Criminal Defense FAQ

Get Answers From a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have not been arrested or charged with a crime but the police are calling you or attempting to speak with you about an ongoing investigation, regardless of whether or not you feel that you are innocent and have done nothing wrong, DO NOT not speak with the police.  Call a criminal defense attorney immediately.  You do not have to talk to the police or anyone from law enforcement.

Anthony Grostyan is a criminal defense attorney with more than 15 years of experience representing people charged with misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and felony charges in Minnesota in state and federal court.  If you have been contacted by law enforcement seeking to speak with you, call a lawyer now to protect yourself and prevent giving up certain legal rights.   Call Anthony Grostyan to discuss your case before it’s too late.

Q: Do I need an attorney?
Q: Will complying with law enforcement better my chances of being released?
Q: If I am innocent, do I still need an attorney?
Q: Do police officials have to read me my rights when they arrest me?
Q: When officials ask to search my home or vehicle, do I give them my permission?
Q: What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
Q: If I get charged with DWI/DUI in Minnesota, will I go to jail?
Q: What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Q: What is the difference between a petty misdemeanor and a gross misdemeanor?
Q: Do I need an attorney if I’m planning to plead guilty?
Q: If I am a minor, can I still be tried as an adult in court?
Q: What is implied consent and why do I have to go to a hearing?
Q: How can I know that I’m being investigated for a crime if I haven’t been charged yet?
Q: The police asked me if I would answer a few of their questions, should I talk to them?
Q: Why should I hire your firm to defend me?

Do I need an attorney?
If you are considering representing yourself in a criminal case, you need to know what is at stake.  When facing criminal charges, the prosecutor is not looking out for your best interests and often will do anything they can to ensure a conviction.  Without an experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side, you risk a criminal conviction and a variety of adverse collateral consequences.

Will complying with law enforcement better my chances of being released?
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  In fact, police officers are permitted to be completely dishonest to you during the questioning process.  Many times, law enforcement will engage in deceptive tactics in order to elicit information or evidence from you that will only be used against you.  Law enforcement officials do this in attempt to get an incriminating statement from you so that they can proceed, it is a way for them to speed up the process. That is why I encourage my clients to remain silent until their attorney is present. You have the right to remain silent because anything you say, can and WILL be used against you in court.

If I am innocent, do I still need an attorney?
Good people are falsely convicted of crimes every day.  If you are innocent, you have more at stake.  Don’t be mistaken, the court is not always interested in seeking out the truth or giving you the benefit of the doubt.  The prosecutor is only interested in closing the case and justifying the arrest with a conviction.  If you want to avoid paying the consequences for a crime that you did not commit, then you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.  Contact my firm today for a free consultation and learn how I can help you.

Do police officials have to read me my rights when they arrest me?
No.  Law enforcement officials are not obligated to read you the Miranda rights unless they have you under arrest and they plan to interrogate and question you and use your responses against you in court.  The Miranda warning only needs to be read if they intend to use your statements as evidence in court.  If they fail to read you your rights before questioning, then any incriminating statements may not be used as evidence in trial.  The Miranda warning goes as follows:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.”

When officials ask to search my home or vehicle, do I give them my permission?
No.  I encourage my clients to refuse any search because if you give police permission to enter, any incriminating material that they find is admissible at trial as evidence used to incriminate you.  If the police want to search your car, they need a warrant or a legal justification that a search would result in evidence supporting their suspicion as to the basis for the search.

What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
Nothing.

If I get charged with DUI/DWI in Minnesota, will I go to jail?
In most first-time offenses, you will be able to avoid jail time.  There are mandatory jail sentences for certain offenses.  I have successfully represented hundreds of repeat DWI offenders in Minnesota.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
In Minnesota, felonies are crimes that carry a maximum sentence exceeding one year in jail.  Gross Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by a maximum of 365 days in jail and/or a $3,000.00 fine.  Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.

Do I need an attorney if I’m planning to plead guilty?
Yes.  It is in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense lawyer before making any decisions concerning pleading to any criminal charge.  Contrary to what you may perceive, pleading guilty may not be your best option.  Even if it is, having an attorney to advocate for your rights when negotiating with the prosecution on a fair sentence can increase your chances for a lesser charge and a lighter punishment.

If I’m a minor, can I still be tried as an adult in court?
In the state of Minnesota, it is possible for the state to prosecute you as an adult if you are a minor between the ages of 14 and 17.  However, there are several elements that may impact the likelihood that you are tried as an adult for the charges brought against you. Certifying you as an adult before the court requires the prosecution to show that the charge is a particularly serious offense, that you have a lengthy juvenile record, you are close enough to adulthood or that past efforts of rehabilitation have been ineffective.

What is implied consent and why do I have to go to a hearing?
In Minnesota, residents are assumed to have implicitly consented to testing should law enforcement believe you have violated Minnesota DWI laws.  Therefore, any violation of those laws and regulation is reason enough to sanction their driving privileges even before criminal charges are brought against you.   If you are facing an implied consent hearing it is because you have either been arrested for DWI or you refused to comply with a BAC test at a police traffic stop.  Minnesota law states that such individuals surrender their driving privileges by default when they violate Minnesota’s implied consent statute.  If you contest the license revocation, a hearing will be held so your attorney can argue why your license was unlawfully revoked or cancelled and why your license should be reinstated.  You should contact a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney promptly because you only have 30 days after your license was taken away from you to schedule a hearing. Otherwise, the revocation will go into effect and will remain on your driving record indefintely.

How can I know that I’m being investigated for a crime if I haven’t been charged yet?
Law enforcement often times conduct extensive investigations of someone they suspect of a crime regardless of whether that person is aware of the investigation.  If you have reason to believe that you are a suspect of an investigation, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.  Your lawyer will be able to inquire as to your status with the state and police to discover what crimes you are suspected of committing and protect you by building a case in your defense.

The police asked me if I would answer a few of their questions, should I talk to them?
NEVER.  Even if the police officers are being courteous and respectful, it is still wise to remain silent until you have a lawyer present.  The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to answer ANY questions and if you do, you should know that everything you say WILL be used against you in the future.  Therefore, politely decline to answer any questions of law enforcement until you have consulted with a criminal defense attorney.

Why should I hire your firm to defend me?
I have over 13 years of experience defending people accused of DWI, Theft, Assault, Domestic Assault, Drug possession charges, Fraud, Criminal Sexual Conduct charges and a variety of criminal charges.  I have aggressively and successfully defended hundreds of people facing charges of everything from petty traffic offenses to serious Felony charges in both State and Federal Court.