Being charged with a serious crime is a jarring experience that can add a tremendous amount of stress to your life. Whether it’s a DWI/DUI charge or even something more serious, when you’re facing criminal charges, it feels like your life is hanging in the balance while you await the outcome.
You need an experienced and successful trial attorney on your side. At JS Defense, attorney Justin Schiks and his team understand the difficult time you and your family are going through. We are highly skilled and experienced in helping you and your loved ones navigate this tumultuous time in your life and will diligently and aggressively fight for the best possible outcome in your situation. We understand defense is not “one size fits all”, and will tailor our strategies to YOUR needs.
I have dedicated my entire career to defending good people during difficult times.
Justin Schiks, Owner
Justin has been ranked and awarded “Best Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer” in client satisfaction statewide and nationally. He holds a 10.0 Avvo rating and has been recognized as a 10 Best Attorney by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. He has helped thousands of Minnesotans and non-resident individuals facing DWI, Drug offenses and other criminal charges get the best possible outcome in their situation. Justin is highly knowledgeable in the ramifications a criminal charge can have on professional licensure, employment, ability to drive, and parenting time.
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We have over a decade of experience and knowledge dedicated solely to criminal defense to ensure you get the best and most up-to-date defense possible.
Because we are a smaller law firm, we are more client-focused than large firms that have hundreds of clients at any given time. This gives us the ability to listen and address your needs in a more personalized manner than other criminal law firms in Minnesota.
Nothing matters more than the actual results of your case and JS Defense has helped thousands of individuals get the best outcomes in dire situations. We pride ourselves on the good work we do for our clients.
Our firm has support staff, trained in criminal defense and DWI representation, dedicated to ensuring you receive the best customer service possible and your calls and emails are answered in a timely fashion.
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From the initial phone consultation to working outside of the courtroom, our firm has built strong relationships with the prosecutors and judges that we interact with to help get the results our clients need even before stepping into a courtroom. We understand how to best prepare you for court and will walk you through every step. Practicing solely in DWI and criminal defense for over a decade, we know:
Most of the people our law firm represents are good people. Some have made bad decisions, some have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time and some are falsely accused. The key with criminal defense in all of these instances is that you need the best approach and strategy available in defending your case. No two people are the same and no two cases are the same. We take the time to learn about each one of our clients and their individual needs.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, you will need a good criminal defense lawyer to help with your case. To qualify as a quality legal representative, an attorney should be well-versed in state and local laws. In this case, it means having a thorough understanding of Minnesota and Woodbury laws and statutes. A good criminal lawyer will take the time to listen to your side of the story. They will also approach a case based on the evidence and without making any judgments based on a defendant’s perceived character. Finally, a good attorney will allow the defendant to have control of how the case proceeds. This means that they get to decide whether to take a plea deal, testify at trial or make other important decisions. While an attorney may not agree with those decisions and will advise as such, the best ones respect whatever choices a client makes.
After someone has been arrested, there are various procedures that follow. First, their case will be given to the proper prosecutor’s office where a decision of what charges -if any- will be filed. A prosecutor isn’t bound by the initial charge decision, they may change it later if more evidence is obtained. Please note that they also have the right to a speedy trial. In Minnesota, this means that they have to be tried within 120 days of pleading not guilty or within 60 days of demanding a trial. After that, is their arraignment. During the arraignment, the judge will read the defendant’s charges, ask the defendant if they have an attorney or needs the assistance of a court-appointed attorney, ask the defendant how they plead to the charges, decides whether to alter the bail amount or to release the defendant on their own recognizance and finally announce the dates of future proceedings in the case. They may be able to get out of jail after their arrest and before the trial by posting bail. Posting bail is the process of giving the court money to ensure that they’ll make an appearance at future dates. If they do, the court refunds the money. If they don’t, the court will keep it and be able to issue a warrant for your arrest.
Being arrested is serious, and if the police want to speak with you after you have been arrested it is important that you understand your rights. You have certain constitutional rights that protect you when you are arrested by the police. Among these rights are: (1) the right to remain silent, and (2) the right to speak with an attorney. If you choose to give up these rights, anything you say could potentially be used against you in legal proceedings. In contrast, anything that you say to a lawyer is protected by the attorney-client privilege and cannot be discovered by law enforcement or used against you. When you are arrested, it is impossible to know what evidence law enforcement currently has or what evidence they might develop in your case. It is permissible for law enforcement to lie to you during questioning and use other interrogation methods to influence your statements. In addition, you will likely be under emotional stress due to the arrest. If you are arrested, you should assert your constitutional rights. Remain silent. Do not talk to the police. Request to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can protect you and give you the advice you need.
After being charged with a crime you will face an arraignment, which is also known as the first appearance. This first stage of the criminal process is to ensure that your constitutional rights are met. The charges and consequences you are facing are explained in detail. This process was initially put in place for individuals with literacy issues, comprehension, and language barriers. Prosecutors are usually known to encourage most defendants to plead guilty for less jail time or in accordance with the statistics of like crimes. You must keep in mind that the prosecution works on behalf of Minnesota state and not the defendant. Guilty pleas close their cases automatically. The defendant is the one that either benefits or suffers from their plea. It is imperative that you make your plea in accordance with the charges and evidence presented against you. Obtaining legal representation may be the best way to ensure your due process. During this first appearance, a public defender will be assigned to you if you cannot afford to retain private legal services.
A pretrial conference is a meeting that is held usually about 30 days before the trial between the plaintiff, judge, prosecutor, and defense counsel. This meeting is the perfect platform to ensure that all evidence, charges, witnesses, and motions are legitimate. On some occasions, there is sufficient evidence presented to drop the case or acquire a conviction. Plea bargaining may come into play at this point based on what is discussed. Other parties may also be invited to this preliminary meeting as well at the discretion of the judge. Deadlines are set in place for the discovery process, serving or filing motions, plea bargaining, and trial proceedings. There are times when a judge may schedule another pretrial conference before determining whether a trial is necessary. Avoiding having to go to trial may or may not be in your best interest. You want to make sure that your defense team diligently seeks ways to decrease criminal punishment or discredits the evidence brought against you altogether. The decision to go to court should be one based on facts and in accordance with Minnesota law.
There is a common misconception that if the complaining party in a criminal case does not want to cooperate with the prosecution or does not want to continue to press charges then the case will be dismissed. In reality, once someone complains to law enforcement, they have no ability to control how the case will proceed through the criminal justice system. Ultimately, it will be up to the County Attorney or City Prosecutor to determine whether a criminal case will proceed. Some complaining parties believe they can stop a prosecution from going forward by refusing to testify. What these people do not understand is that the County Attorneys and City Prosecutors have the ability to compel witness testimony through the subpoena process. If a witness disobeys a subpoena and refuses to testify, they can face serious consequences including fines and jail time. Rather than try to manipulate the outcome of a criminal case by refusing to cooperate or trying to drop charges, one should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. By working within the system through an experienced attorney, you will have a greater chance of achieving your goal and having the charges dismissed.
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At JS Defense, you are not just one of the many. We pride ourselves on our availability for our clients. Our firm is regionally and nationally recognized in the legal community as delivering an aggressive defense for each and every client, no matter how serious the case. If it matters to you, it matters to us!
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