many divorcing couples also carry considerable amounts of shared debt which must also be accounted for and divided.

The financial website nerdwallet.com recently reviewed data collected by the U.S. government related to consumer debt. As of December 2014, the average U.S. household owed approximately $155,000 in mortgage debt, more than $32,000 in student loan debt and roughly $15,600 in credit card debt for a grand total of more than $202,600.

Are marital problems keeping you up at night?

Minneapolis area residents have likely heard about the negative physical and mental health effects of having too much stress can have on one's life. From meditation and exercise to prescription medications and cognitive therapies, the news is full of stories about how to lower stress levels.

Unfortunately, some stressors in life are unavoidable. For example, a loved one's illness or death or poor economic conditions are largely out of one's control. For many, another major source of stress involves familial relationships and in particular one's relationship with a spouse.

Trial questioning constitutionality of Minnesota's Sex Offender Program to begin next month

Last month, a 50-year-old Minnesota man learned he will be released from the secured facility which he has called home for the last 22 years. While still a teenager, the now 50-year-old man was convicted of "sexually assaulting two women" and was committed to Minnesota's Sex Offender Program.

A sex offender who has completed his or her prison sentence may subsequently be civilly committed to the MSOP. A judge may order that an individual be committed to the MSOP if he or she is deemed to be a "sexually dangerous person" or have a "sexually psychopathic personality." The court-ordered civil commitment to the program is for an indefinite amount of time and those committed live at one of two secured residential treatment centers in the state.

Why divorce is on the minds of many this January

It's January and with the 2014 holiday season behind us, many Minneapolis area residents are looking forward to making good on their 2015 resolutions. For some married individuals, the holidays were not filled with the love, joy and happiness that many experience and instead served to confirm that big changes are necessary this year.

January 2 is known around the country as divorce day as the number of unhappily wed individuals who take a step towards ending a marriage surges. Not only do divorce attorneys report an increase in client contacts during the month of January, but Internet researchers also point to an increase in searches for divorce-related topics.

Dividing property, assets and debts in divorce

A major element of dissolving a marriage is to sever financial ties between divorcing spouses with regard to shared property, assets and debts. Aside from child custody issues, matters related to the division of property and assets are among the most important and potentially divisive that must be negotiated and settled.

States differ in how they approach the division of marital property in divorce. For example, Minnesota is considered an equitable distribution state. This means that a divorce judge determines how assets and debts will be divided between divorcing spouses based upon what he or she believes to be fair. Therefore, a judge will review and take a number of factors into consideration when deciding how to provide for each spouse's financial wellbeing post-divorce.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

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