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Minneapolis Criminal Defense Blog

Most Medicare fraud involve medical professionals, not patients

If you were to ask the average person about Medicare or Medicaid fraud, as well as any form of medical insurance fraud, they will most likely talk to you about individuals who shouldn't have benefits getting medical coverage. While it is true that individuals can commit Medicare or Medicaid fraud, those cases account for a tiny fraction of the total government insurance fraud that occurs every year.

The vast majority of fraud-related Medicare and Medicaid losses stem from medical providers, not from patients. Whether you work as a nurse, a physician, a physician's assistant or a billing professional, you could be at risk of facing white collar criminal charges if you get involved in medical insurance billing fraud.

The dangers of carrying a friend’s prescription

Prescription drugs are legal. There's a catch, though, they are only legal when you are the one who holds the prescription. It must be current, and it must in your name.

This rule often trips people up. The drugs feel legal in the same way that over-the-counter medications are legal -- mild painkillers and the like. It's easy to assume that you can use them the same way. This leads to things like sharing drugs or even selling them to people who want them if you don't need them anymore.

Understanding criminal conspiracy charges

In some circumstances, a crime does not need to be committed for a person to face criminal charges. Simply taking actions that show that there was an intention to break the law can be enough. When two or more people come together in agreement to work toward committing a crime, they may be charged with criminal conspiracy.

For a person to be charged with criminal conspiracy, action does not need to be proven. However, there needs to be sufficient evidence to show that the people involved had a full understanding that the actions they were intending to take would involve breaking the law.

The federal legal system works differently from the state system

If you've recently found out that you're facing federal criminal charges, then you may feel completely lost. It can be helpful for you to learn more about the differences between the state and federal legal systems, their respective players and what to expect as your case moves toward trial.

State and federal cases are prosecuted by different individuals. District attorneys or prosecutors generally file state cases. United States attorneys are responsible for filing federal cases.

Marijuana possession and sale penalties in Minnesota

In Minnesota, much like other jurisdictions in the United States, the possession or sale of marijuana is illegal. The penalties associated with the crime vary depending on how much of the Schedule I drug that you're found in possession of at the time of your arrest.

Individuals who are found in possession of 42.5 grams (g) or less of the drug will generally be charged with a misdemeanor. This also includes if they had 42.5 g or less and planned on selling it. They generally won't face any potential jail time but will have to pay a mandatory $200 fine.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and felony?

As is the case in many other states, crimes in Minnesota are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Each one of these has different offense classes that fall under its umbrella. The penalties associated with each crime increase the more serious a defendant's charges are.


Prescription drug abuse is a crime with serious consequences

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently published its National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The data shows that 36 million Americans, age 12 and up, have abused prescription drugs at least once in life. At least 6.9 million first-time improper uses are made by those between the age of 18 to 25. Teens age 12 to 17 have the second-highest abuse rate at 2.7 million.

At least 10 percent of all American high school seniors have abused some type of narcotic during their lifetime. "Monitoring the Future Survey" researchers at the University of Michigan uncovered that barbiturates, tranquilizers and stimulants were most apt to be abused.

How does Minnesota handle crimes committed by teenagers?

Getting arrested is a frightening experience for anyone, but particularly for teenagers and young adults. It is common for parents whose children face legal issues to want to protect them from the consequences of a mistake. Teenagers are often driven to make questionable decisions as a result of their frontal lobe still developing and social pressure from their peers.

Teenagers can make mistakes involving drugs, alcohol, dangerous driving or even shoplifting. They may not really think about the consequences of their actions until they have already made a major mistake and find themselves facing legal consequences or getting arrested. Unfortunately, that can mean that young adults wind up paying a steep price for a long time.

What are the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction?

When defendants are facing charges, those who work in the legal system often advise them of the immediate penalties that they face. These include fines, prison time, restitution and supervised release. They don't tell them about all the "collateral consequences" associated with being convicted of a crime.

These may affect their ability to qualify for housing, certain professional licenses, welfare, employment or property rights. Their ability to adopt or move about freely and their immigration status cna be impacted as well. Individuals who have been convicted of a crime may find it difficult to readjust to being back in society and thus be more prone to recidivism.

A suspect takes a gun into a Minneapolis police interrogation

A 28-year-old Minneapolis man is facing weapons and other charges after he was discovered in possession of a gun in an interrogation room at the Minneapolis Police Department's First Precinct.

In their criminal complaint filed in the Hennepin County District Court, prosecutors outlined how the precinct's community response team attempted to make contact with the defendant on April 10. They wanted to question him after allegedly catching him selling drugs at the intersection of South Hennepin Avenue and North 5th Street. The filing outlines how he took off running toward his North Linden Avenue home as they got closer to him though.

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Joseph S. Friedberg Chartered

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