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Dakota County Community Accountability Program

In the early 1990's the Minnesota Legislature required County Attorneys to develop a program designed to divert adult criminal offenders away from the criminal justice system prior to a conviction. These are commonly called "diversion programs." The overarching goal of these programs is to allow the offender right their wrong, so to speak, and learn from their mistakes. In return, if the offender completes all of the requirements, then the charge/complaint against them is dismissed. The Dakota County Attorney's Office's program is called the Dakota County Community Accountability Program (CAP). Overview of the Dakota County Community Accountability Program (CAP) [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:48+00:00February 14, 2018|Local News|

Obnoxius, Selfish or Overeager is NOT Criminal Sexual Assault!

By now, you are probably aware of the recent allegations of sexual misconduct against well-known actor and comedian, Aziz Ansari.  If not, you can find a link to the original article HERE.  Since that original article published in babe there has been much debate as to whether Mr. Ansari committed sexual assault or harassment.  Recent reactions to the original article include the NY Times article: "Aziz Ansari Is Guilty.  Of Not Being a Mind Reader." To begin, and to be clear, we are not writing this article to criticize the alleged victim's, "Grace's" allegations, nor are [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:48+00:00January 19, 2018|Criminal Sexual Conduct, Sex Crimes|

Aggravated Assault: The Basics

What is an Assault? The basic definition of an assault is that you either: (1) touched someone with the intent to cause them "bodily harm" (physical harm) or fear of  bodily harm; or (2)committed an act with the intent to cause fear of bodily harm.  Importantly, no actual contact between the actor and the victim is necessary to prove an assault.  This is commonly referred to as "simple assault." Aggravated Assault While even a simple assault is serious, an aggravated assault is among the most severely punished offenses in Minnesota.  There are a number [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:48+00:00January 11, 2018|Assault Charges|

First Degree Murder Charge Results in Not Guilty Verdict

Charges: 1st Degree Murder                                                                                                               Premeditation and Intent Penalty: Life Imprisonment 2nd Degree Murder Intentional Maximum Penalty:  40 years Imprisonment Outcome: Not Guilty of First Degree Murder Hung Jury on Second Degree Murder Background: Our client was facing [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00December 18, 2017|Criminal Defense, Tom Sieben|

Reports of Sexual Misconduct Are Making Headlines – When Does the Conduct Become Criminal

Sexual Misconduct in the News If you’ve watched the news in the last few months then you’ve heard about a celebrity accused of sexual misconduct.  The recent fallout began with accusations against Harvey Weinstein (Hollywood Producer) and most recently against Matt Lauer (NBC News Anchor). Other celebrity figures include Kevin Spacey (Actor), Louis C.K. (Comedian) and Senator Al Franken (U.S. Senator for Minnesota), among others.  The accusations of sexual misconduct range from lewd behavior or text messages to rape. Civil vs. Criminal Law The greatest differences between civil and criminal law are how the case is initiated and [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00November 29, 2017|Criminal Sexual Conduct, Sex Crimes|

Deer Hunting Opener Is Right Around the Corner, Are You Prohibited From Possessing A Firearm?

Is your current or past criminal offense affecting your ability to get into the deer stand this year? ***Notice: This article is not intended to be legal advice.  Every criminal case has its own set of unique circumstances. If you have questions about your specific case contact your attorney.  If you do not have an attorney call for a free consultation*** It's that time of year again to unpack your blaze orange and dust off your shotgun or rifle.  Time to get outside and weather the elements in the hopes of harvesting that trophy buck you've been eyeing in [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00November 3, 2017|Criminal Defense, Gun Rights|

Sieben & Cotter Criminal Defense: We Get the Job Done!

What level of service can you expect from us as your criminal defense attorneys? First and foremost, WE GET THE JOB DONE!  Practically speaking that could mean winning your case outright (i.e. acquittal or dismissal of charges) or securing the best possible outcome for you.  As a criminal defense law firm our mission is to achieve excellent results through honest and aggressive representation. Winning your Case This is our primary focus at the beginning of each and every case.  We start by gathering all of the government's evidence against you.  Then, we carefully review each piece of evidence — [...]

Patrick Cotter Recertified as Criminal Law Specialist

The Minnesota State Bar Association announces the recertification of Patrick L. Cotter, Sieben & Cotter, PLLC, as a Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Certified Criminal Law Specialist.  This Certification program is administered by the MSBA and approved by the State Board of Legal Certification. The certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the area of criminal law, peer review attesting to a reputation for criminal law competence, and documented jury trial and contested hearing experience.  Attorney Patrick Cotter earned his Criminal Law Specialist designation through [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00August 11, 2017|Criminal Defense, Patrick Cotter|

Super Lawyers 2017

Super Lawyers recognizes Tom Sieben and Patrick Cotter in 2017 Super Lawyers magazine has recognized both Tom Sieben and Patrick Cotter: each has been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Minnesota Super Lawyers list. The attorneys at Sieben & Cotter, PLLC have been recognized by Super Lawyers on either the Super Lawyers or Rising Star list numerous times for more than a decade. Super Lawyers recognizes outstanding attorneys who have a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are invited to nominate the top lawyers they have personally observed in action, through firsthand observation in the courtroom. Only the [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00July 18, 2017|Attorney News, Super Lawyers|

Sex Crimes Defense Attorney In Minnesota

A Thorough Defense Investigation is Critical Most of the time when someone is charged with this type of crime "consent" is a central issue.  Often times there is very little evidence involved, and a victim's allegation alone, without corroboration, is enough to charge you.  Further, law enforcements' investigations never tell the full and complete story.  The Government has a basic interest in protecting and supporting victims, so they gather the evidence that supports their allegations.  They don't dig into the circumstances surrounding the incident, the prior relationship of the parties or previous and current mental health records.  Which could be used to challenge [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00April 24, 2017|Criminal Sexual Conduct|

Who Can Consent to Sex?

What is the Age of Consent in Minnesota? While the question is simple, the answer is a bit more complicated.  Generally, a person must be at least 16-years old to consent to sex in Minnesota.  However, there are a number of factors that could raise the age to 18-years —described below.  The only certainty is that no one under 13 years old can consent to sex.  For those between the ages of 13 and 18, valid consent depends on the age difference and/or relationship between the parties. As a background, Minnesota has five-degrees of criminal sexual conduct.  First degree is the most severe [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00March 9, 2017|Criminal Sexual Conduct|

Sexual Consent vs. Incapacity

What Does "Consent" Mean? Consent is one of the most controversial and highly contested issues under Minnesota's sex crimes.  Minnesota Statute Section 609.341, subdivision 4 (a) & (b), defines "Consent" as: words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor. Consent does not mean the existence of a prior or current social relationship between the actor and the complainant; or that the complainant failed to resist a particular sexual act.  A person who is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless as defined by this section cannot consent to [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:49+00:00February 24, 2017|Sex Crimes|

Part III: Due Process In A Title IX Sexual Misconduct Investigation

Due Process: Title IX vs. Criminal Prosecution This article is not legal advice, but is intended to be an informative article describing the basic concept of “due process” and the difference between the Title IX and criminal processes related to sexual misconduct. Sieben and Cotter, PLLC takes no position as to any recent allegations in the news related to this topic. The following is presented in a four-part series: Part I: What is “Due Process”; Part II: Due Process In Criminal Sexual Conduct Prosecutions; Part III: Due Process In A Title IX Sexual Misconduct Investigation; and Part IV: Comparison of the [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:50+00:00January 10, 2017|Criminal Sexual Conduct|

Part II: Due Process In Criminal Sexual Conduct Prosecutions

Due Process: Title IX vs. Criminal Prosecution This article is not legal advice, but is intended to be an informative article describing the basic concept of “due process” and the difference between the Title IX and criminal processes related to sexual misconduct. Sieben and Cotter, PLLC takes no position as to any recent allegations in the news related to this topic. The following is presented in a four-part series: Part I: What is “Due Process”; Part II: Due Process In Criminal Sexual Conduct Prosecutions; Part III: Due Process In A Title IX Sexual Misconduct Investigation; and Part IV: Comparison of the [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:50+00:00January 4, 2017|Criminal Sexual Conduct|

Part I: What is “Due Process”

Due Process: Title IX vs. Criminal Prosecution You may have heard the term “due process” or related terms in recent news. This article is not legal advice, but is intended to be an informative article describing the basic concept of “due process” and the difference between the Title IX and criminal processes related to sexual misconduct. Sieben and Cotter, PLLC takes no position as to any recent allegations in the news related to this topic. The following is presented in a four-part series: Part I: What is “Due Process”; Part II: Due Process In Criminal Sexual Conduct Prosecutions; Part III: [...]

2018-05-25T22:18:50+00:00December 21, 2016|Know Your Rights|

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