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    Minnesota DWI and Criminal
    Defense

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    Minnesota DWI and Criminal
    Defense

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    Minnesota DWI and Criminal
    Defense

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    Minnesota DWI and Criminal
    Defense

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2299 Waters Drive
Mendota Heights, MN 55120

Testimonials

Meet Pam Cecchini

Admired and respected by her peers as one of the best defense lawyers in Minnesota, Pam Cecchini has a reputation for providing aggressive legal representation.

The Cecchini Law Office realizes how criminal charges can affect your life, your job, your family and your health. Pamela Cecchini will work with you to make the experience as easy as possible. She will fight hard for your constitutional rights. The Cecchini Law Office has represented hundreds of clients like you accused of crimes, to include assault, theft, homicide, fraud, ar

Practice Areas

DWI/DUI

DWI/DUI

Drunk driving involves the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. DUI is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can be charged with DUI even if your blood alcohol level was below the legal limit if law enforcement officers believe that your driving was impaired. DWI is driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more within two hours of driving. A DUI or DWI could happen to anyone. What most people do not know is that when you are charged with a DWI, there are two to three different entities that wish to penalize you. The three separate entities that impose penalties / punishments are:

  • City or Local Governments (prosecutors) — can punish DUI/DWIs with jail time and fines. As the number of offenses increase, mandatory jail time and fines are imposed under the law.
  • DMV (Minnesota Department of Public Safety) — can penalize DWI offenders by taking away their driver’s license or installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Your license revocation period and the length of time that the ignition interlock device remains on your vehicle depends upon the number of alcohol-related incidents that appear on your driving record.
  • Law Enforcement (police, state patrol, etc) — penalties vary depending on the number of offenses. Second-time offenders and all first-time offenders who have an alcohol reading of .16 or more, will have their license plates confiscated. Upon qualification, special series license plates that start with the letter, “W,” may be issued. The vehicle that you are driving, even if it is not your vehicle, will likely be seized for a third offense. Vehicle forfeitures may also apply to second-time offenders if the driver refused to submit to chemical testing or had an alcohol reading of .16 or more or had a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle.
Since each of these three entities is separate and distinct from the other, they require different court proceedings and usually involve different opposing attorneys. Many defense lawyers bundle these three disputes under one expensive umbrella fee. When you work with the Cecchini Law Office, you will work with a lawyer who determines your needs and charges you accordingly. This may save you time and lots of money. Other hidden costs to a DWI conviction include:
  • jail and workhouse costs
  • court fees
  • treatment and assessment fees
  • probation fees
  • electronic home monitoring
  • work release fees
  • ignition interlock device fees
Remember, DWI laws don’t just apply to driving an automobile, but also apply to recreational vehicles such as ATVs, boats, and snowmobiles.   The outcome of any case is largely dependent on finding the right attorney.  If you have been charged with DUI or DWI in Minnesota and would like to discuss the details of your case with a top criminal defense attorney who cares about you, call Pam Cecchini today.

License Reinstatement

License Reinstatement

You usually have 30 days from the day of the incident , to file legal paperwork to request for a judge to review and possibly overturn your license revocation. If the paperwork is not filed in a timely manner, an alcohol-related incident is automatically annotated on your driving record and you lose your driving privileges. That means that your auto insurance rates increase substantially. Additionally, future DWI convictions will be enhanced and punished more severely based on the DWI annotated on your driving record, even if you were successful with your the DWI case against the prosecutor by means of obtaining a careless driving conviction, a dismissal or a not guilty verdict . Therefore, it is very important to preserve viable issues by filing the license reinstatement paperwork within 30 days from the incident, in an effort to keep the driving offense off your driving record. If the driver of a car is pulled over for drunk driving, their driver’s license can be revoked if they fail a breath test or refuse to submit to testing. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety will issue a seven-day temporary license before the revocation becomes effective. The consequences for first-time DWI offenders with a 0.16+ alcohol-concentration level and second time DWI offenders will be to use an ignition interlock device or not have driving privileges ranging from one to two years – depending on offense level. DWI offenders with three or more offenses in a 10-year period will be required to use ignition interlock for a period of three to six years – depending on offense level. Interlock is installed in the vehicle and requires user to provide a breath sample in order to start the vehicle. Call the office now and learn more about the significance of challenging your license revocation.

Vehicle Forfeiture

Vehicle Forfeiture

Minnesota law states that a law enforcement officer has the legal authority to take the vehicle  that you are driving  at the time that you are arrested if you had two prior DWI convictions within a 10-year period.  Your vehicle may also be seized if you had only one prior conviction when other circumstances exist. These circumstances include but are not limited to a test of .16 or greater, a child in  the vehicle, a “no-use” restriction on your license or you are driving while your license is canceled for prior DWIs. After the vehicle has been seized, the officer then serves a notice that states that they intend to seek a forfeiture of the vehicle. You have the right to have what is called a judicial determination, which means you have to file a challenge to the forfeiture within a certain period of time from the date in which the notice of intent to forfeit was served – typically 60 days. If you do not present your challenge, then the court assumes you have waived your right to judicial determination. Filing a judicial determination challenge is a separate court matter, distinct from the criminal hearing and the license reinstatement hearing. Call today to learn how the Cecchini Law Office can help you get your vehicle back.

Assault

Assault

Many people underestimate the impact an assault charge can have on their life. Crimes which involve injury, threats, intimidation or fear can all be considered assault, and are viewed as serious crimes by the state of Minnesota. Terroristic threats and harassing communications are also considered assault crimes.

Assault is defined as

  • the intention to cause fear of harm to another person, or
  • the intention to harm another person. Assault charges are classified into five degrees, ranging from the first degree, which is a serious felony, to the fifth degree, which is a misdemeanor. Certain circumstances can increase the severity of the assault charge, such as the use of a weapon or if the assault took place on a law enforcement officer, or a family member. Typically, the degree of assault depends on the extent of harm caused to the alleged victim, the relationship of the accused to the alleged victim, the profession of the alleged victim, and the prior history of the accused.
 

If convicted of domestic violence or assault, the consequences can be severe. Penalties for assault and assault-related convictions include lengthy prison time, heavy fines, probation, counseling or anger management, community service, restraining orders, restitution and psychological evaluation. In addition, having an assault charge appear on your record may have undesirable effects for people in many professions. People employed in the military, law enforcement, or security may lose their right to bear arms. Healthcare workers typically cannot work with an assault conviction on their record. Having an assault charge on record may affect the security privileges of janitors, teachers, office workers and other professions.

If you are facing assault charges, it’s particularly important to secure a good attorney to build your defense. Prosecutors have an easy time during assault trials, because they do not need to prove actual bodily harm, only the intention to cause fear of harm. However, criminal defense lawyers can often challenge the degree of the assault charges based on subjective definitions and other evidence, in order to have the charges reduced or dropped.  Sometimes, it is possible to negotiate a different offense, such as disorderly conduct. However, if this is done incorrectly, your criminal record will still show the assault charge, leaving you stranded when it comes to renting an  apartment, applying for a job, and much more.

Pam Cecchini has almost 20 years of expertise as a top criminal defense lawyer. She has handled and won numerous assault cases for her clients, utilizing tested strategies and tactics together with her knowledge of Minnesota law. She is familiar with the types of evidence that are permissible in an assault case, and is aware of valuable precedent that can protect your rights and freedom. As your criminal defense attorney, Pam Cecchini will carefully review the details of your case and guide you through your options at every stage of the legal process.

Call the Cecchini Law Office to lift no-contact orders, preserve your clean record, and get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

Drug Offenses

Drug Offenses

The State of Minnesota punishes drug offenses more harshly than many other crimes. Being charged with the sale, possession or manufacture of drugs is a somber and often terrifying experience. A drug conviction in Minnesota can result in serious criminal and civil consequences. Large fines and severe prison sentences are often the outcome for a drug conviction.  Additional penalties may include court-ordered treatment, the loss of your driver’s license and forfeiture of your car and personal property.  Retaining an experienced and skillful drug defense lawyer, like Ms. Cecchini, is crucial when faced with any type of drug charge. The law in Minnesota classifies the offense of possession or the sale of drugs into five degrees. A first degree drug possession charge may be punished by up to 30 years in prison and up to one million dollars in fines. A fifth degree drug possession charge, which is the least serious charge, can still involve up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 dollars in fines. If convicted, the actual length of the sentence is dependent on the specific drug and the amount of the drug, a person’s past criminal history, as well as the circumstances of the crime. Below are links to information about different drug violations:

  Ms. Cecchini has nearly 20 years of experience and success in handling drug and criminal cases throughout Minnesota.  Ms. Cecchini will make a careful analysis of your case to spot any weak areas which can be utilized to win your case. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a tough burden for the prosecutor to overcome.  You do not have to prove your innocence.  To win your case Ms. Cecchini only needs to show that there is a reasonable doubt about your guilt. Possible defense strategies include:
      • unconstitutional search and seizure procedures
      • entrapment
      • inaccurate analysis and/or inaccurate weight of controlled substance
      • no direct proof who owned the drugs.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, simply discussing the details of your case with someone who is knowledgeable about Minnesota drug laws may  do a lot to ease your anxiety. Call an experienced defense attorney who will fight tooth and nail to defend your rights. Call Pam Cecchini now

Sex Offenses

Sex Offenses

In Minnesota, sexual offense allegations are aggressively and forcefully prosecuted. A criminal sexual conduct charge can involve acts of rape, prostitution, child molestation, indecent exposure and surprisingly, acts of consensual, loving sex, too. Some of the factors used to determine the severity of a sexual offense include the scope of the act itself, the age of the victim, the relationship between the victim and the offender, the amount of force or coercion used and the location where the act took place.

Below are links to information about different sex violations:

A sex conviction has serious consequences. If convicted of a felony sex crime in Minnesota, the penalties include a mandatory prison sentence, heavy fines and court ordered treatment. Sex offender treatment is intrusive and expensive and the length of the treatment is indefinite. Misdemeanor indecent exposure convictions also require sex offender treatment.  Most sex offenses compel registration and offenders are required to notify the state of any changes in address, employment and marital status.

Besides the legal ramifications, there is also the social stigma that is connected with a sex crime conviction. Quite often, the mere accusation of a sex crime will cause a person to lose his or her job, custody of his or her children, and become ostracized by family, friends and neighbors. Additionally, information on registered sex offenders can be easily accessed by the general public.

There are several causes to contemplate when dealing with allegations of a sex crime. Sex allegations may be used as a means to discredit or exploit someone or to seek attention. They may also arise from a variety of everyday situations such as underage persons who claim to be older, or from feelings of shame or regret after engaging in consensual sex.  When preparing the proper defense, an accuser’s past conduct is also a significant consideration.

Aggressive representation by a top criminal defense attorney is vital due to the high stakes and delicate nature of sex offense charges. With nearly 20 years experience as a Minnesota criminal defense attorney, Ms. Cecchini will provide you with a solid defense.  She will work with you to learn about the nature of the charges, the evidence against you, the character of the alleged victim and your relationship with the victim, in order to determine the best strategy to clear your name and to avoid a conviction.

Call Pam Cecchini today for a free consultation regarding your alleged offense.

Theft Crimes

Theft Crimes

In criminal law, theft is the intentional and fraudulent taking of personal property of another without permission.  Some familiar theft crimes include shoplifting, receiving stolen property, burglary, auto theft and robbery.   But theft crimes can be committed many different ways.  Another form of theft involves acts of trickery or swindling whereby a person intentionally cheats or scams another for personal gain through deception, fraudulent acts, dishonesty, false deeds and statements.  Some of these theft crimes include credit card fraud, embezzlement, forgery and identity theft.

Whether an alleged theft offender is charged with a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the value of what has been stolen and whether the offender has any prior convictions. In Minnesota, misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor theft is prosecuted by the city prosecutor, while felonies are prosecuted by the county attorney. The severity of the potential penalty is based on the severity of the theft offense.

Penalties for theft can include restitution, probation, fines, workhouse incarceration and prison time. Having a theft conviction on your record can bring with it long-term consequences, including the loss of eligibility for certain loans and employment opportunities.  Many theft crimes are deemed crimes of moral turpitude—conduct that is considered contrary to community standards. Theft is viewed as a crime that reflects negatively upon one’s character and honesty.  It is important to challenge a theft accusation by hiring an aggressive, skilled criminal defense lawyer.

To fight these theft charges, you need a lawyer like Pam Cecchini, a lawyer committed to the fight. Ms. Cecchini is a criminal defense attorney who has years of experience in successfully defending theft crimes in Minnesota. She is a tenacious advocate of her clients’ rights and will do everything she can to build a powerful defense on your behalf.

Call Pam Cecchini today for your free telephone consultation.

Expungement

Expungement

People are often denied jobs and housing based on a criminal background check. A new law that went into effect on January 1, 2015, makes it easier for Minnesotans convicted of certain felonies — as well as misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and juvenile delinquency — to seal their records from the background checks routinely run by employers and landlords. An Expungement is the process of going to court to ask a judge to seal records relating to your prior arrest or conviction.Minnesota law provides for two types of expungement: statutory authority expungement, (full expungement of all records), and inherent authority expungement, (the sealing of court records only). The following cases are eligible for full expungement:

  • All cases resolved in favor of the defendant, including cases where charges were dismissed, cases that resulted in an acquittal by a judge or jury, and any other case that did not involve a guilty plea.
  • Any case involving a diversion where charges were dismissed after successful completion of formal or informal probation.
  • All petty misdemeanor offenses if it has been two years or more since the date of conviction.
  • All misdemeanor cases if it has been two years or more since the date of discharge from probation or sentence.
  • All gross misdemeanor cases if it has been four years or more since the date of discharge from probation or sentence.
  • Some felonies, approximately 50 or so, if it has been five years or more since the date of discharge from probation or parole.
  • Juvenile cases prosecuted in adult court.
  • Juvenile cases prosecuted in juvenile court.
If you need help with criminal record expungement, contact Pam Cecchini today.

All Crimes

All Crimes

Having an exceptional lawyer Pam Cecchini has nearly 20 years of experience encompassing a wide range of criminal cases. In her tenure as a Minnesota Defense Attorney, Pam Cecchini has represented clients charged with homicide, arson, robbery, kidnapping, credit card fraud, embezzlement, theft, property damage, sex and drug offenses, assaults, probation violations and many others.Being charged with a DUI, DWI or any criminal offense often causes one to feel overwhelmed and anxious about one’s family, reputation, job and future. Having an exceptional lawyer to represent you will lift an enormous burden from your mind. Whether you are facing charges for something as minor as a traffic ticket or as serious as homicide, you want a lawyer who is passionate, caring, and has the experience to navigate the legal system in your favor. The more serious the charge, the more knowledgeable, dedicated and aggressive the defense attorney must be.

Pam has argued cases before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. She is known for going the extra mile to secure a fair and verdict for her clients. Throughout the course of her career, Pam Cecchini has established relationships with key figures in the Minnesota legal system.

Her numerous successful case resolutions and ‘not guilty’ verdicts have established the Cecchini Law Office as a top law firm in Minnesota.

The Cecchini Law Office is committed to addressing your needs and that includes reasonable rates and payment arrangements.

If you would like to work with the Cecchini Law Office but do not see your case type listed, please call the office today.

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