Tag Archives: criminal defense attorney

The History of the Miranda Rights

The “Miranda Rights” afford American one of the most important civil liberties of the criminal justice system. Miranda dictates that any person in police custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed of the following rights:

– The right to remain silent; that anything the person says will be used against that person in court;

-The right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning,

– If the person is unable to garner their own attorney, that one will be provided at the cost of the state.

The Miranda rights were determined after the landmark ruling of the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda vs. Arizona. The case followed the 1963 arrest of Ernesto Miranda after he was arrested and charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, and robbery. Miranda was then into custody and questioned by police, eventually admitting to the crimes. However, prior to the arrest, Miranda was never ware of his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and his 6th Amendment right to an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning. Ernesto Miranda was later told to submit his confession in writing. However, according to Miranda’s court-appointed attorney Alvin Moore, entered an objection during the criminal trial that the statement was not made voluntarily and was therefore inadmissible. However, the objection was overruled and Miranda was subsequently convicted.

Moore and Miranda then filed an appeal with the Arizona Supreme court, arguing that the confession was not made with Miranda’s free will. Ultimately, it was the opinion of Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren that any self-incriminating statements made to police, without first being informed of the 5th and 6th Constitutional Amendments, were inadmissible. Warren ruled that:

“The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.”

“If the individual indicates in any manner, at any time prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease … If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning.”

As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, Miranda’s conviction was overturned. However, he was later retried, convicted, and sentenced to 20-30 years. He was paroled in 1972. He was later stabbed to death in 1976.

The two most important things to remember if under arrest are your 5th and 6th Amendment rights. You have the right to remain silent and you have the right to an attorney. If you are under arrest or investigation, invoke your right against self incrimination and demand an attorney before you say anything,



Saint Paul Teen Struck and Killed by Man with No Drivers License

Carlos ColoradoA Saint Paul man, Carlos Viveros-Colorado, was charged with criminal vehicular homicide in the death of 16 year old Clarisse Grime, who was killed after he lost control of his SUV and hit her while she sat in the grass waiting for a bus in front of Harding High School.

According to the complaint, Viveros-Colorado was speeding when he lost control, hit a fire hydrant and then barreled over a sidewalk into the grass.  After the crash, Viveros-Colorado told police that his left leg and right arm had gone numb while he was driving and that both of his legs went numb before he lost control of the vehicle.  Viveros-Colorado explained to police that he was trying to steer clear of a parked car and swerved, resulting in his truck clearing the curb and hitting Grime.

Viveros-Colorado told police he started having problems with numbness several months ago.  He went to the doctor but they didn’t find anything wrong with him.  The complaint says that he knew it was risky for him to drive in his condition but he just wanted to make it home from work.

Police arrested Viveros-Colorado and brought him to the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center, where he provided them different addresses. When police made contact with his sister, whom he had called after the crash, she told police that Viveros-Colorado was an undocumented illegal immigrant.  According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Viveros-Colorado has never had a Minnesota driver’s license. Also, public records show that Viveros-Colorado was convicted of a DWI in 2001 and pled guilty to driving without a license in Newport last April.

Minnesota criminal defense attorney Avery Appelman says, “Driving in the State of Minnesota is a privilege, not a right.  Drivers are legally obligated to report any known maladies that may make driving difficult.  The key, though, is that a driver must know he has the malady.  If he was reasonably unaware of the issue with his legs, or had been assured by doctors he could drive, the State will have a tough battle on their hands.”

Stacy Kaye gets DWI charge dismissed

StacyIn June of 2012, criminal defense attorney Stacy Kaye put her litigating skills to work and won big in the courtroom.

In December of 2011 a woman, Ms. G, was stopped by a police officer and charged with a DWI leading to the revocation of her driver’s license and the impoundment of her license plates.  A few days later Ms. G was given a copy of the police report regarding the incident. The officer says he was on routine patrol in Alexandria and turned onto a public access road to check the Burgen lake access.  As he traveled down the road he observed tracks from a vehicle that appeared to have driven in a circle two times.  He believed this was suspicious behavior and stopped the vehicle.

In January 2012 Ms. G received a second version of the police reports where the details of the stop of her vehicle were different.  In this version of the report the officer stated that as he was checking the lake access he observed a vehicle make what appeared to be a circle near the lake.  A few months later the Attorney General informed Ms. G that he had received additional information about the reason for the stop that had not been disclosed to them.  Apparently, the officer added that he stopped her vehicle because he was worried about icehouse robberies on Douglas county lakes.

Because of the inconsistency of the reports and the belief that no matter which version or combination of events was true, it didn’t amount to a valid basis for a stop, Ms. G filed a pretrial motion to suppress evidence and dismiss the DWI charge on the grounds that the officer lacked reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal activity at the time of the stop.  She also filed an implied consent petition challenging the legality of the revocation of her driver’s license and license plate impoundment.

Thankfully, criminal trial lawyer Adam Goldfine went to the scene shortly after the incident to document the area.  If not for his thorough and timely investigative efforts, it would have been too late to go back and photograph the lake nearly six months later when we were first informed about the officer’s concern about icehouse robberies.

At Ms. G’s omnibus hearing, the deputy was cross-examined and was unable to recall whether there were any icehouses near the access point on that date, whether the lake was frozen solid, and whether there had been any recent robberies on Lake Burgen.  Also, weather records from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association for November and December 2011 show that there was no ice or snow on the ground with the exception of a few inches in late November.  The reports also indicated that the highest recorded temperatures on each day throughout this period were well in excess of freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) on all but 3 days in November and on all but four days in December. Therefore, the officer’s suspicion that there was a solid layer of ice on the lake sufficient to withstand icehouses is extremely doubtful.

On June 18, 2012 the judge granted the motion to suppress any and all evidence obtained as a result of the traffic stop as there was no particularized and objective basis for the stop and reinstated her driving privileges.

MN attorney Stacy Kaye says, “I think this case shows the importance of having an experienced criminal defense attorney take a careful look at all the evidence presented and making sure that the police didn’t take any shortcuts in their procedures. It may seem like just a technicality or a loophole when we are able to get evidence suppressed on the basis of an illegal stop or other procedural error, but those procedures are mandated by the constitution for important reasons. It’s generally very easy for officers to legally obtain evidence of wrongdoing without cutting corners, and so procedural restrictions on how far they can go are so minimal that any overstepping should be taken very seriously.  If not for Ms. G. quickly acting to retain us, it is highly unlikely that she would have been able to prove that the purported reason for the stop was unfounded or to convince a judge that her rights were violated by the officer’s conduct.”

Minneapolis Police Officer Charged with Felony Assault

David CliffordA Minneapolis police officer and sergeant with its SWAT team, David Clifford, was charged with assaulting a man at Tanners Station, an Andover restaurant on Saturday evening.

According to the criminal complaint, Brian Vander Lee was dining with his wife and brother on Tanner’s Station patio when Clifford confronted him.  Vander Lee was on the phone with a friend, describing where they were seated so the friend could easily find them, when Clifford got up and started yelling “You want to keep it down?” According to witnesses, Clifford approached the Vander Lee’s table and punched him in the mouth causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the pavement.

Vander Lee’s brother and friend chased Clifford into the parking lot but his wife picked him up before they could speak to him.  Clifford surrendered to the Anoka County sheriff on Sunday.

Clifford’s version of events differs substantially from that of the witnesses. Clifford informed police that he was at the restaurant with his wife and friends planning National Night Out events.  He was repulsed by the language Vander Lee was using so he asked him to stop.  Vander Lee stopped for a few minutes and then began swearing again.  When Clifford moved towards the table, Vander Lee stood up, so Clifford punched him in self defense.

Investigators said none of the restaurant employees reported hearing Vander Lee use any offensive language.

The victim, Brian Vander Lee, was left hospitalized after undergoing surgery to relieve brain swelling.   On Monday Vander Lee was reported to be off life support and in stable condition.

Minneapolis criminal defense attorney, Avery Appelman says, “The concern with this case, as with any involving a law enforcement official as a potential defendant is a cover up. Mr. Appelman stated that with any physical encounter with a police officer, the “Blue Brotherhood” tends to stick together to protect one of their own,  “my experience with police officer malfeasance is that it goes undocumented and poorly investigated.” Obviously, any poorly operated investigation would benefit Mr. Clifford.

Criminal trial lawyer Avery Appelman asserts that “the charging already reeks of beneficial treatment, the injuries Vander Lee suffered would amount to an Assault in the First Degree which would require a judge to send Mr. Clifford to prison, whereas the lower level Assault in the Third Degree that is charged would not mandate any prison time.”

If you are charged with an Assault in Minnesota it is imperative that you secure an experienced criminal defense attorney.

NCAA Sex Scandal: Psychologist’s 1998 Report Surfaces, Identifies Pedophile Tendencies in Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky is back in the headlines as more damning evidence surfaces in relation to the litany of child sexual abuse charges against the former coach. NBC News recently obtained a 1998 report from clinical psychologist Dr. Alycia Chambers who, after interviewing an alleged victim, described Sandusky’s behavior as “a likely pedophile’s pattern” and continued that his work at The Second Mile charity had “a typical pedophile overture.”

Click here to view the psychologist’s 1998 report

The analysis was included in a 1998 police report in which an 11-year-old boy stated that Sandusky “wrestled with” and “squeezed” him in the Penn State University showers.  Dr. Chambers spoke publicly about the files this week, telling NBC News that “I thought…my report was strong enough to suggest that this was somebody who should be watched.” This report was made nearly 4 years before graduate assistant Mike McQueary told the late head football coach Joe Paterno and other top university administrators that he observed Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the Penn State field house.

Click here to view the 1998 incident report.

According to Joe Amendola, the criminal defense attorney for Sandusky, he intends to dispute her findings by calling on other psychologists to re-examine the files. “I understand that there are some people who could look at this behavior and say it’s a pedophile problem. But there are others who will say, ‘This is somebody who loves kids and loves to be around them’ … It’s the old story, you get your expert and I’ll get my expert.”

Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and university Vice President Gary Schultz are currently awaiting trial for charges of perjury and failing to report. Prosecutors claim that the prominent administrative figures knew about the abuse, but failed to report it and then later lied about their knowledge to a grand jury. Joe Paterno was slated to testify against Schultz and Curley, but a judge ruled that his death at age 85 voids his earlier testimony.

Jerry Sandusky is currently awaiting trial for 52 separate charges related to what prosecutors call a 15-year-long pattern of predatory abuse of adolescent boys. Sandusky denies all charges and on Thursday, the former coach’s attorney asked a judge to dismiss a number of those charges, claiming that some of the reports are not detailed enough, some are missing evidence, and the statute of limitations has run out for 8 of the 10 victims. Amendola is also calling for the dismissal of the 1998 police reports, claiming that Sandusky was not read his Miranda rights and therefore, the evidence cannot be used. The defense team also called for the trial to be delayed, but a judge has since denied that request.

According to MN criminal defense attorney Avery Appelman, “The 1998 report begs the age old question of what the proper use of prophylactic prosecution and law enforcement is.  In other words, should more have been done to restrict Sandusky’s freedom in the first place, even if his behavior had not risen to the level of criminal misconduct?  Even the most dangerous “patients” at various state hospitals throughout the country were generally found guilty of something that gave rise to the abolition of their due process rights.  Hindsight is always 20/20, but do we ultimately want to give the government the power to lock-up anybody on a whim?”

Click here to catch up with our coverage of the NCAA Sex Scandal.

Related Sources:




NY Times


Record-Breaking Heroin Quantity Found in Smuggled in Woman’s Stomach

A Nigerian woman is now a proud record holder… Bola Adebisi was stopped in a Virginia airport with the largest amount of heroin ever found smuggled within a human stomach. After arriving from Nigeria on March 14, U.S. Customs discovered that the woman had ingested 180 pellets of heroin. Adebisi was arrested on Saturday.

While being given a routine pat down, the security officer noticed that Adebisi’s stomach seemed “abnormally rigid”. During a secondary inspection report, the woman was told Dulles officers that she was staying with her brother, but she was unable to provide an address, phone number, or physical description. Adebisi agreed to be taken to a nearby hospital for x-rays.

The x-rays revealed what federal authorities now call the one of the largest ingested quantities of heroin that they’ve ever discovered. The heroin weighed over 4 pounds and, according to authorities, carried an estimated street value of  $150,000.

Not only is smuggling a felony, according to Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington, D.C., “The amount of pellets and heroin this woman ingested is incredible, a serious health risk, and very troubling if these numbers become the new normal.”

This is not the first time the Dulles Airport has made a large “internal pellet seizure”. Last March, a Nigerian man was arrested with 100 pellets of heroin in his stomach. One thing is certain: Adebisi is definitely going to need a savvy criminal defense attorney.

Related Sources:


Washington Examiner

Warrant Quashed Thanks to ALF Legal Team

hennepin countyThis morning the Appelman Law Firm legal team showcased their ability to work quickly and effectively in the face of court issues.

Avery was in Isanti County court this morning helping his client deal with legal matters stemming from some past DWI charges. Upon arriving, Avery was informed that his client had a warrant out for his arrest in Pine County (where he was on probation). The warrant was issued by the client’s probation officer in the hopes of getting the client into rehab as quickly as possible. What the probation officer didn’t know was that the client was already in rehabilitation in Hennepin County.

The ALF paralegal team, Haley and Rosanna, jumped into action, calling the probation officer and Pine County court. Eventually they convinced the judge in Pine County to quash the warrant. If the warrant hadn’t been quashed, the client would’ve been unnecessarily shipped all over the state, wasting taxpayer dollars in the process.

Haley and Rosanna recognized the mess that would’ve resulted and fixed the problem swiftly.

“Rosanna and Haley are the dream team of legal assistants,” says Avery Appelman. “They went to work immediately after we realized the problem and convinced the court admin to help us get this done. Thanks to their excellent work, the warrant was quashed only an hour after we knew about it. This is the kind of service you get when you have Appelman Law Firm on your side.”

92-Year-Old Woman Found Guilty After Crash That Severely Injured Two Workers

Mabel Esther Schleif, a 92-year-old St. Paul woman, was convicted of careless driving and inattentive driving this Thursday. The charges from an accident last April in which Schleif severely injured two public works employees picking up trash alongside the road and severing the hand of Craig Johnson Sr.

Following Mabel Schleif’s claim that she had very little recollection of the accident, her criminal defense attorney argued that just before the collision, the 92-year-old suffered from a “silent heart attack” and lost consciousness at the wheel. However, the Assistant City Attorney called a witness who testified that just before impact, Ms. Schleif was alert and sitting upright and that, because of this, she couldn’t have been suffering from a heart attack.

The jury took only three hours to find Schleif guilty of careless and inattentive driving, both misdemeanors. Schleif’s criminal defense lawyer says that it is very unlikely she will serve any time in jail. Sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Careless driving in Minnesota is an offense that can carry hefty fines and even jail time. However, the laws which define careless driving are very broad and it can be difficult to ascertain when the law has even been broken. Additionally, careless driving is a highly subjective crime, which leaves it easier to defend than other traffic offenses.

Inmate Died After Flu-Like Symptoms in Duluth, Family Cries Neglect

An inmate in the St. Louis County Jail died on Tuesday in a Duluth hospital after exhibiting flu-like symptoms–his family now says he was denied proper health consideration.

42-year-old Daniel Schlienz was charged with the Cook County courthouse shooting on December 15 after his conviction for criminal sexual conduct.  Schlienz shot a witness and the prosecutor before being taken into custody. According to his family, when they visited him in jail on Saturday, he appeared very ill, “He looked pretty haggard.”

A friend who visited Schlienz on Sunday gave a similar report, “He definitely had some pretty serious issues going on.” According to jail records, Schlienz told the jail staff on Monday that he wasn’t feeling well. His visitors say, however, that he asked for an extra blanket and cough medicine, but that they were never given to him.

The inmate was admitted to St. Mary’s Health Center on Monday evening, then quickly deteriorated. Hospital staff say that by early Tuesday morning, “He was basically on life support.”

Despite the family’s claim that the jail failed to address Schlienz’s illness appropriately, Sheriff Ross Litman said he believed all jail staff to have acted “appropriately and diligently…We spent the majority of this week going over all the information that’s known to us to see if we could or would have done anything differently,” and concluded that “I  believe we did our job.”

The sheriff’s office will receive the official autopsy in a couple weeks. Until then, Schlienz’s death has been ruled undeterminable. In situations of jailhouse neglect, it is crucial that an inmate contact his defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help alleviate such issues of communication.

Former NHL Player Mike ‘Mad Mike’ Milbury May Be Charged With Assaulting a Child


Police in Brookline, Massachusetts have announced that they have video evidence which documents former Bruins player Mike Milbury attacking a 12-year-old boy during a peewee hockey game.

Milbury, who now works as a hockey color analyst for NBC Sports Group, denies any allegations of assault. He claims he intervened when his son and an opposing player began to fight on the ice. Milbury said, “I want to be clear about a couple of things. No one was punched, kicked, or assaulted in any way. I know the ‘Mad Mike’ image that I have and all that. I love the game, I’m passionate about it, but I don’t smack kids around. I grabbed the other kid by the sweater to stop a fight and, yeah, I swore at him. That’s it. That’s what I did.”

Milbury says that he only stepped in after watching the 12-year-old repeatedly bully and berate his son. “It was the third time that night that Jake and the kid got into it, and that was the last straw for Jake. I mean, what kid can take that?”

According to the unidentified player’s mother, Milbury “committed a crime and “needs to be reprimanded… You can’t put your hands on a child.” NBC Sports Group has announced that pending investigation, Milbury will be taken off the air.

Following the incident, law enforcement officials were urging anyone in attendance to turn over any video or photos they may have. Now, they say they have evidence, but it won’t be made public until it’s shown in court. According to the Brookline Recreation Director, no crime was committed: “There were two kids who were going at it on the ice and Mike came out and said, ‘Hey guys, break it up. Let’s make it a peaceful game. ‘ There was nothing inappropriate.”

Charges have not been filed, but Milbury could be charged with assaulting a child. Assault is a serious offense with serious consequences. If you are facing assault charges, contact and experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

Related Sources:

Boston Herald

Boston Globe