If you face criminal charges in East Grand Forks, it's important to hire an attorney even if you are innocent. Making the wrong move during a criminal case proceeding may result in longer imprisonment or hefty fines. In addition, it can simply be overwhelming to compile and understand all the necessary paperwork and to deal with the various actors in the justice system (law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, court staff, corrections agents, and others). This is especially true in Polk County, where prosecutors are known to be aggressive.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can make the best out of your case by helping you develop a convincing defense or by explaining your mitigating circumstances. At Ringstrom law, we are committed to providing the best criminal defense services in East Grand Forks and throughout Polk County and the region.

How Our Defense Attorneys Can Assist You 

No matter how minor your criminal charge seems, it's always good to talk to a defense attorney who is capable of fully understanding your case and its legal issues. An attorney will help you understand the criminal charges filed against you and the possible outcomes. Our firm solely focuses on criminal defense law, in East Grand Forks and elsewhere in Minnesota and North Dakota, and we know and understand many of the prosecutors and other people involved in this field. We have successfully handled a huge number of criminal cases, and that experience is crucial in getting a favorable outcome.

A criminal charge has several potential penalties, including imprisonment, significant fines, and other negative effects on your personal, social, and professional life. Securing  an East Grand Forks criminal attorney's help improves the chances of lower charges, a case dismissal, or victory at trial. 

Advantages of Hiring an East Grand Forks Criminal Defense Attorney

Evaluating Your Case

When you’ve hired a criminal defense attorney, that attorney will assess your case carefully, considering all its aspects. Even if you are at fault to some degree, your attorney will consider all the possible means of getting a favorable outcome for your case. He or she will collect all the relevant information regarding your criminal case, which involves interviewing witnesses and going through police records. And in fact, an attorney does not just gather evidence, but also prevents manipulation of the evidence.

Updating You on the Case's Progress

Your attorney will update you at every step of your case. As your case progresses through the Polk County court system, you will likely have to appear in court several times, whether remotely or in person. Your attorney will help you prepare to appear in court by helping you compile all the necessary documentation. The attorney will then represent you in court by handling the prosecutor on your behalf and cross-examining witnesses. Cross-examination sometimes occurs at pre-trial hearings in addition to during a trial. 

For the best legal representation, you should hire an attorney with a deep understanding of criminal law specifically, not just with overall legal experience. (Bruce Ringstrom Jr. is a Minnesota State Bar Association certified specialist in criminal law.) Your lawyer must have a true understanding of your rights in order to fight for those rights throughout the legal proceedings. Your attorney will analyze and judge the situation and identify any lapses in the prosecutor's evidence to the best of their ability. Right from the case commencement, an attorney must devise ways to support a defendant and negotiate for a reduction or dismissal of the defendant's charges.

Filing Motions With the Court

The legal system might seem complex and confusing if you try to defend or represent yourself in a criminal case. You should not wait too long after an arrest before contacting an attorney. If you fail to involve a criminal defense attorney early in your case, you may miss out on important opportunities and fail to make significant progress in your criminal case.

Your attorney will assist you in filing motions with the Polk County court. The exact nature of the motions will depend on your type of case and the evidence presented against you. If your attorney feels that the prosecutor or arresting officer used unlawful means to obtain evidence against you, they may file a motion to suppress evidence. This motion seeks to have all evidence that was obtained illegally excluded from your case. An attorney may also file a motion to modify bail if they find grounds to argue that the court set an unreasonably high bail amount before your release from detention. In some instances, a criminal defense attorney files a motion to change the venue where the criminal trial will take place.

Filing a motion with the court can enhance a favorable outcome for your case, especially if the judge approves a motion to suppress evidence. However, without the help of an attorney who understands Polk County criminal defense methods, these motions might be defective and unhelpful. 

Common Charges We Defend

The Ringstrom Law attorneys who defend East Grand Forks cases provide legal assistance for a wide range of criminal offenses. Some of our practice areas include the following: 

Domestic Assault

Minnesota Statute 609.2242 outlines the crime of domestic assault. Under Minnesota law, domestic assault comprises crimes committed against household or family members, which is actually a fairly broad category. Domestic assault can be charged as long as the defendant shares an intimate relationship with the alleged victim. People who qualify as a family or household members under Minnesota law include

  • The defendant's current or former spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Other blood relatives
  • People formerly or currently living together (i.e. current or former roommate)
  • A person with whom the defendant has a child
  • A person with whom the defendant is involved in a significant relationship that is sexual or romantic in nature

Within Minnesota law there is a specific statute devoted to domestic assault by strangulation (Minn. Stat. 609.2247). You may face a charge of domestic assault by strangulation if you’re accused of impeding your family or household member's blood circulation or breathing. Unlike other domestic assault charges, strangulation is charged at the felony level even if the accused has no prior convictions for domestic assault. 

First-Degree Murder

The most severe criminal charge in Minnesota is first-degree murder. A homicide qualifies as first-degree murder if certain aggravating factors are present, such as the premeditated intent to kill, or causing the death of some types of state employees (e.g. judges and prison guards) while that employee is engaged in their work. Because Minnesota abolished the death penalty in 1911, the maximum punishment for first-degree murder in East Grand Forks is life imprisonment. The Minnesota Criminal Code Section 609.185 outlines the crime of first-degree murder.

Burglary Offenses

According to Minnesota Statute 609.582, you may face burglary charges if you enter a building to commit a crime. There are three ways to be convicted of burglary charges in the first degree:

  • Dwelling: The prosecutor may prove both that the building is a dwelling and that someone other than an accomplice was also present in the building with you. 
  • Weapon: The prosecutor may prove that while you entered or remained in the building, you had a weapon, explosive, or another item that a reasonable individual would consider a weapon.
  • Assault: The prosecutor may prove that you assaulted someone within the building or on its associated property. 

Depending on the nature of the alleged offense, you may face burglary charges in the second, third, or fourth degree. The penalties for burglary include imprisonment and large fines. 

Kidnapping Crimes

We also represent clients facing kidnapping charges in East Grand Forks. According to the Minnesota Criminal Code, Section 609.25, you may face kidnapping charges if you take a person from one place to another or confine them without their consent. Kidnapping is punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years and fines not exceeding $35,000 if the victim is released safely. However, if the victim sustains serious bodily harm, or is released in a dangerous place, the offense is punishable by imprisonment of up to 40 years and fines not exceeding $50,000. Kidnapping is also an offense requiring registration as a predatory offender, per Minnesota Statute 243.166

Robbery Crimes

If you or a loved one is facing robbery charges, you should contact our East Grand Forks criminal defense attorney. Polk County can be a particularly difficult location to defend robbery charges. You may face robbery charges under Minnesota Statute 609.24 for simple robbery and Minnesota Statute 609.245 for aggravated robbery. Simple robbery entails taking property from another person without their consent using force or the threat of imminent force against the person. You may face charges for aggravated robbery in the first degree if you allegedly execute a robbery using a dangerous weapon or you cause injuries to another person. Robbery charges in the second degree may apply if you imply the possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of the crime (by holding your hand under a coat to mimic a gun, for instance). 

Rape and Sexual Assault Crimes (Criminal Sexual Conduct)

We also provide legal representation for people facing rape and sexual assault charges. There are five degrees or levels of sexual assault crimes under Minnesota law. Different levels of sexual crimes have varying penalties. In Minnesota, these charges are called Criminal Sexual Conduct, or CSC. As mentioned above related to kidnapping, some sexual assault convictions require you to register with the state as a predatory offender, which is another reason to hire a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney. 

Other Offenses

Here are some of the other types of cases we have helped with people with: 

  •       Arson
  •       Assault
  •       Theft, including auto theft
  •       Child abuse
  •       Extortion
  •       Forgery and counterfeiting
  •       Criminal trespass
  •       Fraud crimes
  •       Controlled substance (drug) crimes 

Why You Should Choose Ringstrom Law

With so many law firms near East Grand Forks and in the rest of Polk County, what are some of the factors that make Ringstrom Law stand out?

Knowledge and Experience

Our team specializes in navigating Minnesota criminal laws for our clients. Minnesota criminal law is complicated, both in terms of statutes and case law, so it's important to work with an attorney narrowly focused on criminal law. Our attorneys have years of experience handling criminal cases and will increase your chance of getting a favorable outcome, such as acquittal at trial or a dismissal.

Responsiveness

Facing criminal charges is detrimental in a variety of ways, some of which are difficult to foresee, and you need a responsive attorney who is available whenever you need them. We care about our clients and we make great efforts to communicate legal advice in a way that our clients can understand. Our attorneys are quick to respond to your questions and concerns and will take the time to explain things clearly and thoroughly. 

Negotiation Skills

Armed with years of experience dealing with prosecutors and others in the criminal justice system, all our attorneys are excellent negotiators who will seek the best outcome for your case. Although we are very willing to take a case to trial when appropriate, many criminal offenses cases do end up getting resolved pre-trial. For the best result, you need a criminal defense attorney with the ability to negotiate effectively and get a suitable outcome for your case. 

Find an East Grand Forks Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

If you or your loved one faces criminal charges in East Grand Forks, you should contact Ringstrom Law right away. We have a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys who treat our clients with dignity and fight for their rights and freedoms. Contact us at 218-284-0484 and speak to one of our attorneys today.