From articles in our newspapers, to stories on the radio and TV, most of us are bombarded every day by reports of serious crimes. So much so that when many folks see or hear a report of a serious crime, they automatically assume that the suspect is guilty based solely on how serious the charge sounds to them. Another common assumption about serious criminal charges is that conviction and a long jail sentence will be the likely result of any court proceedings.
Despite the seriousness of any crime with which a suspect might be charged, Minnesota law does provide several potential avenues for defense, even if a suspect has committed a crime. Many criminal cases feature mitigating factors that can increase the chances of a dismissal or lead to a plea deal which will reduce or eliminate the time the suspect will serve should they be convicted.
These factors are very diverse and can be something very simple, such as the suspect’s lack of intent. Mitigating factors are also often discovered by a skilled defense lawyer during the trial. An example of this type of factor is when it’s discovered that law enforcement is unable to prove the chain of custody of the evidence being used by the prosecution, which can open up an avenue of reasonable doubt.
These potential avenues of defense and mitigating factors are a few of the reasons why it’s so important for anyone who is charged with a serious crime in Minnesota to seek out the services of an experienced Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer.
A perfect example of the benefit of having an experienced trial lawyer to represent you if you have been charged with a serious crime is the recent court case and sentencing of Minnesota teenager, John LaDue, who was accused of planning to kill his family and bomb a local high school.
According to an earlier report by CBS Minnesota, police had found bomb making materials in LaDue’s locker. The teen’s journal also contained several threatening passages as well. Originally, LaDue was charged with four counts of attempted murder and two counts of attempted first-degree damage to property, but these charges were later dismissed due to lack of probable cause. The dismissal came as quite a shock to the public, whom had automatically assumed LaDue’s guilt due to the seriousness of the charges.
After the dismissal, the prosecution entered into a plea deal with the defense, where LaDue pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive or incendiary device. As part of the plea deal, LaDue received a 10 year suspended sentence. This is a significantly lighter sentence than he would have received had he been convicted of the original charges. LaDue will also receive specialized treatment for his autism disorder at a secure facility for an extended period of time as part of the plea deal.
As the LaDue case clearly illustrates, being charged with a serious crime does not automatically mean that you will be convicted and have to spend years in jail. If you or a loved one have been charged with a serious crime in Minnesota, take some steps to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the full benefit of having an experienced trial lawyer represent your interests in court.
While the needs of each client are unique and specific to the details of the case and current Minnesota law, if you’ve been charged with a serious crime, contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your case today.