Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

Understanding Your Rights

At Patton, Hoversten & Berg, our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys are renowned for their assertive and empathetic approach to handling various criminal and traffic cases, encompassing felonies, misdemeanors, and municipal charges. Facing criminal charges can be daunting, but you don't have to navigate this challenging time alone.

If you or someone you care about is confronting criminal charges in Minnesota, we urge you to contact us. Schedule your consultation with one of our seasoned lawyers today and take the first step toward experienced, reliable legal defense.

The Right to Remain Silent

Legal Representation

One of the fundamental rights in criminal defense is the right to remain silent. This means you are not obligated to speak to law enforcement or prosecutors without legal representation.

Every individual is entitled to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you. It's essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who can navigate the complexities of your case.

How Does the Criminal Defense Process Work?

The criminal defense process in Minnesota involves several key stages, from the initial arrest and charging to the trial and, potentially, appeals.

1. Arrest and Booking

  • Arrest: This occurs when law enforcement has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The suspect is taken into custody.
  • Booking: Following the arrest, personal information is recorded, and fingerprints and photographs are taken.

2. Initial Appearance and Bail

  • Initial Appearance: Usually, within 48 hours of arrest, the accused appears before a judge, where the charges are read and his or her rights are explained.
  • Bail: The court may set bail, a financial guarantee that the accused will return for future court dates.

3. Charging

  • The prosecuting attorney files charges based on the evidence. This can be done through a complaint, indictment by a grand jury (for more serious crimes), or citation.

4. Arraignment

  • The accused formally hears the charges and enters a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest).

5. Pre-Trial Motions and Hearings

  • Discovery: Both sides exchange evidence and information
  • Motions: Legal arguments may be made to dismiss charges, suppress evidence, etc.

6. Trial

  • If a plea agreement is not reached, the case may go to trial. Trials in Minnesota can be before a judge (bench trial) or a jury.
  • The prosecution must prove the defendant's guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt."

7. Verdict

  • The judge or jury delivers a verdict of guilty or not guilty.

8. Sentencing

  • If found guilty, the court will schedule a sentencing hearing. Before determining the sentence, the judge will consider various factors, including the nature of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history.

9. Appeal

  • The defendant has the right to appeal the conviction or sentence. The Minnesota Court of Appeals typically hears appeals in Minnesota and can be further appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

10. Expungement

  • Under certain conditions, a defendant can later apply for expungement, sealing the arrest, trial, and conviction records.


This overview encapsulates the general process, but individual cases can vary significantly based on the specifics of the alleged crime, the evidence, and other factors. Legal representation is crucial at all stages to navigate the complexities of the legal system and to protect the accused's rights.

Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

When facing legal troubles, especially those of a serious nature, the advantages of having a criminal defense attorney by your side cannot be overstated. Here are some of the benefits of enlisting the services of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer:

Comprehensive Legal Knowledge

Criminal defense attorneys specialize in the complexities of criminal law and are adept at navigating the legal system. Their expertise allows them to construct a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific case.

Protection of Your Rights

From the moment of your arrest, a criminal defense attorney ensures that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. They are vigilant in preventing any violation of your rights, which can be pivotal to the outcome of your case.

Knowledge of the Judicial System

Experienced defense attorneys have a thorough understanding of the court system and know how to maneuver through the maze of prosecutorial procedures, making the process as smooth as possible for you.

Evaluation of Evidence

A defense attorney critically assesses the evidence against you, identifying any weaknesses or inconsistencies. Their ability to effectively challenge the evidence can lead to reduced charges or even case dismissals.

Negotiation Skills

Criminal defense lawyers are skilled negotiators who often negotiate with prosecutors to secure plea bargains, which can result in dismissed or reduced charges.

Legal Guidance

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming. A criminal defense attorney provides guidance and support through the process, offering reassurance and helping to keep stress levels in check.

Access to Resources

Defense attorneys have access to a network of experts and resources that can be crucial in building a strong defense. This includes private investigators, forensic experts, and other specialist professionals.

Saving Time and Money

Though hiring an attorney may seem costly upfront, their ability to expedite the legal process, negotiate fines, and avoid potential employment losses can result in significant long-term savings.

Peace of Mind

Perhaps one of the most valuable benefits is the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a dedicated advocate on your side. This allows you to focus on your life while they handle the complexities of your case.

Having a criminal defense attorney by your side smooths the process and improves your chance at a favorable outcome. They provide invaluable guidance and support. Enjoy peace of mind during tough times. Navigate legal challenges with confidence.

Criminal Cases We Handle

Minnesota DUI / DWI Penalties
Repeat DUI
Juvenile Crimes
Domestic violence
Sex crimes
Violent crimes

Theft Crimes
Drug charges
Distribution & Trafficking
White collar crimes
Felony crimes

Frequently Asked Questions of a Criminal Defense Attorney

Remain calm, exercise your right to remain silent, and request to speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately. Do not provide any statements or consent to a search without your lawyer present.

Schedule a Consultation Today!

Gain peace of mind by speaking directly with our criminal defense experts who are ready to fight for your justice.