Minnesota man’s assault sentence exceeds guidelines by 32 months

Being accused of a crime is extremely serious and if you ever find yourself confronting criminal charges, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights and clear your name. There are no more serious crimes, however, then felonies. If convicted of a violent assault charge, for example, a suspect may be facing years in prison, trouble finding a job or housing after release, a loss of family life, and a deprivation of civil rights.

Unfortunately, for one 23-year-old Minnesota man, he will be facing all of these and potentially more after he was convicted of first-degree assault. The young man, who has always maintained his innocence, was recently sentenced to 135 months behind bars, 32 months more than the typical sentencing guidelines. Court documents indicate that the man stabbed a 37-year-old man this summer.

While charges of attempted first- and second-degree murder were dismissed in September, a jury still found him guilty of the assault charge. The Assistant Mower County Attorney said that there was insufficient evidence of premeditation and the possibility of self-defense, requiring the dismissal of the murder charges. Despite this lack of evidence, the district judge cited the near-fatal nature of the apparent victim’s stab wounds when sentencing the young man over the normal 74- to 103-month sentence.

The young man insists that he “didn’t do nothing wrong except smoke weed.”

It is possible that the 23 year old could be released as early as 91 months, but only if the prison system has determined that he has exhibited good behavior. Even if he does get out early, he will still be watched closely under a supervised release program. During the 45-month program, he could be taken back to prison if law enforcement believes he has violated his conditions of release.

Source: Austin Daily Herald, “Stabber erupts at prison sentencing,” Amanda Lillie, Nov. 4, 2011

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.