After being charged with a crime, you may experience confusion and intense emotions as you try to understand and navigate the legal system. You will be facing the possibility of incarceration and other ramifications of a criminal conviction. Minnesota tends to impose severe penalties for criminal convictions. The penalties vary depending on the type of criminal offense and the severity of the crime. Facing a criminal charge is not only overwhelming but also stressful. The process is better handled by a Fergus Falls criminal defense attorney. You should not attempt to navigate the Minnesota criminal justice system on your own. If you are charged in Fergus Falls, MN, an experienced criminal defense attorney from Ringstrom Law will help you prepare a convincing defense for your charges. We have decades of experience in Otter Tail County and have used that experience to our client’s advantage countless times.

Criminal Cases That We Handle

At Ringstrom Law, we handle a wide range of criminal offenses. Our criminal attorneys handle the following types of cases, among others. 

Theft Crimes

According to Minnesota law, theft is the act of taking another person's property without their permission. The prosecutor should prove that you intended to deprive the property owner of the property. Minnesota Statutes Chapter 609, criminal code section 609.52, outlines the crime of theft. A wide range of acts may constitute theft under Minnesota law.

The penalties for theft crimes vary depending on the type and the value of the property stolen. If you steal property with a value of $35,000 or more, penalties include fines not exceeding $100,000 and imprisonment of up to 20 years. Similar charges also apply if the property stolen is a firearm. If you steal property worth $5,000 or more, you may face a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. Similar charges will apply if the stolen property is an explosive, a trade secret, or a Schedule I or II controlled substance.

On the less severe end of the spectrum, if you steal property whose value ranges between $500 and $1,000, penalties include jail time of up to 1 year and fines of up to $3,000. For property with a value of $500 or less, the penalties include jail time of up to 90 days, a fine, or both. 

Damage to Property Offenses (Vandalism)

Minnesota criminal code 609.595 outlines the crime of property damage, otherwise known as vandalism. According to Minnesota law, destruction of property can occur in the first, second, third, or fourth degree. You may face vandalism charges if you intentionally damage another person's property. Vandalism in the first degree charges apply if the property damage causes a risk to bodily harm that could have been anticipated. If you inflict damage on public property and pose significant disruption or impairment of public service, you may face vandalism in the first degree charges.

The penalties for vandalism in the first degree include imprisonment of not more than five years and a fine not exceeding $10,000. Vandalism in the second degree charges may result in imprisonment of up to one year and one day and a fine not exceeding $3,000. A third degree case may result in imprisonment of up to 1 year and penalties not exceeding $3,000. Lastly, penalties for vandalism in the fourth degree include imprisonment of up to 90 days and penalties not exceeding $1,000. If you’ve been accused of damaging property and are facing vandalism charges, you should contact a Fergus Falls criminal defense attorney.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is causing another person's death intentionally. However, the crime of voluntary manslaughter is less severe than murder because the perpetrator acts in the heat of passion or through coercion. Minnesota law classifies some deaths resulting from certain cases of drug and child abuse as voluntary manslaughter. The state also classifies certain deaths as voluntary manslaughter when they resulted from misdemeanor crimes that involved force or violence so great as to make death or great bodily harm to another reasonably foreseeable.

Minnesota statute 609.20 prohibits intentional killing. Manslaughter in the first degree is punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $30,000.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is causing another person's death through negligent acts that consciously create an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to another. You may face involuntary manslaughter charges if you act with a disregard for others' safety and cause another person's death. Minnesota law treats accidental or involuntary deaths as criminal but does not punish the crime as severely as intentional killing.

Minnesota statute 609.205 explains the crime of manslaughter in the second degree. Section 602.2112 outlines the crime of criminal vehicular homicide, while section 609.2114 explains the crime of criminal vehicular operation that results in the death of an unborn child. The crimes of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree and vehicular homicide of an adult or an unborn child are punishable by a fine not exceeding $20,000 and imprisonment of not over ten years in prison. Your defense attorney will help you create a convincing defense to fight the charges.

Violation of Restraining Orders

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, typically requires the restrained person to stay away from the petitioner, although sometimes it will also forbid phone, written, or electronic contact directly or through third parties. Though largely intended for allegedly abusive spouses or stalkers, restraining orders can be issued for all sorts of relationships if sufficient allegations are made by a petitioner and accepted by the court. The majority of restraining orders last for one year, although the court may extend the order if it deems it necessary. In Minnesota, such orders may be called harassment restraining orders or orders for protection. A related order is the Domestic Abuse No Contact Order, or DANCO.

Violation of a restraining order is a misdemeanor. However, such a violation may be a gross misdemeanor when it occurs within ten years of a prior qualifying conviction or adjudication. Similarly, violation of a restraining order may be a felony, resulting in possible imprisonment for up to five years and payment of a $10,000 fine under certain enumerated circumstances. A felony charge will result when:

  1. The violation occurred within ten years of two or more prior qualifying convictions or adjudications;
  2. The violation related to the victim’s or another person’s believed race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, or disability;
  3. The violation involved false impersonation of another person;
  4. The violation occurred while in possession of a dangerous weapon;
  5. The violation was made with the intention of having some influence on a person or proceeding related to the judicial process; and
  6. The violation was made to an order protecting a victim under 18 years of age where the actor is more than 36 months senior in age to the victim.

The details of the law concerning restraining orders are found in Minnesota statute 609.748.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in Minnesota encompasses various crimes allegedly committed against a family member or a household member. Domestic violence crimes include physical assault, verbal threats, stalking, or battery of a person with whom you have had an intimate relationship. Family or household members, according to Minnesota domestic violence laws, include

  • Your current or former spouse
  • Children or parents
  • Your blood relatives
  • People you are currently living with or have formerly lived with (which means current and former roommates)
  • A person with whom you have a child
  • A person who is pregnant with your child
  • Any person with whom you have shared a sexual or romantic relationship

Minnesota statute 609.2242 explains the crime of domestic assault. A misdemeanor domestic assault conviction is punishable by a jail time of up to 90 days and a fine not exceeding $1,000. Gross misdemeanor domestic assault is punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and a fine not exceeding $3,000. Felony domestic assault in Minnesota is punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine not exceeding $10,000. A criminal defense attorney will help you fight the charges if you face accusations of domestic assault. 

In addition to the offenses laid out above, a Fergus Falls criminal defense attorney practicing in Otter Tail County also handles criminal offenses like

  •       Kidnapping
  •       Arson
  •       Auto theft
  •       Burglary
  •       Fraud
  •       Trespass
  •       Extortion
  •       Identity theft
  •       Drug crimes
  •       Robbery
  •       Stalking

Why You Should Choose Our Services

Why should you work with a Fergus Falls criminal defense attorney from Ringstrom Law? Facing a criminal charge is often a traumatic experience. Given the adverse consequences of a criminal conviction, you should never overlook the importance of a criminal defense attorney. With so many attorneys in the Fergus Falls area, what makes us stand out?

Knowledgeable and Experienced

Our attorneys have the necessary expertise and experience. They have a record of success in Otter Tail County that is attested to by prior clients. They know how to navigate the Minnesota legal system to ensure the best outcome of a criminal case. You should only work with an attorney who fully understands Minnesota criminal law. A competent attorney will work to create the best defense that could lead to acquittal at trial or a reduction or dismissal of your charges. It’s a risk to work with a criminal attorney who has not handled similar criminal cases before. With an experienced attorney, you will have a higher chance of winning your case.

Committed and Flexible

You should go for a criminal defense attorney who is committed to handling your case and who can also be flexible and adapt as the case unfolds. You need an attorney who is willing to walk with you until the conclusion of your case. Our attorneys will be with you right from when the prosecutor accuses you of a crime until the trial is completed or another resolution is achieved. You should go for an attorney who is responsible and reachable whenever you need them.

Aggressive with Negotiation Skills

A criminal defense attorney should be aggressive when appropriate, standing up for your constitutional rights and your dignity as a person. A criminal defense attorney should also be a good negotiator, which involves listening and communication skills. Our attorneys are able to determine opportune moments for empathetic listening, clear communication, and forceful action. 

High Integrity

Integrity is an important trait to consider while choosing a criminal defense attorney. You need an attorney who will be willing to update you regarding your criminal case's progress without concealing essential details. You also need an attorney who won’t charge you for their legal services and then sit back doing the bare minimum. At Ringstrom Law, we will always keep you informed to the best of our ability and work our hardest to represent you. 

Find a Fergus Falls Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

You do not have to give up if you are facing criminal charges in Fergus Falls, MN. Otter Tail County prosecutions can have wrinkles and hidden dangers that less experienced defense attorneys may not understand. Ringstrom Law will help you understand your options and work with you to achieve the best defense and outcome. Contact us at 218-284-0484 and speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys.