BGS' Labor & Employment Law Attorney Scott Lepak in the News

December 9, 2013  |  BGS

BGS Attorney Scott Lepak has made the local newspapers this week in regards to an issue he tackled as the St. Francis City Attorney. As a result, City Council member Mike Haggard resigned. For the entire story please see “Haggard resigns from council after residency questioned.”

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What Are My Rights If I’ve been Charged with a Misdemeanor?

December 9, 2013  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

Being charged with a crime does not deprive you of your rights. Indeed, being charged with a crime activates some very specific rights that will follow you throughout a criminal proceeding. You have the right to an attorney. You always have the right to hire an attorney. However, you may not automatically qualify for a public defender. If you are charged with a “petty” misdemeanor there’s no danger of jail time, so you won’t be eligible for a public defender. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor you could face jail time (90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine), so you could be eligible if you fill out a family financial application to determine whether or not you qualify. Even if you are charged with a petty misdemeanor you may well still wish to have an attorney by your side. You have the right to a trial. You are presumed innocent unless the state can prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You always have the right to a trial before your peers. You also have the right to subpoena and cross examine witnesses as a part of this process. You have the right to remain silent. The right to remain silent is not just a television cliché. You can choose…

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The Buckle Up Campaign Continues

December 4, 2013  |  Jon P. Erickson

In this past weekend’s November 30th issue of the Star Tribune, there were two separate articles on motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, in each of these accidents, an occupant was killed. The first accident involved an 80 yr old man being killed in a single car rollover accident. He was not wearing a seat belt, and was thrown from his vehicle. It’s interesting to note that since 2004 he had received two separate tickets for failing to wear a seat belt. “St. Paul man thrown from SUV, dies in south-metro rollover” The other accident involved a head on collision. The driver of one of the vehicles was not wearing a seat belt, and he was killed. The driver and occupant of the other vehicle were both wearing seat belts, and were not injured. “St. Paul man, not wearing seat belt, dies in head-on crash in Olivia” During this past Thanksgiving weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a movie with my daughter and two granddaughters. My daughter at one point told me that ever since I started sending her and my 17yr old grandson my BUCKLE UP blogs she has made it a point to make sure the girls are always buckled up, even when just going to school some 10 blocks from their…

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