Best Rochester Criminal Lawyers

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota is home to over 100,000 residents. Like any city, Rochester sees its fair share of crime. In 2019, there were over 5,000 arrests made in the city for offenses like assault, robbery, drug crimes, DUIs, domestic violence, and more.If you or a loved one have been arrested in Rochester, it’s important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A knowledgeable lawyer can advise you of your rights and work to build the strongest possible defense for your case.This article provides an overview of criminal law in Rochester and how an attorney can help, as well as a list of top-rated defense lawyers in the city.

Overview of Criminal Law in Rochester, MN

Rochester and the surrounding Olmsted County area are served by the Third Judicial District of Minnesota. The Third District Court handles all criminal cases from misdemeanors to felonies.Some of the most common criminal charges seen in Rochester’s District Court include:

  • Drug crimes – Possession, distribution, trafficking, etc. of illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and prescription medications.
  • DUI – First-time drunk driving is a misdemeanor in Minnesota, but repeat DUIs and those causing injury or death can be charged as felonies.
  • Theft/burglary – Charges range from misdemeanor petty theft and shoplifting to felony robbery, burglary, and white collar crimes like embezzlement.
  • Assault/domestic violence – Misdemeanor simple assault involves minor injury, while felony assault often involves a weapon and serious bodily harm. Domestic violence charges apply when the victim is a family or household member.
  • Sex crimes – Rape, criminal sexual conduct, solicitation of a minor, child pornography and other sex offenses.
  • Homicide – Murder and manslaughter charges, including DUI vehicular homicide.
  • Weapons charges – Illegal possession of firearms, knives and other prohibited weapons.

The consequences for a criminal conviction can be severe. Possible penalties even for misdemeanor crimes include hefty fines, probation, and jail time. Felony convictions can result in years or even decades in prison.Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference in obtaining the best possible outcome in your case.

How a Rochester Criminal Lawyer Can Help

The role of a criminal defense attorney is to protect your constitutional rights at every stage of the case. An attorney can help by:

  • Investigating the charges – Your lawyer will thoroughly examine the prosecutor’s evidence and search for any constitutional violations or other weaknesses in the state’s case.
  • Negotiating with the prosecutor – In many cases, your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to get charges reduced or even dismissed through a plea bargain.
  • Filing motions – Your lawyer may file motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence or statements you made before you could speak with counsel.
  • Building your defense – If your case goes to trial, your Rochester criminal attorney will identify defenses and work to create reasonable doubt in the state’s case. Common defenses include self-defense, lack of criminal intent, mistaken identity, and more.
  • Representing you in court – At hearings, trial, and sentencing, your lawyer will advocate for your rights and best interests before the judge.
  • Appealing a conviction – If you are found guilty at trial, your attorney may be able to identify grounds for an appeal to a higher court.

Having an advocate in your corner can help reduce the charges against you or even get them dismissed. If a conviction occurs, your lawyer will seek the lightest sentence allowed by law.

Finding the Best Criminal Lawyer in Rochester, MN

There are many criminal defense attorneys and law firms to choose from in the Rochester area. Here are some tips for finding the right lawyer for your needs:

  • Focus on criminal law – Seek out attorneys who devote their practice to criminal defense, rather than those who dabble in many areas. Look for lawyers certified as specialists in criminal law.
  • Check experience – Find out how many years the lawyer has been practicing criminal defense and how many cases similar to yours they have handled.
  • Ask about case results – The lawyer should be able to provide information on their success record in getting charges reduced or dismissed.
  • Consider resources – A solo practitioner will provide a personal touch, but a larger firm may have more access to investigators, forensic specialists and research tools.
  • Meet for a consultation – Schedule a free meeting with the lawyer to discuss your case and make sure you feel comfortable with their approach.
  • Compare costs – Get fee quotes from multiple attorneys before making your decision. Rates and payment plans can vary widely.

Doing your due diligence will help you find the most qualified criminal defense attorney in Rochester to take on your case.