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Rochester Law Blog

How a DWI can affect you

The Minnesota government takes drinking under the influence seriously. That is why no one should drive after having even one or two drinks and that hiring an attorney is smart for anyone who is facing a DWI conviction.

According to the Office of Traffic Safety, the legal limit for most motorists is .08, but it is lower for commercial drivers. For drivers under the age of 21, there is zero tolerance and they may not drive with a blood limit of over 0.00. There are numerous costs associated with driving while intoxicated, and many of them are financial. Take into consideration legal fees, court costs, potential alcohol classes and increased insurance premiums, and this can add up to thousands of dollars.

College athlete plays in Minn. tournament following car accident

People who are able to walk away from a car accident in Minnesota consider themselves lucky. One college athlete from the University of San Francisco can count himself extra lucky, because not only did he survive a car accident virtually unscathed on Thursday evening, he played in a basketball tournament the next morning. 

The athlete was in the Twin Cities for the 3X3U National Championship. Another vehicle struck the one he was driving and then drove away while he was in the middle of an intersection in the Lyn-Lake area of Minneapolis late in the evening on Thursday. It is unclear whether the athlete lost consciousness due to the accident, but he does report his car making several complete revolutions as a result of the impact, as well as being inside of an ambulance en route to the hospital by the time he was able to gather his senses. 

Celebrity divorce and custody battles: Don't let it happen to you

Like most Minnesota residents, you probably follow celebrity news from time to time. There never seems to be a shortage of shocking or exciting headlines regarding the current super stars of stage and screen. Then again, it's what most people expect when it comes to Hollywood entertainment, right? Some of your favorite stars might be among those who are going through or have recently resolved contentious divorce or child custody issues.

If you ever wind up in family law court, you'll likely want to avoid similar problems like the plague, as many celebrities have lost thousands of dollars and months of their time locked in fierce court battles over property division or child custody and support disagreements. Reading up on some of the most acrimonious battles may help you steer clear of similar problems in your own life.

The basics of adopting a child in Minnesota

When Minnesota residents decide to expand their family through adoption, they may only consider the joy of bringing a child into their home. However, there are many details about the process people need to understand.

When people first consider adopting a child, it is important for them to understand all of their options. FindLaw says there are many different kinds of adoptions, such as adopting a child from the foster system or from another country. It is a good idea for people to research each kind of adoption so they know which is best for them. Additionally, people usually need to consider legal matters. Courts may have strict procedures people need to follow. A person's taxes may also change after he or she adopts a child. As people learn more about adoption, it is a good idea for them to make sure they understand the legal and financial aspects of the process.

Sex offenders and residency restrictions

Minnesota, like all other states in the nation, has a program that requires some people convicted of sex crimes to register as sex offenders. These registry programs come in many forms and each has its own unique set of requirements and processes but the general purpose and use are to be able to track the whereabouts of defendants. Some states place restrictions on where a person who must participate in the sex offender registry program may work or live. 

The Minnesota Predatory Offender Registry explains that there is no unilateral ban on registrants living in any particular locations, such as near schools, daycare centers or other facilities where children are likely to be present. Some people may have select restrictions put in place as part of their probation or parole conditions but this does not always happen.

Expungement in Minnesota

A criminal record can follow a person around for a long time, potentially affecting his or her ability to find a place to live or a new job. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to place previous convictions under seal so that the public will no longer have access to the records. Courts in Minnesota refer to this action as an expungement, while in other states, it may go by the term "expunction." 

According to Minnesota statutes, expungement is not available for every offense. It is available for certain criminal proceedings, certain controlled substance offenses and juveniles prosecuted as adults. Even then, expungement only becomes available upon meeting particular conditions relating to the offense and the penalties it incurs. 

Examining the Glasgow Coma Scale

Many in Rochester may believe that the chances of suffering a traumatic brain injury (or witnessing a family member or friend sustaining one) are remote. Yet TBIs are much more common that most may think. In fact, information shared by the International Brain Injury Association shows that one million Americans are treated for TBIs annually. Of those who receive such treatment, 80,000 are believed to be discharged from their treatment with some form of disability related to their injuries. Such disabilities may require extensive care and rehabilitation, which can translate to inordinate medical costs. Knowing what those costs may be could influence the decision to seek legal action against those who may be responsible for their TBIs. 

Yet how can one know such a prognosis so soon after a brain injury? Clinicians have developed a test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale which measures the extent of a TBI. Knowing the extent offers an idea of a TBI victim's chances of recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the test is administered by measuring the following elements: 

  • Eye movement
  • Verbal communication
  • Motor skills 

Are e-scooters a slow ride to the emergency room?

Perhaps you were among the many in Minnesota who eagerly awaited the arrival of electric scooters. This new transportation trend has taken the nation by storm, and e-scooter rental companies are popping up in cities from coast to coast. These lightweight vehicles offer riders many benefits. They are ridiculously cheap to rent, require no special training or license to operate, and will supposedly protect the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road.

What e-scooters are not reducing, however, is the number of trips to the emergency room. University and medical researchers have begun compiling data related to the number and kinds of injuries e-scooter accidents can cause.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

Many people in Minnesota have heard of a prenuptial agreement, which allows couples to decide on the division of assets in the event of a divorce before they marry. However, few people may be familiar with a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement does pretty much the same thing for you and your spouse that a prenuptial agreement does. The main difference is that, as suggested by the name, you enter into a postnuptial agreement after the marriage takes place rather than before. 

According to Forbes, both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have a bad reputation. The misconception seems to be that people who enter into such an agreement have no faith that the marriage will last. In fact, such an agreement, whether prenuptial or postnuptial, is a way for you and your spouse to prepare for the potential end of your marriage while still hoping for the best possible outcome. 

Severe damage to both vehicles in a Minnesota collision

Motor vehicle accidents can cause a great deal of damage to people and property alike. A collision near Hanska, Minnesota between a van and a semi-trailer resulted in severe damage to both vehicles. Both drivers received injuries as well, though the extent is not altogether clear.

Fortunately, both drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash on Monday morning. The semi-trailer was heading south on County Road 13 in Brown County, Minnesota, while the van was traveling north. The van allegedly struck the semi-trailer after crossing the center line. Damage to the semi-trailer resulting from the crash was severe, while the van was a total loss.

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