Encounters with Law Enforcement in Minnesota


If you are within the Minnesota area and find yourself in trouble with law enforcement officers, it is crucial you know how to act.  Most people in such situations think of arrests which could happen with or without a warrant. One of the situations is when the court determines probable cause for a felony or serious crime, and a judge signs a warrant for your arrest. Police can also arrest you upon witnessing a crime in progress, during a DUI, or DWI. They may also serve you with a citation which explains a charge and gives you a court attendance date. Finally, you can get a complaint or summon in writing to answer to various alleged claims.

When in any of the situations above, the first thing you ought to know is your rights. During an arrest, the police will read you your Miranda rights. One statement should stand out for you: your right to remain silent and the fact that law enforcement can and will use what you say as evidence against you. The 5th amendment protects this right. So be careful what you say upon arrest. It is advisable not to say anything at all. It is unwise to try bargaining with an officer, talking your way out of a situation, or entering a deal with the police. The most prudent thing to do is speak to a lawyer, even before you record a statement.

It is essential that you, however, listen to what they have to say and comply with their orders. Resistance, confrontation, obstruction of the police, and running are not very bright ideas. Always ask to see the search warrant. Your 4th amendment rights state that you have protection from an illegal search or seizure, and police officers should respect that. In your compliance, be careful not to give up any sensitive information as well, and reserve your right not to do so. If it’s a DWI or DUI, do not partake in any field sobriety tests unless the officer gives it as an order or before you talk to an attorney.

You also have the right to a speedy trial, according to the 6th amendment. When put in custody after a felony arrest sans warrant, 36 hours should not pass before you’ve seen a judge. The same time-limit applies to a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor in Minnesota. Anything past that deadline qualifies as an unnecessary delay. If time expires before a judge listens to your case, you should no longer be in custody. Instead, law enforcement should give you a written citation stating the charge and set you free. The day of arrest, recognized holidays, and Sundays do not count in this time-frame, but the rule may extend if necessary.

Another time rule is the 48-hour rule where no suspect should be in holding for more than said hours unless the judge determines probable cause, signs a complaint, or extends incarceration. The clock, unlike the 36-hour rule, starts ticking as soon as the police make the arrest and include Sundays and public holidays. The 36 hours for arraignment begin when the judge confirms that the arrest was legal.

Get the Top Defense Lawyer

Criminal law and the criminal justice process is quite complicated, and citizens need people who understand the brass tacks of the matter for proper representation. It is essential that you seek out the services lawyer if you find yourself in any of the situations explained above. The Speas Law Firm is an excellent choice. Our services extend throughout St. Paul’s, Minneapolis, the Twin Cities Metro, and all across the State of Minnesota.

At our firm, we deal with all the challenges you encounter and the constraints you face within the legal system when facing various criminal offenses. We cover the entire range of charge severity from simple misdemeanors to serious felonies. Check out our website to see the credentials of our top criminal defense attorney, Ms. Jennifer Speas, founder and CEO of the firm.

We are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Consultation is free. You can arrange for one by filling out the information form on our website, calling, or emailing us. Alternatively, you can visit our offices on weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, contact us.

Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case.