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December 2012 Archives

How Much Will This Cost?

In my last column, I noted how we get many calls and e-mails from people who ask us a very simple question: Can you help me? Some wonder if their car accident case has merit. Others have issues at work or are concerned about their own or a loved one's Will, Power of Attorney or Health Care Directive. Others may want a divorce, start a business or buy or sell property. You'll never know whether we can help unless you ask.Once we have determined we can help, a client's next question is often, "How much will this cost?" We are always willing to answer that question because we want to make sure our clients understand the charge for our services. Sometimes, we work on a contingent fee basis where we are paid a percentage of any monetary recovery. In other cases, we charge by the hour, or we may charge a fixed or "flat" fee for a project. And, just like a medical procedure or car repair, the total fee will vary depending on many factors, including complexity and the time involved.The lawyers at SWENSON LERVICK SYVERSON TROSVIG JACOBSON SCHULTZ, P.A. are here to help. Can we help you? Find out by calling us at (320) 763-3141.

How bad is it?

Criminal charges are categorized by the severity of the penalty. In Minnesota, there are four levels of criminal charges: petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and felonies.The least severe offense is called a petty misdemeanor. An example of this is a simple speeding ticket. The maximum penalty that could be imposed for a petty misdemeanor offense is a $300 fine.A misdemeanor offense is more serious than a petty misdemeanor. An example of a misdemeanor is disorderly conduct. The maximum penalty that could be imposed for a misdemeanor offense is 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.A gross misdemeanor offense is more serious than a misdemeanor offense. An example of a gross misdemeanor is a second or third DWI offense within a ten year period of time. The maximum penalty for a gross misdemeanor is 1 year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.The most serious criminal offense is a felony. An example of a felony would be a theft of a motor vehicle, a sexual assault, or murder. A felony is any crime for which a sentence of imprisonment for more than one year may be imposed.The legal system is complex. If you need help navigating your legal situation, the lawyers at Swenson Lervick can help. They are knowledgeable, experienced, and ready to fight for your rights. Stop in or call us at (320) 763-3141.

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