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Marsh Halberg

Marsh Halberg

"Attorney of the Year" (Minnesota Lawyer 2011)

"Top Six Criminal Defense Attorneys" (Mpls/St.Paul Magazine)

"Super Lawyer" (1997-Present)

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Tina Appleby

Tina Appleby

Achieved jury acquittals / case dismissals / successful resolutions in over 2,000 cases

"Top 100 National Trial Lawyer"

"Who's Who in Criminal Law"

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Lucas Dawson

Lucas Dawson

"Super Lawyer Rising Star 2017, 2018 and 2019

Requested speaker at Minnesota CLEs

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Zach Graham

Zach Graham

J.D. St. Thomas School of Law, cum laude

Achieved successful outcomes for clients in district court and on appeal

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Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson

"Rising Star" from 2004-2013

"Super Lawyer" 2014, 2015 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

Named one of the "TOP 40 UNDER 40" by the National Trial Lawyers' Association

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Doug Hazelton

Doug Hazelton

"Best Lawyers in America" (2008-Present)

"Super Lawyer" (2008-Present)

Author Minnesota DWI Handbook (West Publishing)

Author Minnesota DWI Survival Guide

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Debbie Lang

Debbie Lang

2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 "Super Lawyer Rising Star"

"Top 100 National Trial Lawyers" by the National Trial Lawyers' Association

1 of 50 Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice Members

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Dave Risk

Dave Risk

Eight-Time Award Winner of "SuperLawyer - Rising Star"

J.D. William Mitchell College of Law magna cum laude graduate

2014, 2015 and 2016 "Super Lawyer"

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Christina Zauhar

Christina Zauhar

Member of Minnesota Women Lawyers

Member of the Minnesota State Bar Association

Contributing Author to Minnesota DWI Deskbook

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Incarceration During COVID-19


HomePractice AreasBlogs - Incarceration during COVID-19

Because state prisons and local jails operate largely outside of the public eye, outbreaks of COVID-19 in these institutions has gone largely unnoticed since the beginning of the pandemic.

Active COVID-19 cases are now present in nearly every Minnesota prison.

Recent data on the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) website showing that approximately half of 7,000 inmates had contracted COVID-19 as of and eight have died of the disease.

Early in the pandemic, corrections officials and public health experts were in agreement that a key to reducing the chances of outbreaks in prisons and jails was to reduce inmate populations.

The state prison population in Minnesota is down 17 percent from early March; from about 8,800 to about 7,300 people currently. This is largely to DOC policies including expanding work release programs and returning fewer inmates to prison for violating parole, all in an effort to reduce COVID-19 numbers in its institutions.

The DOC also expanded its conditional medical release program – allowing early release for seriously and terminally ill inmates – to people especially at risk for COVID-19.

But despite ever-increasing COVID-19 numbers, of the more than 2,300 state prisoners who applied for a conditional medical release under the expansion, only 150 requests have been granted.

Recently, a Ramsey County judge issued an order requiring the DOC to show cause "why they should not be ordered to perform their legal duty" to keep prisoners safer during the pandemic.

The order criticized the DOC for its handling of the pandemic, citing the "staggering" rate of COVID-19 infections within the state prison system.

In a press release, the DOC responded to recent criticism by stating it has "taken all reasonable measures to protect incarcerated people in the state's prisons from COVID-19. The measures we have taken are consistent with those that have been upheld by courts throughout the country."

Prisons and jails as well as all closed institutional environments (such as nursing homes) are often amplifiers of infectious diseases including COVID-19 because social distancing is difficult if not impossible inside and movement in and out of the institutions by staff is common. 

While DOC changes have been implemented in an effort to prevent COVID-19 deaths in its institutions, whether these changes have gone far enough will likely be decided by a Ramsey County judge on January 15, 2021.
Of course, the hearing will be held remotely due to the ongoing pandemic.

If you find yourself facing criminal charges, our attorneys can meet with you to discuss your options.  At Halberg Criminal Defense, our team approach puts the firm’s collective knowledge and experience in your corner. Our attorneys are available 24-7 — Call us at 612-DEFENSE (612-333-3673).

Contact us for a free consultation

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