There May Be a Way Out

Criminal charges are not to be taken lightly. A conviction can change your life forever. In many ways, your life as you know it hangs in the balance.

We want you to know that there may be a way out. At the Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office Chtd., we can defend you against criminal charges, including either obtaining a not guilty verdict, getting the charges dismissed or minimizing the damage a conviction has on your life.

Contact Us Immediately | (507) 625-5000

Contact us as soon as possible. The sooner you call us and get us on the case, the more time we will have to prepare your defense. Even if you are not sure you want to hire us, call us and talk with one of our Mankato criminal defense attorneys. We offer an initial, no-obligation consultation. Talk to us and see what we can do for you.

Handling All of Your Minnesota Criminal Defense Needs

Because of our vast experience as past prosecuting attorneys, we are able to handle a wide range of criminal matters for our clients, including:

  • Minnesota DWI/DUI

We have exceptional experience with all manner of issues surrounding drunk driving charges, including:

  • Field sobriety tests/police mistakes
  • Check points
  • Breath and blood tests
  • License restoration
  • CDLs and DUI/DWI
  • Boating while impaired

Other Criminal Charges

We can also defend you against charges that include:

  • Drug crimes
  • Sex crimes
  • Internet crimes
  • Assault
  • Federal and state white collar crimes

We have a great deal of experience with serious crimes committed by juveniles. If you are a parent whose child has been accused of a crime, we can help make sure felony stays off his or her record and keep the case from being sent to adult court. We will also work hard to avoid having your child put in foster care.

  • Juvenile Crimes

Criminal Law FAQs


Failure to Appear

If you fail to appear at a court hearing after being court ordered or summoned to appear, a warrant for your arrest will probably be made issued by a judge.  When a judge issues a warrant for failing to appear it is often referred to as a bench warrant.  It could be a “body only” warrant requiring you to physically appear or a warrant with an amount of bail, meaning you could be released after being arrested on a warrant if you pay that bail.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Assault

Someone can be charged with domestic assault in Minnesota when a person hits a victim or inflicts fear of harm in a victim.  An assault becomes a “domestic assault” when the victim is in a familial or sexual relationship with the perpetrator (e.g. sibling, child, girlfriend, etc.). An interesting side note is that if a person hits his roommate (even If they do not have a sexual relationship) it can still be classified as a domestic assault.

Orders for Protection (OFP)

An order for protection may be granted when someone has been a victim of physical abuse or is in immediate fear of being physically harmed.  If the person who has the OFP against them violates the conditions of the OFP, that person can be prosecuted criminally.  Multiple violations of an OFP can result in harsher consequences and even longer jail sentences.

Harassment and Restraining Orders (HRO)

A Harassment and Restraining Order may be granted when someone has threatened to commit acts of violence or when a person has been subjected to repeated unwanted acts in words or gestures.  If the person subject to the HRO violates the conditions of the HRO, that person can be prosecuted criminally.  Multiple violations of an HRO can result in harsher consequences just like an order for protection.

Sex Crimes

Criminal Sexual Conduct

Criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota is divided into five degrees, with first degree carrying the greatest consequences for a defendant.  The degrees are differentiated from each other either because of differences in ages or based on the type of sexual conduct perpetrated and each carries a different penalty.  For example, a 1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct charge carries a presumptive 144 months in prison, while a 5th degree Criminal Sexual Conduct charge carries a maximum of 90 days in jail.

Juvenile Crimes


Crimes committed by those under the age of 18 are usually handled in “Juvenile Court” in Minnesota.  Misdemeanors are usually handled much more favorably for juveniles through Juvenile Court than if that person was an adult.  Misdemeanor crime records by minors are usually never made public.

There are a few exceptions such as being charged as an adult while under 18 or for driving while impaired charges.


Crimes committed by those under the age of 18 are usually handled in “Juvenile Court” in Minnesota.  Felonies are usually handled much more favorably for juveniles through Juvenile Court than if that person was an adult.  Felony crime records by minors may be made public depending on the severity of the crime and the age of defendant.

Theft and White Collar Crimes


Fraud includes all crimes where an individual has misrepresented a fact or document to another person in order to procure a pecuniary or other gain.  Fraud crimes in Minnesota are differentiated into other crimes that often describe the specific type of fraud such as Financial Transaction Card Fraud, Welfare Fraud, or even Voter Fraud.


Embezzlement is a type of theft where an individual given authority to manage or control personal property or financial assets takes said property or assets and uses them for their own gain, this is often charged under the blanket crime of “theft”.

Drug Crimes

Sale of Drugs

Sale of drugs can be charged separately from possession crimes and often have more severe consequences than mere possession.  A charge of sale of drugs can be successful simply by having a large quantity of those illegal drugs, as an intent to sell can be inferred from the amount of drugs in your possession.

Minnesota breaks drug crimes (technically called “controlled substance crimes” down into 5 separate degrees, with 1st degree controlled substance crime being the most severe carrying a presumptive 86 months in prison and 5th degree being the lowest felony level controlled substance crime.

Possession of Drugs

Possession of drug crimes are divided into different degrees in Minnesota.  The severity of the crime is usually dependent on the amount of the drug and the type of drug in your possession.  For example, 40 grams of marijuana would be treated less harshly than 1 gram of methamphetamine.

Murder and Manslaughter

Felony Murder

Someone can be charged with murder if someone was killed in the action of committing a felony, even if no intended for a death to occur.  The felony usually has to be a violent felony (such as an assault) or a felony that would usually encourage the possibility of violence or resistance (such as a burglary).

First Degree Murder

First Degree Murder is the most severe type of murder.  It usually requires the state to prove that a person had previously contemplated the murder and had a chance to think about his actions before committing them.  This is often referred to as premeditation.  Murder carries no statute of limitations, meaning it can be charged years or even decades later.

Violation of Probation

Can the police search my home if I am on probation?

Maybe.  Police may be able to search your home without a warrant or probable cause if it’s made a part of your probation agreement or by court order.  If the court or probation did not make “warrantless searches” a part of an order or probation, then police must vindicate all of your constitutional rights before searching your home.

Can I leave the county if I am on probation?

Probably. In Minnesota, it is rare for probation to prevent you from leaving the county in which you were sentenced.  If you are permanently leaving the county (e.g. to live/move) you may need to transfer probation to that different county.  Probation may prevent you from leaving the state or the U.S., although a transfer of probation to a different state is also possible under the Interstate Compact.

Violent Crimes

Armed Robbery

Robbery is committing the crime of theft directly from a person.  The crime carries harsher consequences if committed with a weapon or any object that can reasonably by used as a weapon.  In Minnesota, this is usually termed “aggravated battery” as opposed to “simple battery.”

Armed Burglary

Burglary is committing a crime while inside a dwelling.  The crime can carry harsher consequences depending on the circumstances (e.g. the dwelling is occupied or you enter with a dangerous weapon).  Burglary in Minnesota is divided into different degrees depending on those circumstances.

Arrest and Bail Bonds

Can I get house arrest?

Possibly.  Forms of house arrest depend on whether the county provides those services.  It can come in forms known as SCRAM bracelets or by electronic home monitoring (EHM) which incorporates random testing for chemical use.  These services usually cost a defendant a per day usage amount.  Receiving these services, if available, requires the discretion of either the prosecutor or the court.

If I do not have a record, can I get a diversion program?

Possibly. Availability of diversion programs varies from county to county.  Diversion programs are also usually specific to the type of crime as well.  For example, some counties may have drug court for drug offenses, and others may also have driving diversion programs for offenses such as driving after suspension or revocation.  Qualifying for these programs usually requires little to no previous record.

Traffic Tickets


The severity of a penalty from speeding will depend on how fast you were going over the speed limit or if you were in a special zone, such as a school or construction zone. Having more than 3 moving violations in a year can be a reason for you to lose your license for a period of time.

Jail Diversion and Alternative Sentencing

Community Work Service

Going to jail is not fun and it is possible to get an alternative sentence such as community work service.  This is sentenced in terms of hours, 40 or 80 hours being a common number.  It can range from working in a church, coaching little league or doing any other pre-approved work.

Sentence to Serve

Sentence to serve is an alternative to jail where you report to work at the sheriff’s department with a small number of other people and often go pick up trash on highway, clean parks, etc., it is a full hour day and while not physically difficult, if you have full-time employment it can be hard to schedule around your work.

Seal and Expunge Criminal Records


Minnesota does not have a common method to “seal” records.  While there are rules in place that allow you to not disclose information about a case while the trial is going on, most people mean expunging a record when they talk about sealing it in Minnesota.


A criminal record may be expunged.  Which means it is eliminated from the court and possibly the police department. This is done by motion of the defendant and usually requires some basis for requesting expungement (e.g. criminal record is preventing a person from getting a job).  A request for expungement is also more likely to be successful if it is done after some time after your conviction with no further criminal convictions.


How many degrees of assault are there?

There are 5 degrees of assault, ranging from 1st degree assault where a person has received substantial bodily injury such as a broken bone to a 5th degree assault where a person has just been slapped.

Will the state prosecute me for assault on an elderly person?

Yes.  There is no age limit to be a victim of assault.  A prosecutor is likely to be even more harsh to a person being charged with an assault where the victim is elderly.

Can I have a jury trial on a misdemeanor assault?

Yes.  A defendant can have a jury trial with a six-member jury on any misdemeanor charge.

Southern Minnesota Criminal Law Attorneys | (507) 625-5000 | We Solve Problems

If you are facing criminal charges, contact our award-winning attorneys for a consultation. We are confident that once you talk with one of our lawyers, you will immediately start to see that having an experienced defense attorney on your side can lead to favorable results. Don’t wait; contact us right away!