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St. Paul and Minneapolis Attorneys

St. Paul Criminal Defense

A DWI can result in serious criminal penalties, fines and fees, driver’s license revocation, and increased insurance rates. It can affect your employment situation and your relationships.
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St. Paul and Minneapolis Attorney

St. Paul

DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney Serving St. Paul Clients

If the police pulled you over and subsequently charged you with DWI/DUI, you need an experienced St. Paul DWI attorney on your side, especially if this is your first violation. Many people in your situation think that just because this is your first offense, the consequences will not be very severe. Additionally, less experienced attorneys may encourage you to plead guilty to charges that may affect you in ways you haven’t thought about. A DWI can result in serious criminal penalties, fines and fees, driver’s license revocation, and increased insurance rates. It can affect your employment situation and your relationships.

Don’t take a chance on your future. Work with me to avoid the pitfalls of DWI that can make your future extremely difficult.

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Fierce Legal Advocates

When it comes to criminal defense, having a fierce advocate in your corner can make all the difference. At JS Defense, we understand the complexities of the legal system and the challenges that come with navigating through it. We are committed to providing our clients in St. Paul with the highest quality representation, working tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome in your case.

St. Paul Criminal Defense Lawyer Justin Schiks

Leading the team at JS Defense is St. Paul criminal defense lawyer Justin Schiks. With a passion for justice and a deep understanding of the law, Justin is a relentless advocate for his clients. He believes in treating every client with care, empathy, and respect, ensuring that they receive the personalized attention and strong advocacy they deserve.

As a St. Paul criminal defense lawyer, Justin has successfully represented clients in a wide range of criminal cases, including DWI offenses, drug charges, assault, theft, and white-collar crimes. His extensive experience, combined with his in-depth knowledge of Minnesota criminal law, allows him to provide strategic and effective defense strategies tailored to each client’s unique situation.

Over a Decade of Experience in Criminal Defense

With over a decade of experience in Minnesota criminal law, Justin Schiks has developed a deep understanding of the legal system and the tactics that can lead to successful outcomes. He knows that every case is unique, and he takes the time to thoroughly investigate the facts and evidence surrounding each client’s case. Justin is a skilled negotiator and litigator, capable of navigating the complexities of the courtroom to achieve the best possible results for his clients.

A DWI Charge Is Serious, Especially if This Isn’t Your First One

With one DWI on your record, you become more visible to police officers on the lookout for you. You may notice them following you for a few miles, seeking confirmation that you are not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, should you face a second or third DWI charge, the penalties and sentences increase significantly. Often times the State is seeking substantial jail consequences as punishment with up to 6 years of probation. The State may try to keep your vehicle. You can challenge vehicle forfeiture, but you must act quickly as you will lose the right to challenge if you don’t act within certain time parameters. If you are facing a second, third, or fourth DWI charge, your future depends on the skill of the attorney you choose to represent you.

I’ll work to minimize the impact of a DWI on your driving and criminal records.

A Charge Is Not a Conviction

A DWI charge does not equate to guilt. The prosecutor must prove the charge against you in court to get a conviction. As a seasoned and experienced attorney, I understand that there is more than one way to defend you and fight the charges against you.

Keep Your Driver’s License

Even though you are only facing a DWI, and have not yet been convicted, the State will take your driver’s license away after you are arrested. You do have the right to challenge this but you must do so within a short period of time after being arrested. The sooner you contact me, the sooner I can begin to fight for you.

Challenge the Case

I will review all the facts of your case to evaluate whether the police officers followed the law and procedure at the time of arrest and after. The State and police need a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” of criminal activity to pull you over. The police must also have a sufficient basis to expand the scope of the stop in order to begin a DWI investigation. If the police did not have “probable cause” to arrest you, the judge may dismiss the charges against you. The alleged driving conduct as well as the observations of the officer during the stop and field sobriety tests are all used to determine whether or not “probable cause” exists. If your case deserves a trial, I will take your case to trial and make the State prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the alleged charges.

If I cannot eliminate the DWI charges against you, I may be able to reduce the charges to careless driving, minor traffic violations, or disorderly conduct charges. Almost everyone who has a DWI charge and conviction suffers negatively for it. But a speeding ticket or misdemeanor-level offense won’t affect your employment or professional status nearly as much.

Call an Experienced St. Paul Attorney to Fight Your DWI Charges

Do not sit idly by while the State firms up its evidence against you. As an experienced St. Paul DWI attorney, I am here to help prepare you to fight the charges against you, get back your driving privileges, and more. Contact me at 952-945-7824 to discuss more during a free, confidential consultation.

I have dedicated my entire career to defending good people during difficult times. Justin Schiks, Owner

Other Areas We Serve in Minnesota

The Criminal Defense Process in Minnesota

Understanding the basics of the criminal defense process in Minnesota can help you navigate your case more effectively. Here’s a brief overview of the typical steps involved:

  • Arrest: If you are suspected of committing a crime, law enforcement may arrest you and read you your rights.
  • Bail: After your arrest, you may be eligible for bail, a sum of money paid to secure your release from custody until your trial.
  • Arraignment: During the arraignment, you will appear in court, enter a plea, and receive the charges against you.
  • Discovery: The prosecution and defense exchange information and evidence relevant to the case.
  • Pre-trial Motions: Both the prosecution and the defense may file legal motions to address certain aspects of the case, such as suppressing evidence or dismissing charges.
  • Negotiation: Your defense lawyer will work to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution, if appropriate.
  • Trial: If no plea agreement is reached, your case will proceed to trial, where the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Sentencing: If you are found guilty, the court will impose a sentence, which can include fines, probation, or imprisonment.
  • Appeals: In some cases, you may have the opportunity to appeal a conviction or sentence to a higher court.

Navigating through the criminal defense process can be complex and overwhelming. Having a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer like Justin Schiks by your side can significantly improve your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

Considering a Public Defender?

Public defenders play a vital role in ensuring that everyone has access to legal representation, regardless of their ability to pay. However, the reality is that many public defenders are overworked and under-resourced, limiting their ability to provide effective representation. Here is the reality of working with a public defender:

  • Caseloads: According to a study by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, public defenders handle an average of 200-300 cases per year, while the American Bar Association recommends a maximum of 150 cases per year.
  • Limited Resources: Public defender offices often face limited resources, including lack of funding, staffing shortages, and limited access to experts and investigators.
  • Time Constraints: Public defenders are often stretched thin, with limited time to devote to each case. This can impact their ability to thoroughly investigate and build a strong defense.
  • Diverse Clientele: Public defenders work with a broad range of clients, including those with complex legal needs and unique circumstances. Balancing the needs of each client can be challenging with limited resources.

While public defenders are dedicated professionals who do their best to represent their clients, the system as it currently stands is not set up for success.

Why Having the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer Possible Is Key

A skilled and experienced St. Paul criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Here are a few reasons why having the best criminal defense matters:

  • Knowledge and Experience: A seasoned criminal defense lawyer has the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal system effectively. They understand the intricacies of criminal law and can build a strong defense strategy tailored to your case.
  • Protection of Rights: A skilled lawyer will protect your rights throughout the legal process, ensuring that law enforcement and the prosecution respect your constitutional rights.
  • Negotiation Skills: A competent defense lawyer knows when to negotiate with the prosecution. They can work to negotiate a plea agreement that minimizes the consequences you may face.
  • Courtroom Experience: If your case goes to trial, having a skilled litigator on your side is crucial. A criminal defense lawyer will present a compelling defense and challenge the prosecution’s case to secure the best possible outcome for you.
  • Emotional Support: Facing criminal charges can be emotionally draining. A compassionate criminal defense lawyer will provide the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for your case can significantly impact its outcome. Don’t underestimate the importance of quality legal representation when it comes to protecting your future.



Award-winning criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of dismissals, acquittals, and positive resolutions for his clients. For over a decade, Justin has dedicated himself to criminal and DWI defense. He has advocated for individuals through every step of a case, from pre-charge representation through pretrial hearings and trials.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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.
Read More: What Does A Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

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.
Read More: What Happens When You Get Arrested?

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.
Read More: Do I Have To Answer Police Questions?

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.
Read More: What Does An Arraignment Mean?

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.
Read More: What Is A Pretrial Conference In A Criminal Case?

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.

Read more: Can You Drop Charges Against Someone Before Court?

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Aggressive, Personalized defense

At JS Defense: Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer, 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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