Sep
4

Does Social Media Affect Our Criminal Justice System?

Social media plays a central role in the disbursement of news these days, but does it have an effect on the investigation and outcome of criminal activity? Think of how quickly you learned about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut or how much you learned about the Trayvon Martin shooting and subsequent criminal prosecution of George Zimmerman through social media. Traditional news sources like newspapers and radio now also seemingly rely on social media not only to disseminate information, but also as a source of newsworthy stories. How many You...

Sep
3

Could Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Affect Me?

The news has been rife with headlines about President Obama taking executive action on immigration reform.  If he does take action, whom would it affect and when would it occur?

Like many years before, the Congress talked extensively about immigration reform this year, but failed to take any action.  What is different now is that President Obama has stated he will takesome sort of action on his own.

So, what can the President do without the Congress’s approval, and who will it affect?

The President cannot unilaterally change who can become a legal permanent resident or a citizen.  He...

Aug
22

USCIS Announces Ebola Outbreak-Related Immigration Relief Measures

Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the availability of limited immigration relief measures to nationals of three West African countries affected by the current Ebola virus outbreak.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013.  The virus has since spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone and become the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded.  Experts report 2,473 suspected or confirmed cases, including 1,350 deaths, prompting WHO to declare a public health emergency of international concern.

In...

Aug
18

Are Prostitution Stings by the Police “Entrapment?”

Wilson Law Group has posted about solicitation of prostitution issues in the past, but we are still seeing new clients come in whom the police have caught in backpage.com stings. Law enforcement uses that controversial website to lure unsuspecting “johns” to hotels in the metro area and records the entire interaction to ensure criminal prosecution. If you are caught soliciting prostitution at a hotel, which qualifies as a “public place” under Minnesota law, the State will charge you with a gross misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for a gross misdemeanor is one year in jail and/or a...

Aug
15

Obtaining a Passport for a Minor Child

When planning an international vacation, travelling parents should ensure that their U.S. citizen children have passports and be aware of the special requirements for minors under the age of 16.  There may be hurdles if the child’s parents are not married; renewing a passport can be an issue since passports for children under 16 are only valid for 5 years and the parents’ relationship may have changed since the issuance of the first passport so mutual consent (or even communication) is nonexistent.  To make it even more cumbersome, parents of minors under 16 must apply in person for...

Aug
1

Visa Interview Waiver Program Continues to Expand & Streamline Nonimmigrant Visa Process

The Interview Waiver Program (IWP) was first introduced in 2012 as a pilot program in an effort to promote travel and tourism to the United States for certain nonimmigrant applicants.  The IWP was made permanent this year in 2014.  The criteria for the IWP is published in the Foreign Affairs Manual, although it is important tocheck the consulate’s requirements because they can vary. 

Generally, all foreign nationals applying for a nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B-1/B-2, E, L, TN visa, etc.) must appear in person at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad for an interview by a consular officer. ...

Jul
28

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

In the criminal justice system, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, right? That does not always appear to be the case. A recent DWI case involving an attorney who will likely be seeking election to our State's Supreme Court highlights this issue. Law enforcement stopped Michelle MacDonald for speeding in April 2013. The officer who stopped her initiated a DWI stop and asked her to perform field sobriety tests which she refused because she said she had not been drinking that night. MacDonald's refusal continued at the police station, where she refused to take a chemical test to...

Jul
28

Change in Minnesota’s Custody Law Effective August 1, 2014

Did you know that the Minnesota Legislature has clarified that there is no presumption regarding custody except in cases of domestic abuse? This is an important change in the law that will go into effect on August 1, 2014.  Minn. Stat. Sec. 518.17, subd. 2 has been amended to state, “There is no presumption for or against joint physical custody, except when domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred between the parents.” 

So what does a judge consider when a child’s parents cannot agree on custody? Some fathers may discouragingly assume that a judge will always...

Jul
16

A Few Basic Employee Rights: Why You May Have Earned that Vacation, but Still Have No Right to One

Questions abound regarding the basic rights that people have as employees. This makes sense given how large of a role jobs play in most of our lives and the complexity and diverse of issues that affect employment. To further complicate matters, though the federal standards are the most commonly cited standards, they do not always apply. Sometimes employers are only responsible for meeting state, or even local, standards. To help clarify the matter for Minnesota employees, this post will address a few of the most common issues regarding basic employee rights.[1] First, though, it is useful...

Jul
14

Notario Fraud: Don’t Be a Victim!

Immigration law is extremely complex. It is important to have qualified representation because even a small mistake can have devastating consequences for you and your family.

Immigrant communities are particularly vulnerable to notario fraud. Notario fraud refers to people who offer legal advice, prepare immigration forms, or otherwise represent people before the immigration agencies when they are not qualified to do so. Generally, to practice immigration law, you must be a licensed attorney. A non-attorney who is specially authorized to represent immigrants by the Board of Immigration...

Pages