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Understanding Minnesota’s Enhanceable Offenses

Minnesota Offense Levels In order to understand how enhanceable offenses operate, you must first understand the levels of criminal offenses in Minnesota.  There are four: PETTY MISDEMEANOR MISDEMEANOR GROSS MISDEMEANOR FELONY Not considered a "crime" Maximum punishment:  $300 Fine Maximum punishment:  $1,000 Fine and/or 90 days jail Maximum Punishment:  $3,000 Fine and/or up to 1 year in jail Maximum punishment:  unlimited fine (dependent on specific crime committed) and/or lifetime imprisonment (at least one year and one day in prison) How do Enhanceable Offenses work? A number of Minnesota's criminal offenses are "enhanceable" – meaning under certain circumstances [...]

2019-09-19T15:26:42+00:00September 19, 2019|Criminal Defense|

Thomas A. Sieben and Patrick L. Cotter, Sieben & Cotter, PLLC Recognized as Minnesota Super Lawyers 2019

Sieben & Cotter, PLLC proudly recognizes partners, Thomas A. Sieben and Patrick L. Cotter, as Minnesota Super Lawyers for another consecutive year! Super Lawyers® recognizes outstanding lawyers, who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, from more than 70 practice areas.  The rigorous selection process is multi-phased including independent research, as well as 12 indicators of peer evaluations and professional achievement.  Only 5% of attorneys will be selected as Super Lawyers each year.  The Minnesota lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Minnesota Super Lawyers Top Lists, including [...]

2019-07-22T19:48:27+00:00July 22, 2019|Super Lawyers 2019|

Personal Injury Basics: Negligence 101

What is Negligence? Negligence is an unintentional tort, as opposed to an intentional tort, such as assault or battery.  A tort, in layman's terms, is the basis for holding someone legally responsible (liable) due to their wrongful act that causes you to suffer a loss or harm.  The purpose of a personal injury claim based upon a negligence private (civil) claim aimed to recover damages (most commonly money) for the harm you've been caused.  Contrast this with criminal law, where the State accuses citizens of criminal acts and seeks to punish their wrongdoings. Negligence claims take many forms: Auto [...]

2019-06-07T19:53:54+00:00June 7, 2019|Personal Injury|

Man who threw boy off of 3rd floor of MOA charged with attempted 1st Degree Murder

Background Emmanuel Aranda, 24, is now charged with first-degree attempted murder after he threw a five-year-old boy off of the third floor of Mall of America. He is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon where the Hennepin County Attorney's Office will be seeking  $2 million bail, according to MPR News.  See the full article at: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/04/15/charges-mall-of-america-boy-thrown-man-wanted-kill Emmanuel allegedly told police that he had frequented for years and tried to flirt with women but they rejected him. This caused him to lash out. Prosecutors state that he first arrived at the mall on Thursday to kill an adult, [...]

2019-04-16T18:29:07+00:00April 16, 2019|Violent Crimes|

Minneapolis Bus Driver Shooting: Shooter Claims Self Defense. What Does That Mean?!?

Backstory: According to Local News Reports Earlier this week a motorist, identified as Kenneth Lily, collided with a school bus as it merged onto the freeway in Minneapolis.  Lily pulled off to the shoulder and the school bus pulled in behind his vehicle.  Lily then exits his vehicle and confronts the bus driver, purportedly to enter into the school bus.  The bus driver denies him entry because there was a student on board.  Lily then moves to the front of the bus and fires five-shots from his 9MM handgun at the bus's front windshield.  The bus driver was [...]

2019-02-08T21:44:22+00:00February 8, 2019|Criminal Defense|

What Attorneys Look For In a Personal Injury Case

The overwhelming majority of personal injury lawsuits are billed on a "contingent fee" basis — meaning the Plaintiff (injured party) is not charged a fee unless they recover (receive payment) for their loss.  In other words, a personal injury attorney is absorbing the costs (involved with attorney time, obtaining records, discovery, investigation and experts) for the Plaintiff, which will only be reimbursed through a percentage of the Plaintiff's overall recovery, if any.  As such, taking on a case requires an investment on the part of the attorney.  If the potential settlement isn't large enough to justify the [...]

2019-01-07T17:16:25+00:00January 7, 2019|Personal Injury|

Proving Your Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Case

A mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can be caused in a variety of ways including an auto accident, slip and fall, explosion or while playing sports. You ability to recover just compensation for your injuries depends in large part on your ability to prove the severity of your injuries. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the higher your potential compensation. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Usually Invisible Many traumatic brain injuries, including mTBIs like concussions, will not appear on MRIs or CT scans in the absence of one or more serious symptoms.  Those may include seizures; vision [...]

2018-11-28T22:49:09+00:00November 13, 2018|Traumatic Brain Injury|

Choosing the Right Wrongful Death Attorney

Loosing a loved one is the most painful time period in our lives.  If the loss of your loved one is due to another person or business's negligence, intentional harm, greed or incompetence the pain and anger can be unbearable.  Unfortunately, wrongful death incidents are not uncommon, but the good news is that you don't have to sit by hopeless.  While, money can never replace a loved one it is a positive step to help you move forward, and it sends a message to the wrongdoer that their actions will not be tolerated. If you are going to pursue a [...]

2018-09-26T20:57:24+00:00September 26, 2018|Wrongful Death|

Client Suffered Mild Traumatic Brain Injury from Auto Accident – $900,000 Settlement

Personal Injury Type Mild Traumatic Brain Injury - Auto Accident Background Our client was driving through the intersection of a twin cities road when she was struck by a motorist who blew through the stop sign at a high rate of speed.  As a result, our client suffered a mild traumatic brain injury.  The motorist who caused the accident was charged and convicted of careless driving.  Shortly after this accident our client started to experience dizziness and vertigo, significant sensitivity to noise, tinnitus, nausea, insomnia, and headache that were debilitating at times.  Our client's injuries cost over $60,000 [...]

2018-09-26T14:02:14+00:00August 30, 2018|Personal Injury|

Criminal Sexual Conduct Includes Online “Presence”

Daniel Decker was convicted of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and indecent exposure for sending a picture of his genitals to a minor via Facebook Messenger.  In relevant part, fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct requires: The defendant engaged in lewd exhibition of the genitals. The defendant's act took place in the presence of a Minor. The defendant knew or had reason to know a Minor was present at the time of the act. Similarly, indecent exposure also entails willfully and lewdly exposing one's private parts in a place where others are "present."  Daniel Decker appealed his convictions arguing that he did [...]

2018-08-27T20:15:55+00:00August 14, 2018|Criminal Sexual Conduct|

Thomas Sieben and Patrick Cotter Recognized as Minnesota Super Lawyers 2018

Sieben & Cotter, PLLC is proud to announce that both partners, Thomas Sieben and Patrick Cotter, were recognized as Minnesota Super Lawyers 2018 Super Lawyers® recognizes outstanding lawyers, who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, from more than 70 practice areas.  The rigorous selection process is multi-phased including independent research, as well as 12 indicators of peer evaluations and professional achievement.  Only 5% of attorneys will be selected as Super Lawyers each year.  The Minnesota lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Minnesota Super Lawyers Top Lists, [...]

2018-08-27T20:16:51+00:00July 25, 2018|Super Lawyers 2018|

Spreigl Evidence: The Basics

So you're charged with a crime and are gearing up for a jury trial.  Do you have a criminal past? Did you know that the government may be able to use evidence of your criminal past against you?  In Minnesota this is commonly referred to as Spreigl Evidence, found under Minnesota Rule of Evidence 404. What is Spreigl Evidence? In short, Spreigl Evidence is evidence of other crimes or bad acts, other than those related to the current case.  Rule 404 generally states that evidence of a defendant's prior crimes or bad acts cannot be used to suggest that he/she [...]

2018-07-23T17:03:53+00:00July 20, 2018|Criminal Defense, FAQ|

Six-Month Review: Sexual Assault Case Victories

The attorneys at Sieben & Cotter have been hard at work defending clients charged with sexual assault and related offenses.  Over the last several months our firm has achieved favorable results for our clients, with many more still pending at various stages in the criminal justice system.  Below are six recent cases ranging from an alleged sex assault on a college campus to nonconsensual sexual contact with a family member. State of Minnesota v. B.P. — Felony Third-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct ATTORNEYS:  Patrick Cotter and Justen Imsande Our client was chatting with a the complaining witness on a popular dating [...]

2018-06-01T20:22:41+00:00June 1, 2018|Criminal Sexual Conduct, Sex Crimes|

MN House Approves Major Changes to Sex Crimes Statutes

Earlier this week the Minnesota House of Representatives approved major public safety bill aimed at closing several sexual assault loopholes.  The three major changes to Minnesota's Criminal Sexual Conduct statutes include: Making it illegal for peace officers to have sex with anyone in custody or anyone who “does not reasonably feel free to leave the officer’s presence;" Making it illegal for teachers and other school staff to have sex with adult (18 years or older) students; and Removing the exception for grabbing of the clothed buttocks from the definition of "sexual contact." To be clear, only the House of [...]

2018-05-31T15:52:24+00:00May 3, 2018|Sex Crimes|

Drug Conspiracy — Am I a Co-Conspirator?

Drug Conspiracy Elements A drug conspiracy have two central requirements: two or more persons agreed to commit the crimes of either: (a) drug distribution or (b) drug possession with the intent to distribute;  AND the person knowingly and voluntarily joined the conspiracy intending to help advance or achieve its goal. Agreement In regard to an agreement, the government must prove that there was a mutual understanding between two or more persons to work together in order to achieve their criminal goal (i.e. distributing drugs). Importantly the agreement does not have to be formal or in writing, or even that everyone [...]

2018-05-31T15:53:12+00:00April 27, 2018|Drug Crimes, Federal Drug Conspiracy|

Minneapolis – St. Paul Criminal Defense Attorneys on call 24/7 651-455-1555

As experienced criminal defense and personal injury attorneys, we know how quickly you need protection and an advocate in your corner. We provide our clients with our office and cell phone numbers for 24/7 availability. We also know how important it is for you to have someone who will listen, understand what happened, provide experienced counsel and stand by you. The Sieben & Cotter Law office is located in South St. Paul, in Dakota County, convenient to Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the Twin Cities metro area, also serving greater Minnesota and Wisconsin. Read attorney reviews or contact us 24/7 at 651-455-1555 | Tom Sieben | Patrick Cotter