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Paul B Ahern
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Paul Ahern’s Answers

5 total

  • Civil penalty claim

    my 17 yr old boy caught shop lifting a $10. necklace. Police were called and merchindise givin back. Still no court but recieved a letter that we are to pay $59.99 within twenty days of the date of letter if not they will review file for the p...

    Paul’s Answer

    Retailers lobbied the legislature for the right to send the "civil liability" letter. I have never seen a case where a civil penalty has been enforced against a common thief (or an uncommon thief as "Hans" called himself in the movie "Die Hard"). I routinely have told my clients charged with theft to ignore these civil penalty letters. Let you son know that theft cases are not punished IN COURT as harshly as DWSI, assault, drug cases, sex cases . . . However, this should not encourage future dishonesty, since OUTSIDE OF COURT employers often check court records to ensure that they employ honest people who won't rip them off. A theft conviction for an incident after age 18 is a killer to an otherwise good work history. Also, if convicted of theft from an incident occurring when he is an adult, he will be marked by the court rules as a less honest witness for ten years. This will ake it difficult if he ever has to defend himself when he is innocent of a charge, if he ever has to fight a divorce, child support or custody battle, or if he has to fight a lawsuit or brings a lawsuit to court. He doesn't want to lose his future lawsuit or criminal case because the other side gets to ask him,"Are you the same Johnny Jones from Mankato who was convicted of theft in 2011". The time for your son to start on the road to honesty and trustworthiness is NOW. Juvenile court is a good place to STOP getting into trouble and START leading an honest life!!!!

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  • Can I get out of a reckless driving ticket if the vehicle info, license plate number, and DL number are all incorrect?

    I got a reckless driving ticket and the vehicle on the ticket is completely wrong (way off) and the license plate number and state is wrong. Also this happened in MN where I haven't lived or had a drivers license in for 5 years. I currently have...

    Paul’s Answer

    Correct those typos:
    This is the type of defense that seems better than it actually delivers in court. As long as the officer admits his mistakes ("looked like a Ford to me at the time"), you probably won't get very far with "my car is a Chevy not a Ford". That goes likewise on other factual technicalities like the license number and state. That probably won't be the primary focus of your defense. You probably will need to focus on whether your driving conduct was willfully and wantonly dangerous (Reckless Driving) or merely negligently dangerous (Careless Driving) or maybe neither. Sometimes these charges are appropriate, but other times police an prosecutors can overcharge these offenses. A conviction to Reckless or Careless Driving is likely cause increased rates for car insurance at the very least. It would be advisable to obtain a lawyer to fight this in Minnesota. That lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement with the prosecutor without your having to travel back to Minnesota. If the case necessitates a fight, you will have return. An ignored ticket in Minnesota will at some point be likely to cause you to lose your license in Florida.

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  • Can I get out of a reckless driving ticket if the vehicle info, license plate number, and DL number are all incorrect?

    I got a reckless driving ticket and the vehicle on the ticket is completely wrong (way off) and the license plate number and state is wrong. Also this happened in MN where I haven't lived or had a drivers license in for 5 years. I currently have...

    Paul’s Answer

    This is the type of defense that seems better than it actually delivers in court. As ong as the officer admits his mistakes ("looked like a Ford to me a the time"), you probably won't get very far with "my car is a Chevy not a Ford". That goes likewise on other facutal technicalities like the license number and state. That probably won't be the primary focus of your defense. You probably will need to focus on whether your driving conduct was willfully and wantonly dangerous (Reckless Driving) or merely negligently dangerous (Careless Driving) or maybe neither. Sometimes these charges are appropriate, but other times police an prosecutors can overcharge these offenses. A conviction to Reckless or Careless Driving is likely cause increased rates for car insurance at the very least. It would be advisable to obtain a lawyer to fight this in Minnesota. That lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement with the prosecutor without your having to travel back to Minnesota. If the case necessitates a fight, you will have return. An ignored ticket in Minnesota will at some point be likely to cause you to lose your license in Florida.

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  • Who has charge of a out of state DUI, in North Carolina, "military", of a Minnesota issued drivers liences, 1rst time offense,

    Can the person be charged under MN law, NC law, or both, and if comvicted in NC courts, are they're reprocussins in MN law/courts

    Paul’s Answer

    Presuming that you were charged ith a DWI on a military base in North Carolina, you need to hire a lawyer in North Carolina. Check the website for the National College of DUI Defense to help locate one. As a lawyer in Minnesota, I should warn you that any DWI conviction in another state will lead to an administrative revocation of your Minnesota license (most likely 90 days, unless you are unde age or htere is some other aggravating factor)

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  • Was charged DUI, ended up with careless driving, moved in other state before get letter from Safety department

    Last summer I was chagrched DUI, 3ed category. With attorney help ended up with careless driving. Lisence from other state and was not taken from me, but I lost privileges driving in state where I was charged. I moved to other state before I get r...

    Paul’s Answer

    You are not eligible in your new state, because your Minnesota license is still revoked. Regardles of the rest of my advice, you need to pay the reinstatement fee ($680) to get squred away with the State of Minnesota. Even though you were only convicted of Careless Driving, the DPS can make you pay the reinstatement fee because (I suspect) the DPS administratively revoked your license under Minnesota's Implied Consent Law for testing over .08 OR refusing the test. You had the right to Petition for Judicial Review of that revocation within thirty days of receiving the original Notice of Revocation (usually the day of arrest). Lawyers who charge cheap fees generally will NOT file such a case (because that would mean more work). I file a Petition in every case unless my client has already blown the thirty day time limit before coming to me. If you are in a nearby state, or plan to return to Minnesota soon, you should take the written DWI test at a DPS testing station, in addition to paying the reinstatement fee. If it would be dificult to return soon, you may want to call the DPS at their always busy number - 651-296-2025 (say "Agent" to talk to a real person, have your Minnesota Driver's License Number available). The DPS may be able to tell you how to reinstate by paying the reinstatement fee, without taking the written DWI test.

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