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Minneapolis Criminal Law Blog

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?

Government cracks down on identity theft operations

Today, it seems there are almost daily reports about some corporation or financial institution being hacked. From Minneapolis' own Target Corp. to JPMorgan and Home Depot, hackers are taking aim at U.S. corporations and making off with sensitive data including the personal identifying and financial information of customers.

Frequently, information obtained through data system breaches is used to commit acts related to identity theft and financial fraud. These types of operations are often complex and sophisticated and involve numerous players, many of whom know little to nothing about a plot and profit very little or not at all from their involvement.

Allegations of domestic violence can inhibit parent's access to child

Divorce and child custody cases can grow increasingly complicated when one spouse accuses the other of committing acts related to domestic violence. In cases where an individual is accused of domestic violence or abuse, it's important to understand the legal process involved in these types of cases as well as the potential impact on a divorce or child custody case.

Minnesota's Domestic Abuse Act aims to protect individuals who have experienced "violence caused by a family or household member." Acts of domestic abuse include physical assault, criminal sexual conduct and threats of physical harm.

Why is it important to establish paternity in Minnesota?

When a child is born to a woman who is not married, she automatically has sole child custody rights. This is true even in cases where a child's father and mother are in a committed relationship, living together, the father's name is on the child's birth certificate and he plans to raise and emotionally and financially support the child.

What happens then if the couple splits when the child is one or two? If the father never took steps to legally establish paternity, he has no legal rights to the child and therefore cannot obtain child custody and visitation rights. Additionally, the child's mother has no means of seeking or enforcing the payment of child support.

The link between brain injuries and aggression

It's fall in Minnesota and that means Vikings fans are proudly donning their purple and gold as they cheer on their team. Unfortunately, the start of this NFL football season has been marred by the alleged crimes of two star running backs, the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice and the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson.

As we noted in our last blog post, last Feb. Rice was arrested after a fight with his then fiancé and charged with aggravated assault. More recently video footage surfaced showing Rice punching his fiancé and knocking her unconscious. Just last week, photos surfaced of physical injuries suffered by Peterson's four-year-old son after the NFL player hit him with a switch.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

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