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Minneapolis Federal Criminal Defense Law Blog

What is double jeopardy?

Double jeopardy is something mentioned a lot on television shows, and there even was a movie made about it. However, its prevalence in Minnesota courtrooms is not usually as dramatic. To really understand this legal concept, you have to first learn what it means and how it is applied within the law. 

Cornell Law School explains double jeopardy is when you are prosecuted twice for the same crime. It is your right to not be subjected to this under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. It has also be adopted by each state to extend your right to not be subject to double jeopardy at the state level as well. 

Tips for preventing employee embezzlement

Employers in Minnesota have to keep an eye on their finances to ensure crimes like embezzlement does not occur. This may seem rather easy, but an employee who wants to steal will often find a way. That is why employers may want to follow these tips to help prevent employee embezzlement.

Entrepreneur suggests employers do not allow one employee to handle all finances. Checks are needed to help prevent embezzlement. Separating duties so an employee is always checking another employee's work can help problems come to light before they turn into major issues and keep employees accountable for their actions. 

When is kidnapping a federal crime?

Kidnapping is a crime that can be confusing when it comes to prosecution. While local or state authorities may take charge and even apprehend the suspect, the actual crime may end up being federal and federal law enforcement may step in. There are specific situations where a kidnapping becomes a federal crime. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, kidnapping becomes a federal crime in six different situations. If a child under the age of 16 is taken by a non-custodial parent outside of the country, the feds will handle the case. Federal law enforcement also retain the rights if the person kidnapped is a foreign official or otherwise has international protection. If the victim is transported over state lines, it becomes a federal case. Any kidnapping in maritime or aircraft jurisdiction areas are also federal. Finally, the kidnapping of a federal employee comes under the federal jurisdiction. 

Tax deductions and tax credits

Certainly the topic of income tax has been a major one in the news as of late with Congress working hard to get a new tax bill passed before it takes the winter holiday break. Many people in Minnesota are understandably curious to learn more about how the new guidelines may affect them and their ability to deduct some expenses from their taxes or to claim certain tax credits. Before learning about the specific details, however, it is important to be educated about the difference between tax deductions and tax credits.

As explained by Nerd Wallet, both deductions and credits can help taxpayers lower their tax burden but they do this in very different ways. A tax deduction allows people a way of essentially reduce their taxable income. A tax credit, on the other hand, allows people a way of directly reducing the amount of tax that they owe. The deduction happens before the tax amount is ever calculated. The credit is given after the tax is calculated.

Man and wife plead guitly to tax charges

The current tax system in the United States is set up to allow consumers the ability to deduct some things from their tax bill. This reflects the reality that people in Minnesota and around the nation logically want and need to seek opportunities to reduce their tax burden and keep more of the money they earn for themselves. However, there may be at times a fine line between what is considered a legal way of reducing tax debt and what is considered tax fraud.

Reports indicate that a man from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and his wife have recently entered guilty pleas in response to criminal charges involving tax return filings or tax payments. The wife is said to have plead guilty to filing a false tax return. The man was the owner of two businesses over the course of several years and the licenses for both were eventually revoked. One business license was revoked in 2015 and the other business was ordered to shut down in 2017.

Does law enforcement really use social media?

You may have heard of law enforcement using social media to catch criminals, but does this really happen? Could your local Minnesota law enforcement be looking at what you post on social media to see if you are committing crimes? According to, it is true that law enforcement does use social media to assist with finding criminals. It is not just something you see on TV and in the movies.

When social media was new, law enforcement never dreamed of using it in any formal capacity. However, many crimes have been solved and criminals found due to social media activity. In addition, many law enforcement agencies have their own social media accounts to be used as a way to stay in contact with the public. They may post bulletins, ask for the public's help or make announcements. Social media has become a great tool.

What charges can be brought for helping with a crime?

In the state of Minnesota, you could be held liable for a crime even if you did not physically commit the crime. It is essential for you to understand that helping someone in any way commit a crime could leave you open to charges of your own. Knowing the law is your best bet to avoid such issues. 

According to The Office of the Revisor of Statute, you can face charges for helping someone in any way to commit a crime. This might include providing information or tools, driving them to the location or even just talking with them about the crime. If the other person commits more crimes while committing the crime you helped him or her with, then you are also liable for those crimes. 

Prevalence of bankruptcy fraud charges

Minnesota residents who have filed for bankruptcy need to understand many things about this type of action. One thing they should be aware of is what might lead to an accusation of bankruptcy fraud. The United States Department of Justice explains that if a person is suspected of using a bankruptcy as a way of concealing other fraudulent activity, that might contribute to allegations of bankruptcy fraud. Similarly, any falsification of information during a bankruptcy proceeding may be connected to these types of allegations.

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Bankruptcy Fraud Program may get involved in pursuing alleged instances of bankruptcy fraud. Data from the Criminal Investigation Management System shows that the number of cases involving suspected fraud in bankruptcy in the U.S. has dropped significantly in 2015 and 2016 relative to 2014. So too has the percent of defendants sentenced to time in custody and the average length of stay in some form of incarceration.

Marijuana in Minnesota: Partially decriminalized, still illegal

Many states around the country have taken steps to decriminalize marijuana. Minnesota has followed suit, but only to a small degree. The state does have a medical marijuana law, which has been in place since 2014. Anything other than medical marijuana is still considered a criminal matter.

The charge and penalties that you face depend on the amount of marijuana and the circumstances of the incident that lead to the charge. Here are some points that you should know about these laws:

Former accounting firm head to lead IRS

With the end of the calendar year fast approaching, many residents in Minnesota may be eyeing ways of maximizing tax deductions in the last few weeks of the year. This is nothing new and is actually a well-accepted practice among consumers and businesses alike around the nation. However, there can be many fine lines between what is considered a legitimate means of reducing one's tax burden and what is a potential illegal violation.

One man who was the head of a major accounting firm for a span of 10 years at the start of this century ran the entity during a time when its accountants are accused of having illegally helped clients avoid their legitimate tax responsibilities. Over the period of many years, as many as 200 clients are said to have not paid up to $2 billion in taxes that they may otherwise have without the assistance of the accounting firm's employees.

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