How Long does Divorce take in Brainerd

One of the main questions on the mind of couples contemplating a divorce is how long will the divorce process take. While this is a pertinent consideration, there is no straightforward answer to it.

As experienced Divorce Lawyers in Brainerd, we know that several variables come into play here, which is why the duration of the divorce process can vary. These include the level of cooperation between the spouses, child custody matters, and the complexity of asset and liability division. Resolving all these matters can take a couple of months or even drag on for years.

Factors That Affect the Duration of the Divorce Process

As Minnesota is a “no-fault” state, neither party filing for divorce needs to establish grounds for it. Couples can seek divorce on the basis of “irreconcilable differences.”

The duration of the divorce process depends on several factors such as:

  • The number of children involved
  • The property owned by both spouses
  • The assets and liabilities of both spouses
  • Payment of spousal maintenance and/or child support
  • Cooperation between the spouses

It is important to know that the more antagonistic the spouses are towards each other, the lengthier and more complex the process will be. This factor may not be in your control though. Even if you are being fully cooperative, but your spouse isn’t, the case may drag on for years.

You should also bear in mind that Minnesota laws mandate that at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 180 days before the divorce process begins. So, if you and your spouse have moved here recently, you will need to wait for the necessary amount of time to initiate the divorce proceedings.

Uncontested Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, both the spouses reach an agreement, and are only required to arrange the necessary paperwork to move the case directly from start to its conclusion. If you have a Minnesota divorce lawyer representing you, they will write up the agreement and take care of all of the documentation necessary to make sure all the legal requirements are fulfilled.

This agreement and the subsequent Judgment and Decree are then sent to the court for approval.

Uncontested divorces don’t take long and can be finalized in as few as 60 days from the day of filing.

Contested Divorce

When the divorcing parties do not agree on all the issues, including spousal maintenance, child custody and support, parenting time, and division of property and debt, their case may go to trial.

A contested divorce begins with one spouse (petitioner) serving a Summons and Petition to the other spouse (respondent). These documents are meant to notify the respondent that the divorce process has been initiated. They also mention what the petitioner is asking for in the divorce. These documents must be personally served to the respondent, who may take 30 days to respond.

Both parties then have a certain period of time to exchange information, which is called discovery. During discovery, the spouses and their attorneys request and review important information, such as financial records. They also identify the issues to be resolved and work towards a settlement.

Before the trial begins, the court typically requires both spouses to explore other methods to resolve their domestic disputes. These methods may include mediation and arbitration. If they don’t work, the court conducts a pre-trial hearing to encourage a settlement. If the case doesn’t settle, it may go to trial for the judge to resolve the disputes.

Working with seasoned Minnesota attorney with experience in courtroom trials can be extremely beneficial in such cases. Such a lawyer will not only advocate effectively for you, but also prevent your divorce case from becoming unnecessarily antagonistic and costly.

Reaching an Agreement Is Vital

As soon as the divorcing couple reaches a mutually-agreeable settlement over all their issues, like spousal maintenance and child support at any point of the proceedings, their lawyers can draft an agreement. This agreement will need to be signed by the judge. It will then become the Judgment and Decree for the divorce.

Usually, the proposed decree is filed by the attorney of one of the parties. The other party and their attorney then reviews it and proposes changes, if required. When all parties have signed the decree, it is submitted to the judge for final approval.

Once the divorce decree is signed by the judge, the courts enter judgment. Both parties are then notified that the divorce proceedings have officially concluded.

Conclusion

It is natural for divorcing spouses to think about how long the divorce process will last once initiated. However, there is no fixed answer to this question. The duration depends of each unique marital situation as several variables have bearings on the divorce’s length. Hopefully, the above information has helped you understand the various factors that impact the tenure of the divorce process.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Brainerd

The divorce process can be physically and emotionally taxing. A well-practiced attorney can make it easier on you by guiding you properly and settling your case as early as possible. Call Carlson & Sons today and discuss you case with our experienced Divorce Lawyer in Brainerd. Get in touch with us at (855) 976-2444 for a free consultation. You can also contact us through our website.

Can you Sue a Personal Trainer for Injury in Brainerd, MN?

Accidents and injuries that occur due to the negligence of another individual can lead to legal repercussions. This includes injuries arising from the negligence of your personal trainer as well. Your trainer owes you a duty of care, i.e. they need to perform professionally and protect your injuries.

However, as experienced Personal Injury lawyers in Brainerd, MN, we want to inform you that not all personal injuries are the result of negligence. Hence, you will be able to sue your personal trainer under specific circumstances only.

Let’s understand this step by step.

I. Common Injuries Filed against Personal Trainers

While you can suffer many types of injuries due to your personal trainer’s negligence, some injures are more commonly sustained than others. These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Strained muscles
  • Sprained muscles
  • Muscle tears
  • Broken bones/fractures
  • Tendonitis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Never damage
  • Death (from heart attack or other conditions)

II. Examples of Personal Trainer Negligence

  • Let’s take a look at the typical examples of personal trainer negligence. Negligence can be said to have occurred if the personal trainer:
  • Ignored your pre-existing injuries or medical conditions when developing your fitness regimen.
  • Made you exercise for a prolonged period of time.
  • Suggested that you lift more weight than you could physically handle.
  • Did not supervise you properly when you were doing a particular type of exercise or using certain gym equipment.
  • Advised you to perform the wrong types of exercises.
  • Failed to provide remedial guidance when you used an improper procedure on an exercise machine.
  • Did not correct you when you performed an aerobic exercise incorrectly.
  • Recommended certain health supplements that reacted adversely with the supplements or medication you were already taking.

You may be able to file a lawsuit against your personal trainer in any of the above cases. Additionally, depending on the exact circumstances, you might be eligible to receive compensation for covering your medical bills and other related expenses. Make sure to consult a Personal Injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN to get a proper analysis of your case.

III. Compensatory Damages

As mentioned, you can recover compensatory damages to cover all the expenses and losses connected to your injuries. These can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Anticipated medical expenses
  • Loss of income/wages
  • Loss of earning capacity in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of consortium

IV. Proving Negligence in Brainerd, MN

Let us now take a look at the elements of negligence in a personal injury claim and see how they apply to a personal trainer.

a.Duty: You need to prove that your personal trainer owed you a duty of care and that this duty was breached. Proving duty of care will legally establish a relationship between you and your personal trainer that creates an obligation in the trainer to maintain certain standards of care.

b.Breach: Breaching the duty of care results in injuries. It also creates liability for the trainer. If your trainer failed to exercise reasonable care with you in any way, and you suffered an injury due to that, it is clear that the trainer had been negligent.

c. Causation: You also need to show cause, where the trainer must be the actual cause of your injury. Proving causation in the context of physical exercise can be difficult. If your trainer rekindled an old ache/soreness that you had never mentioned to them about, proving causation will be even more challenging.

d. Damages: To prove negligence, you need to prove that you suffered an injury, and that it is compensable. If your trainer breached the duty of care he owed you, but you did not suffer any kind of injury or harm, then you cannot file a lawsuit. If, on the other hand, you were injured and incurred medical expenses or lost employment due to it, you can claim compensation.

V. The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Brainerd, MN

The statute of limitations refers to “the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.” Under Minnesota law, the statute of limitations in a negligence case is usually two years. This deadline applies to cases involving the liability principle of negligence and intentional torts.

This means that if another individual’s reckless or intentional act has resulted in your injury, and you want to bring in a legal claim against them, you have two years (from the date of the accident) to file the paperwork in court.

In such cases, it is best to connect with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you contact an attorney, the quicker they can start working on your case and procure crucial evidence before it is lost or destroyed.

Conclusion

Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be able to sue your personal trainer if you suffered an injury due to their negligence. Hopefully, the above information will help you understand the factors that go into making a legal claim. Working with a Personal Injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN will help you better understand the legal elements and process of filing your case. Remember, only a good lawyer can help you make the right legal decisions.

Get Legal Guidance from an Astute Personal Injury Lawyer in Brainerd, MN

Sustaining personal injuries due to the negligence of your personal trainer can mean physical and emotional suffering, not to mention your fitness goals will remain unattained too. Speak to our well-practiced Personal Injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN to see if you have a claim. Call us at (855) 976-2444 to schedule a free consultation. You can also fill out our online contact form with your queries. We will get back to you at the earliest.

 

How to Win a Custody Battle in Buffalo, MN

It is common knowledge that the number of divorces has been climbing steadily over time. According to the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 782,038 divorces (45 reporting States and D.C.) in the US, with a divorce rate of 2.9 per 1,000 people in 2018.

However, getting a divorce is an emotionally and financially stressful process, especially when children are involved. In an unamicable divorce, the battle for child custody can often turn into an ugly fight.

In the end, the court will consider what is in the best interest of you children and a few other factors, depending on your case, when awarding custody. So, as one of the most experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, we often advise our clients to be prepared, irrespective of whether you are a father or a mother.

Here are five tips that can help present your case in the best light and even help you win the custody of your child.

1. Try to Negotiate the Custody

In most divorce cases, you may get a chance to resolve the issue of child custody amicably. Although this isn’t necessarily a part of the legal proceedings, usually experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, will recommend to you to create a parenting plan through mutual negotiations.

The most significant advantage of this approach is that you can avoid a costly and lengthy custody battle. You will be able to save considerable money and time. Furthermore, your children won’t have to face the mental stress of a custody battle in addition to the divorce. In fact, the cordial parenting environment can help your children overcome the mental stress of your legal separation relatively quickly.

2. Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Wild

Staying calm and collected is perhaps the most critical factor to consider when fighting for your child’s custody. Irrespective of how the opposition behaves, you must keep your emotions under check.

Usually, a judge will take your behavior into account when deciding on child custody. If your behavior strikes as erratic or aggressive, the opposition will use it against you. It may compel the court to rule in your spouse’s favor.

Your spouse will also try their best to establish that they are a good parent. However, in most cases, the judge will be able to detect if the opposition is trying to be someone they are not. That’s why you can’t lose your emotional balance at any cost. So, avoid talking to your spouse if it is likely to cause an emotional outburst.

3. Understand Your Legal Rights First

The next important step is to understand the family law in Minnesota. In a child custody battle, you must understand your legal rights as a parent. While you can do some basic research on your own, make sure to consult experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN.

A skilled lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and how to exercise them. For example, after taking a look at your case, the lawyer will be able to tell you whether joint custody is your best bet, or you can ask for sole custody.

Be honest with your lawyer. Don’t invent stories to put yourself in the best light. It will backfire during the court proceedings, taking away your chance of winning joint custody, let alone sole custody.

4. Perception Always Matters

You may not like it; however, perception is often everything in a custody battle. You must try your best to present yourself as a competent, responsible, and loving parent. A seemingly harmless text message, email, or social media post can be entered into the court proceedings and used against you.

Be careful of who you talk or write to, especially when communicating with your spouse or their friends and family members, and lawyers. It is better to communicate through your attorney as far as possible.

Also, make sure to dress properly and speak politely during your court hearings and meetings. Always be on time for court hearings, visits, meetings, and picking up your kids. Being late can be perceived as irresponsible behavior, which is likely to affect your chances of winning custody.

5. Keep Your Kids’ Wellbeing at the Front-and-Center

The last thing you want to do is to use your kids as pawns or tools to win the custody battle. Any experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, will advise you against the idea of putting your children in the courtroom or on the witness stand. In fact, you should keep your children out of the courtroom and your divorce proceedings.

You should never vilify your spouse to turn your children against them. Also, never exaggerate the shortcomings of your spouse. You should never talk negatively about your ex at all. What matters in the court proceedings is evidence, not your opinion. So, keep them to yourself.

If your children ask you difficult questions, try to be positive. Any lies you tell your kids will eventually backfire, causing more harm than good to your case. Make sure to share only the facts your kids can handle. You needn’t burden them with the stress of your divorce. Talk to an expert such as a child psychiatrist, if needed.

Conclusion

When children are involved, child custody becomes the most critical aspect of a divorce. In most cases, the court considers what is in the best interest of children when awarding custody rights to parents. However, you do need to talk to an experienced custody lawyer to increase your chances of winning a custody battle. Hopefully, these five tips will help you make an informed decision about your custody battle.

Call the Most Experienced Custody Lawyers in Buffalo, MN.

Going through a divorce is emotionally stressful. As one of the most experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, Carlson & Jones, P.A. will help present your case in the best light. Depending on the circumstances of your case, our expert lawyers will try their best to increase your chances of winning child custody. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our legal services.

What does Custodial Parent mean in Minnesota

When a couple with children divorces, the matter of child custody also needs to be addresses. It may also be considered in court actions for paternity, domestic abuse, or when a child is being looked after by a third party.

In Minnesota, the state laws govern the child custody process and determine how related decisions are made by the court. The state laws also help determine whether or not joint custody is an option, along with the appointment of the custodial parent.

Legally speaking, the term “custodial parent” refers to the parent who has physical custody of the child/children for the majority of the time. Even if both the parents agree to co-parent, the custodial parent is responsible for most of the aspects of raising the child.

What Is a Custodial Parent in Minnesota?

Minnesota recognizes two types of child custody:

a. Legal custody: Refers to the legal authority to make long-term decisions related to raising the child.

b. Physical custody: Refers to making decisions about the day-to-day activities of the child and where the child lives.

In general terms, the parent with who the child lives with for the majority of the time is the custodial parent. However, not all parents who have sole physical custody of their child are considered custodial parents by the courts.

For instance, if a single mother is raising her child by herself and the father chooses to remain uninvolved, she will still have to file for child custody to be legally considered the custodial parent.

More often than not, custody actions in Minnesota State require the child to live with the custodial parent for a period of at least six months. There are exceptions to this rule though. For example, if the custodial parent is found to be absent or abusive, the child be placed under the care of the other parent immediately.

As well-practiced Child Custody lawyers in Minnesota, we’ve presented below a helpful few tips for custodial parents that will help them understand their legal responsibilities better.

1. Go by the Visitation Schedule

The custodial parent should work out a mutually-agreeable parenting plan with the non-custodial parent and create a suitable visitation schedule. If there is no parenting plan in place, the court may impose a visitation schedule. If the existing visitation schedule needs to be altered in any way, the custodial parent is required to notify the non-custodial parent about it in advance.

2. Record Child Support Payments

If the custodial parent is receiving child support, they should ensure to keep a record of each payment. This proof of payment can be submitted in court if you need to start receiving child support again.

3. Involve the Non-Custodial Parent

In case of joint custody of the child, the custodial parent is required to consult the non-custodial parent on all important matters that affect the child.

Ideally, the child should be around both parents, with each equally involved. Having honest and open communication about handling challenging situations that arise when raising the child can go a long way in creating an effective parenting plan. This will enable the non-custodial parent to be as involved as possible in the child’s life.

4. Prioritize the Child

At the end of the day, everything boils down to what’s in the best interest of the child. This is the main aspect that all family courts consider. It entails doing what is needed to ensure that the child develops into a happy and healthy individual. This means that both parents should place the needs of their child above everything else. Prioritizing the wellbeing of the child ensures that he/she lives in a stable and safe environment.

5. Keep the Non-Custodial Parent Updated about Your Travel Plans

If the custodial parent decides to relocate with the child, they need to discuss it with the non-custodial parent and seek their permission to do so. Further, the non-custodial parent has the right to initiate a change in the child’s custody due to the relocation.

Even if the custodial parent wants to take a vacation with the child, it is mandatory for them to inform the non-custodial parent about their travel plans in advance.

6. Consult the Non-Custodial Parent about Major Expenses

If the non-custodial parent is spending money to cover a part the child care or the child’s medical expenses, the custodial parent should speak to them before making an exorbitant expenditure. It is always preferable that both parents are financially sound. But, if you find that your ex-spouse cannot cover major costs, it doesn’t mean you don’t make the purchase. You can simply delay it for some time.

Becoming the Custodial Parent in Minnesota

To be legally considered the custodial parent of your child, you will need to file for custody in the family court. You can file for custody yourself, a process known as filing pro se.

Alternatively, you may want to get in touch with an astute Minnesota child custody attorney to get the custody process started and develop a strategy that helps achieve your goal.

Conclusion

Being a custodial parent requires a high level of responsibility and maturity. All said and done, it is crucial to always bear the best interest of your child in mind when making decision that pertains to their life. Any court decision will be based on this. Hopefully, the above information will help you understand what it means to be a custodial parent in Minnesota.

Reach out to Child Custody Lawyers in Minnesota to Discuss Your Concerns

Understanding the Minnesota state laws that play a role in determining child custody can leave you confused. At Carlson & Jones, our Minnesota child custody lawyers know how to find a legal middle ground between what you consider best for your child and the applicable state laws. For a free consultation, call us at (855) 976-2444. You can also contact us through our website.

How to File for Divorce in Hutchinson, MN

In Minnesota, divorce is called dissolution of marriage. For married couples, the dissolution results in the severing of the marital relationship, the resolution of custodial disputes, and the division of assets as well as debts.

Divorce cases are conducted in family court. Once the final papers are entered in the court’s records, the marriage can be dissolved or terminated. These final papers are referred to as Judgement and Decree in the legal language.

As experienced divorce lawyers in Hutchinson, MN, we know that the Judgement and Decree include the court’s decision on other legal matters as well. These are related to child custody, child support, visitation, and division of property as well as debts.

Let’s find out how to file for divorce in Hutchinson, MN and the various requirements.

A. What Are the Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Hutchinson, MN?

In order to qualify for divorce, Minnesota law requires the separating couple to mandatorily fulfil certain requirements. These include:

  • At least one spouse must have lived in Minnesota for at least 180 days.
  • The divorce process should be initiated by filing a Summons and a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • In cases where children are involved and the couple disagrees on custody and visitation matters, they must attend a divorce education class.

B. What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Minnesota?

Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state. This means that divorce can be granted without considering the wrongdoings of either spouse.

Neither party must find grounds for divorce, but seek dissolution on the basis of irreconcilable differences. All you need to prove is that there has been “an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship.”

But, fault may come into play when decisions on alimony and property division need to be taken.

C. How to File for Divorce in Minnesota?

Filing for divorce in Hutchinson, Minnesota involves the following steps:

1. Preparing Forms

The divorce process starts with the proper completion of certain forms. You can avail these forms online from the government website or from the local courthouse or the law library. Your lawyer will assist you in completing the forms. Alternatively, you can check out the videos on the government website to understand how you can do so yourself.

The party that initiates the divorce is called the “petitioner,” whereas the party that receives the divorce papers is the “respondent.” The petitioner needs to have the following documents ready:

  • The Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Certification of dissolution.
  • Financial affidavit, if child support issues are involved.
  • Certificate of representation.
  • Any other document as required by local court rules.

If the respondent disagrees with the petitioner’s terms of divorce, he/she must prepare an “answer and verification.”

2. Filing out the Forms

Once the forms are ready, you will have to file them with the court, and send one copy to your spouse and retain one yourself. You can file the documents in the local courthouse in the county where you or your spouse live.

You will have to pay a fee to file your documents. To avoid the fee, you can complete a fee waiver form, which can be obtained from the clerk of the court. This form will be reviewed by the court. If approved, you will not have to pay to file your case documents.

When you submit your documents, the clerk of the court will stamp each form with the date. A file will then be created in court. You will have to send the signed and stamped photocopies of the documents to the respondent as soon as possible. This brings us to the next point.

3. Serving the Documents

Service of process ensures that both parties involved in the divorce know about the goings-on, and have an opportunity to present their side of the story. Hence, it is a crucial step.

If you are planning to serve your spouse with the documents, and he/she has not hired a lawyer, you can send them to his/her most recent home address. If, however, he/she has engaged a lawyer, serve the forms at the lawyer’s office instead.

Special service rules come into effect if you plan to serve your spouse within Minnesota. Under this, you have two options.

  • If the respondent is willing to cooperate, you can mail the documents to him/her, and also provide an acknowledgement of service form for his/her signature. This acknowledgement should then be filed with the court.
  • You also have the option of asking the sheriff or a professional process server to locate your spouse and “personally” serve him/her a copy of the summons and petition. You will then have to file the affidavit of service with the court.

These rules are usually applicable to all cases, unless you are trying to serve someone who may be very hard to locate due to serving in the military, being in jail, or other factors.

D. Which Financial Disclosures Are Necessary?

The petitioner as well as the respondent are required to provide a financial disclosure statement. It details their financial condition, clearly mentioning their assets, debts, income, and expenses. This helps the judge decide on the appropriate child support amount, how the marital property and debt should be divided, and whether or not a spouse should receive alimony.

The financial disclosure should include supporting documents such as income statements, tax returns, and pay stubs. Make sure you provide clear and truthful details when completing this form.

Conclusion

Depending on your unique circumstances, getting a divorce in Hutchinson, MN can be either a straightforward or a convoluted process. A lot depends on the ability and willingness of you and your spouse to reach an agreement on all the matters involved in the divorce. Hopefully, the above information will help you understand the fundamentals of filing for a divorce in the state of Minnesota.

Reach Out to an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Hutchinson, MN

The final verdict in a divorce case can have a lasting impact on the quality of your life. It is, therefore, crucial to have a qualified and skilled divorce attorney on your side. We understand this and are willing to work diligently to bring you positive outcomes, depending on your case facts. For a free consultation with a practiced Hutchinson divorce attorney, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. at (855) 976-2444.

 

How to Find the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Minnesota

Whether it is a minor criminal offense or a major one, you will need to hire a competent criminal defense attorney to ensure your voice is heard clearly in the courtroom. However, finding the most suitable and experienced criminal defense lawyer is easier said than done.

According to Statista, in 2020, there were 1.33 million lawyers in the U.S. Although not all of them are criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota, you will still need to scan through dozens of prospects to find a suitable one.

So, how do you go about finding the right criminal defense attorney?

Don’t worry!

The following four tips will help you find the best criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota.

1. Get a Lawyer Specializing in Criminal Law

Most people end up hiring the first defense lawyer they find. It usually is someone who has helped them in a totally different legal matter. However, this is a huge mistake.

Just like you would see a diabetologist if you or your loved one is suffering from diabetes, you need to hire a specialist criminal defense lawyer. For example, an attorney specializing in assault charges will have in-depth knowledge of the assault law in Minnesota. In other words, a DUI lawyer will not be able to defend your case as effectively as an assault lawyer.

So, make sure to consult a criminal defense lawyer, not your family lawyer. You can, of course, ask your family lawyer to recommend a criminal defense attorney. If the recommendation doesn’t strike you as the right one, you can look elsewhere for a good defense lawyer.

2. Look for a Local Attorney

A local criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota is your best chance to get the right legal advice. A local lawyer is often aware of the way local prosecutors, police officers, court clerks, and judges work, which will most likely affect the outcome of your case.

For example, whereas a lenient judge will sentence community service for a first-time traffic rule violation, a strict judge is likely to go for more severe punishment. As the local lawyer is aware of such tendencies, they can help minimize the legal consequences of your case.

Moreover, you or your family members can effortlessly get in touch with a local attorney. You can also drop by for an in-person meeting as often as required.

3. Check out the Lawyer Thoroughly

In this digital era, most attorneys have a website, social media accounts, and presence on online marketplaces like Avvo. When looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota, you should check out their online presence thoroughly.

Most successful and experienced attorneys have a professional-looking website and decent online presence. Their website and social media profiles will have client reviews, professional achievements, and awards. Go through all this information to find out as much about your lawyer as you can.

This research will come in handy during your initial free consultation, which is a common practice in the legal industry. To make sure the customer reviews are genuine, you can ask for referrals. You can ask your friends, colleagues, and family members about the attorney in question.

You can also contact the Minnesota State Bar to find out if the lawyer has faced any disciplinary action in the past. You don’t want to end up hiring a lawyer who is late for court hearings or lacks communication etiquette.

Lastly, make sure to check out their team. Most lawyers will have a team of junior lawyers and paralegals, who are most likely to work on your case. The team members need to be as competent as their lead attorney. So, make sure to check out your lawyer thoroughly before making any decisions.

4. Go through the Fee Structure

Another crucial factor you must look for is the fee structure and its transparency. It is a common belief that the most experienced lawyer is the most expensive one. While it may be true in some cases, there can be exceptions.

Apart from experience, the amount of fee a lawyer charges will also depend on the type of criminal offense. The bottom line is, you should look for a lawyer who honestly discusses the fee structure.

Usually, a criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota will charge you a flat fee or on an hourly basis. In routine criminal cases, a flat fee is often a better choice as you have to pay the lump sum once instead of paying an hourly rate.

However, some lawyers will charge you on an hourly basis. This fee structure also involves paying a retainer. A retainer is an amount you have to pay upfront against which the lawyer will work. For example, for a $3000 retainer at a $300/hour rate, the lawyer will work for 10 hours on your case.

Conclusion

When you are facing criminal charges, your future is at stake. Getting the right legal help will ensure the best possible outcome in your case. That’s why you have to take your time and do thorough research to find the best criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota. These four tips should prove helpful in this regard. Good luck!

Call the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Minnesota Today!

If you or your loved one is facing criminal charges in Minnesota, we can help. As one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota, we will leave no stone unturned to get the best possible outcome for your case. When you hire Carlson & Jones, P.A., you are investing in safeguarding your or your loved one’s future. Call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know how we can help.

How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in Buffalo,MN?

Have you noticed that when you need something, the price usually goes up? When COVID-19 hit, face mask prices increased 500 percent in some areas. So, many people expect to pay lots of money for a lawyer if they are accused of a crime.

Fortunately, that’s not the way it works in this area. Legal ethics require attorneys to set fixed fees for certain services. Experience level is usually the biggest factor. So, as an attorney gains experience over the years, the attorney can charge more money. But lawyers cannot double or triple their fees because you had a brush with the law.

Nevertheless, retaining the services of a good Buffalo criminal lawyer is a significant investment. Before you transmit your credit card information, there are a number of things to consider. Always remember that you have choices in this area. Your criminal case is a very serious matter, but it is not a matter of imminent life and death. People usually have a few days to make a decision.

Free Lawyers in Buffalo, MN

In a significant number of cases, the cost of a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer is nothing, or at least practically nothing. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel in criminal cases. Furthermore, the Supreme Court recently ruled that this right means the counsel of your choice.

Exact procedure varies in different counties, and in different courts in the same county. However, the free lawyer choices are always the same: a public defender or a court-appointed lawyer.

There is some truth to the image of the overworked public defender. But truthfully, if a Buffalo criminal lawyer is not busy, there is always a reason, and it’s usually not a good reason. Additionally, many court-appointed attorneys and public defenders must meet higher professional standards than a lawyer you happen to find on Google.

However, there are some serious drawbacks. Many judges only appoint lawyers for incarcerated defendants. They reason, perhaps wrongly, that if you can afford bail, you can afford a lawyer. Additionally, individuals have no say in this process. The judge assigns counsel, sometimes at random and sometimes according to a preset formula. If you do not like your lawyer for some reason, there is generally nothing you can do.

Incidentally, you can represent yourself in a court case, including a criminal case. As a rule of thumb, if the criminal case includes possible jail time, self-representation is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make.

Expensive Buffalo Criminal Lawyers

The old adage you get what you pay for is not always true. On the low end, an inexpensive Buffalo criminal lawyer is most likely inexperienced or not very diligent. The aforementioned public interest lawyers do not count. The state pays these attorneys a competitive rate.

However, a high-priced lawyer is not necessarily better than a mid-priced lawyer. Typically, clients of high-priced lawyers pay for extras, like a large office, a famous name, or a large staff. Effective criminal defense usually does not require these things.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay?

First, a few words about fee structure. Informed consumers usually make the best choices. Some attorneys require retainers and bills by the hour. When the retainer account falls below a certain level, the client must add more money. Hourly billing is especially common in civil cases.

Most criminal attorneys charge stairstep fees, such as X for a negotiated settlement, X+Y for a bench trial, and X+Y+Z for a jury trial. Most Buffalo criminal lawyers also charge more for felonies than misdemeanors. Felonies are more complex, and there is more at stake.

Next, let’s look at how most attorneys set their fees. As mentioned, the Minnesota State Bar allows lawyers to set fees based on a number of factors. Two of the big ones are:

  • Experience: Look beyond years of experience. To many lawyers, criminal law is a sideline. These lawyers should be avoided, as should one-trick pony attorneys who only practice criminal law. You want someone in the middle.
  • Time Commitment: A murder trial or similar complex felony might require several months of full-time work. Since the lawyer cannot work on anything else during this period, the legal fee could be substantial. Also, the reason some lawyers charge less to handle plea bargains is that such matters are less time-consuming.

Other factors include the prevailing market rate for similar services, the novelty of the legal questions involved, and the client’s ability to pay.

Conclusion

Hiring an attorney involves smart thinking. Being charged with a crime can have life-changing consequences for the defendant and not in a good way. A conviction can ruin your life, and must be avoided as far as possible. In such cases, the services of an attorney who is experienced in dealing with such legal matters and getting favorable outcomes can make all the difference. Hence, it makes sense to have the best attorney on your side. Consider it as an investment you make towards a secure future. Hopefully, this post has helped you understand the importance of choosing an ethical and experienced criminal defense lawyer who adheres to a set fee structure to aggressively protect your interests.

Contact an Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney in Buffalo

If you or your loved one has been arrested, you should act as quickly as possible because evidence and case facts need to be gathered without any delay. Our Buffalo criminal defense lawyers can begin working on your case as soon as you contact us, so you can look forward to positive outcomes and even avoid a potential conviction. Legal representation in a criminal case might be the most important investment you ever make. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo criminal lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. at (855) 976-2444. Convenient payment plans are available.

How Much Should I Ask For in a Personal Injury Settlement in Brainerd, MN?

The average personal injury settlement varies significantly, so it is difficult to know what to ask for. The average dog bite settlement in Minnesota is $38, 302. But a nip which barely breaks the skin is most likely not worth $38,000. On the other end of the scale, if the dog bite was fatal, $38,000 is probably insufficient.

Most people have some experience in this area. As a buyer or seller or both, they have negotiated the price of a used house or guitar or laptop. These haggles usually account for the item’s economic value and the prevailing market conditions (i.e. how much are people willing to pay for that item in that area).

When a Brainerd injury attorney ascertains the value of a personal injury case, the process is a bit different. Yes, economic and market factors come into play. But there are some other things to consider as well. Additionally, in most cases, the other side also has an attorney who is a very good negotiator. So, these talks often take some time.

Calculating Economic Losses

Accident victims are usually entitled to compensation for economic and noneconomic losses. Economic loss calculation is generally straightforward. Most Brainerd injury attorneys look at the police accident report and the medical records.

The incident report usually details the severity of the accident. As mentioned, there is a big difference between a nip and a bite which causes permanent injuries. There is also a big difference between a fender-bender car crash which only causes property damages and a fatal, high-speed collision.

To prepare incident reports, most emergency responders examine the scene and interview witnesses. So, this report is often quite accurate.

But that’s not always true, especially in incidents like vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents. Typically, the victim either does not survive this accident or is too seriously injured to give a statement. As a result, the police accident report only contains one side of the story. And, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) usually sugarcoats the incident.

Therefore, in these cases, a Brainerd injury attorney often must dig deeper. Frequently, attorneys partner with accident reconstruction engineers or other such professionals in these situations.

Medical records are occasionally incomplete as well. But for the most part, these records accurately track things like the patient’s medical condition, treatment, prognosis, and cost.

Health care is one of the most heavily-regulated industries in the country. As a result, there is a lot of bureaucratic red tape, especially from various privacy laws. So, these records are not always available to the general public. A good Brainerd injury attorney knows how to cut through this red tape and quickly obtain these records. The faster these documents reach a lawyer’s office, the more time an attorney has to evaluate them.

Brainerd Injury Attorneys and Calculating Non Economic Losses

Economic loss calculation is basically a science, and noneconomic loss calculation is basically an art. Non Economic losses include intangible damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium (companionship).

Most lawyers use a multiplier to calculate noneconomic losses. They multiply the economic losses by two, three, or four, depending on the facts of the case, as outlined above, and some intangible factors, which are discussed below.

These preliminary calculations are a starting point for settlement negotiations. If an attorney demands $100,000, the insurance company usually counters with a much lower offer. If these two figures are not too far apart, an early negotiated settlement is usually possible. But frequently, the insurance company responds with a low-ball offer or denies liability altogether. So, most cases do not settle quickly.

Fine-Tuning the Amount

Before they negotiate a price for something like a guitar, most people do some research and determine what amount a used guitar will probably fetch at that time. Brainerd injury attorneys do basically the same thing.

Venue is a good example. Some counties have rather conservative residents who often gravitate toward insurance companies. Other countries have rather liberal residents who often side with accident victims. In some cases, these differences are almost inconsequential, In other cases, these differences could mean thousands of extra dollars.

Punitive damages sometimes come into play as well. Juries can award these additional damages if there is clear and convincing evidence that the tortfeasor intentionally disregarded a known risk. Punitive damages are especially common in medical malpractice and defective product claims. In other words, this final element goes back to the facts of the case, which were examined above.

Conclusion

Personal injury settlements vary from case to case. Depending on the case facts and circumstances surrounding your injury, a Brainerd personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine how much your case is worth. A good attorney will take into consideration the economic, the non-economic, and other damages you have incurred as a result of the injury when arriving at a fair amount. They will also protect your rights through the course of the case proceedings, and fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Reach Out to a Thorough Personal Injury Lawyer in Brainerd

It can be incredibly frustrating when you or a loved one has to suffer personal injuries due to the fault or negligence of another. Your physical and mental health as well as finances can take a turn for the worse. You can be sure that the insurance companies will do whatever they can to keep you from getting the financial compensation you deserve. As you can see, the personal injury claims settlement process is multifaceted and complex. We’re here to help. For a free consultation with an experienced Brainerd injury attorney, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. at (855) 976-2444. We routinely handle matters in Crow Wing County and nearby jurisdictions.

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Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (612) 800-8057
Fax: 763-682-3330

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Brainerd Lawyers

17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (218) 736-9429
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Hutchinson Lawyers

114 Main Street North
Hutchinson, MN 55350

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (320) 289-4761
Fax: 763-682-3330

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Minnetonka Lawyers

3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (952) 260-9640
Fax: 763-682-3330

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