Understanding the Basics: What is the Difference Between a DWI and DUI?

DWI stands for “Driving While Impaired” and DUI stands for “Driving Under the Influence.” While these have slightly different wording, for legal purposes in Minnesota, there actually is not a difference between these two acronyms. The words are used interchangeably and stem from the wording the DWI statute used historically (driving under the influence vs. driving while impaired) but both mean the same thing. However, what is important is that there can be two different counts when a driver is charged with DUI / DWI (though these charges “merge” together if a person is convicted of one).

Understanding the Basics: What is the Difference Between Bond and Bail?

The words “bail” and “bond” are often used as if they mean same thing, but they are slightly different. While both are a way for a person to be released from incarceration while awaiting trial, “bail” is a monetary amount set by a judge that a person must pay, and a “bond” is a promise, usually in the form of money paid by a bond company (sometimes referred to as a “bail bondsman”), who has been hired by a defendant, which also sometimes requires collateral to secure.

Understanding the Basics: Public Urination in Minnesota

Given that many dogs are legally required to be on a leash in many cities (including Minneapolis, it may seem like a safe assumption that a dog’s life is more regulated than a human’s. Yet, in one area of criminal law, the opposite is true: Public Urination. That’s right, where a dog is free to pee in Minnesota, a human may be charged with a misdemeanor.

Understanding the Basics: Prostitution Charges in Minnesota

Several police departments in Minnesota are currently using large prostitution sting operations, ranging from southern Minnesota to the metro area. These sting operations are often accomplished by law enforcement using ads on craigslist.com and backpage.com, and they have resulted in several people being charged with prostitution accross the state. While the “basics” of prostitution in Minnesota are complex, understanding how prostitution be charged by law enforcement and what the penalties are can help clear up confusion.

Understanding the Basics: Public Intoxication in Minnesota

It may surprise you to learn that Public Intoxication in Minnesota is not actually a crime–at least in and of itself. In fact, Minnesota Statute 340A.902 explicitly states: “ No person may be charged with or convicted of the offense of drunkenness or public...
Understanding the Basics: Hit and Run in Minnesota

Understanding the Basics: Hit and Run in Minnesota

Car accidents are, by nature, unexpected. So it makes sense that in the stress and confusion of an accident people forget to take basic steps to avoid further issues accidents bring. While accidents do not automatically implicate criminal culpability, they can trigger criminal charges if not dealt with properly. Understanding the basics on hit and run can help avoid criminal charges, and if you are charged with Hit and Run, then speaking with a criminal defense attorney can mitigate or avoid criminal consequences.