Month: September 2011

Defend yourself against sex crime allegations

In today’s world there is much controversy surrounding sexual abuse and sex crimes. A person accused may find that even if acquitted they are looked upon with suspicion and fear. The allegation itself can carry with significant stigma and social repercussions. Too often, prosecutors charge out criminal sexual conduct cases based solely on the allegations presented. Little physical evidence is often presented. Though it may seem the case is weak, an aggressive defense is necessary. That may include hiring experts to review witness interviews for suggestive language and improper techniques.

Sex crimes widely vary in type and severity; consequences surrounding these alleged crimes will also determine what charges are filed and what potential penalties suspects will face. The Flanagan Law Office represents clients against all types of sex offenses, including:

  • Sexual assault and abuse
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Child molestation
  • Internet solicitation
  • Statutory rape
  • Indecent exposure
  • Prostitution or solicitation
  • Child pornography

Here are some helpful steps to remember if you’re ever accused of sexual abuse or a sex crime:

1. Do not give any statements to law enforcement and do not discuss the case with any other people until you have retained legal counsel.

2. Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

3. Write down the names of potential helpful witnesses to aid in your case.

4. After hiring a lawyer, make written notes regarding the allegations. Share these notes with you lawyer.

If you have been accused or arrested for a sex crime in Minnesota, you already know how devastating these charges can be for you and your life.

Contact the Flanagan Law Office, in Fridley, Minnesota, to speak with an experienced attorney about your situation and to learn more information about your rights. Call to schedule a free initial consultation at 763-786-5324 or 651-200-3484.


Teacher who hit St. Paul girl admits he drove while drunk

Pat Flanagan Client

The Pat Flanagan Defense team represented this client and was able to get felony charges dismissed.

(Article from the Star Tribune)

A St. Paul teacher admitted Tuesday that he was driving drunk when he ran over a 2-year-old girl in a parking lot on the afternoon of April 10.

Hamjatta Fofana, 52, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to a gross misdemeanor count of criminal vehicular operation. As part of the plea agreement, two felony counts of criminal vehicular operation and one count of gross misdemeanor third-degree driving while impaired will be dismissed.

A spokesman for St. Paul public schools said in May that Fofana, who has been an English as a Second Language teacher since 1993, had been on administrative leave since the incident. His current status is unknown.

Fofana is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 27.

St. Paul police were called to an apartment building at 1311 Conway St., where the girl’s father told them that his daughter had been run over by a drunk man, according to the charges. The girl was covered in dirt and missing a quarter-sized portion of her scalp, the charges said. Police said the girl was in good condition the day after the 4 p.m. incident.

The father stopped the driver from moving the car while the girl’s body was still underneath. Fofana, the registered owner of the car, then drove to a neighboring apartment building and went inside, the charges said. He refused to answer the door for police.

When officers forced their way into his apartment, he refused to comply and officers had to use a Taser on him. He told police that he hit the girl, but also said that he wasn’t driving, according to the charges.

Fofana’s blood was taken at Regions Hospital about one hour after the incident. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s analysis showed his blood alcohol concentration was 0.32 percent, four times the legal limit.

A background on criminal records

Minnesota Criminal Attorney - Pat Flanagan
Know your rights. Contact Pat Flanagan Defense.

If you’ve ever been charged in a crime, you may wonder how that will affect your record. Many clients ask me how to get the crime from their record expunged. Here is some basic information from the Minnesota Judicial Branch that explains criminal records and what you can do to manage your record.

Q: What is a crime?

A crime is an act prohibited by law where the person may be punished by imprisonment, with or without a fine. If a person is convicted of a crime, they may be imprisoned AND they may have to pay a fine. A felony crime in Minnesota is punished by imprisonment for a period of at least one year. A gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor crime is punished by a fine or imprisonment of not more than 90 days. A petty misdemeanor is not considered a crime. See MN Statute § 609.02 Definitions.

Q: What is my Minnesota criminal record and where is it kept?

Your complete Minnesota criminal record is a combination of all of the files and records of any felony, gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, or petty misdemeanor(s) ever charged against you in Minnesota; as well as the sentences served for those charges. Every city, county and state law enforcement agency, prosecutor’s office and courthouse keeps its own records.

Q: Does my criminal record include my driving record?

No, not unless you were charged with a crime at the level of misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony–for example, criminal vehicular manslaughter. A basic speeding ticket is not considered a crime under Minnesota law.

Q: What criminal court information is public?

The type of crime charged, the name of the court that convicted or dismissed the charges, the date of conviction or dismissal, a description of the sentence served, if any, and other details of the crime and court process.

Continue reading “A background on criminal records”