Commonly Asked Questions of Our Minnesota Law Office
We are often asked the following questions concerning criminal defense, family law, and probate in Minnesota. If your questions or concerns are not addressed here or if you would like a more complete explanation of our answers, please contact Skillings Law Office via phone or email.
What should you do if you have been arrested for a crime?
If you are arrested for a crime in Southern Minnesota, it’s imperative that you provide the police with identifying information ONLY. Once you have done that, request to speak with an attorney. Until you make contact with an attorney, remain silent and/or politely decline to provide further information or answer questions from law enforcement, as this information may be used against you.
Will a previous criminal conviction affect my current case?
Your guilt or innocence as it concerns to the current charges against you will not be determined by any previous convictions you may have on your record. However, being found guilty in a previous crime, whether in Minnesota or elsewhere, will certainly affect your sentencing if you are found guilty of a crime this time around.
What is a "wobbler?”
In Minnesota, a crime that can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony is called a “wobbler.” Circumstances surrounding the crime will determine how you are charged, including whether other parties suffered injuries, if a firearm was used in the crime, your blood alcohol levels, and more.
Can I represent myself in court against criminal charges?
Yes you can, but NO, you should not. The consequences of mishandling your own criminal case could ruin you financially and rob you of your freedom. Hire a good Minnesota defense lawyer.
If my spouse and I agree on our divorce, do we need attorneys?
Even when both parties agree that a divorce is best for everyone involved, remember, you’re going your separate ways for a reason. Even amicable divorces can turn ugly when it comes time to hammer out the details, such as property, investments, child custody, and the like. Minnesota does have a single-page joint petition and divorce decree. However, even in this situation, the cost of hiring an attorney quickly pays for itself should misunderstandings or disagreements arise.
How is child custody determined in court?
When family law matters involve children, the Minnesota courts are invested in the best interests of the children over the desperate desires of their parents. The court will consider the child/parent relationship and each parent’s ability to provide financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the child. When possible, shared custody is the outcome the courts work toward.
Is spousal support permanent?
Spousal support is limited in Minnesota, according to such things as the level at which one parent may have to reenter the workforce and whether one parent provides more direct care for the children than the other parent.
Can child support and custody agreements be modified?
Yes, although in Minnesota, such changes typically must occur a full year after the original agreement went into effect. Unexpected changes, such as a job loss or health condition, must be proven to have altered your or your ex’s ability to meet the agreed-upon arrangement.
How long does probate last?
This depends on how the estate was set up. In Minnesota, most probate is completed in about six months; however, complex cases, such as those without a will, disputed cases, and cases that involve substantial assets, may go on for years.
Is the administrator accountable for actions taken during probate?
No. Once the probate process is complete in Minnesota probate court, the justice will issue a court order to remove liability from the administrator for actions taken prior to the estate’s closure.