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Thomas C Gallagher

Thomas C Gallagher

Gallagher Criminal Defense
  • Criminal Law, White Collar Crime, Juvenile Law...
  • Minnesota
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

Minneapolis criminal lawyer Thomas C Gallagher has been fighting for your Liberty in Minnesota state and federal court for over 29 years. His practice is limited to criminal defense.

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • White Collar Crime
  • Juvenile Law
  • DUI & DWI
  • Domestic Violence
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Trial Lawyer
Gallagher Criminal Defense
- Current
Criminal defense services for clients charged with crimes in Minnesota state and federal courts.
Associate Attorney
Cloutier & Musech
Criminal defense for firm's clients, as well as personal injury and other civil litigation.
University of Minnesota Law School
J.D. | Law
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
B.A. | Psychology
Professional Associations
Minnesota Norml
Chair, Board of Directors
- Current
Activities: Elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We work for the legalization of marijuana in Minnesota.
Minnesota Norml
Director - Board of Directors
- Current
Activities: Founding members of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We work for the legalization of marijuana in Minnesota.
Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice
- Current
Activities: Membership limited to fifty criminal defense lawyers, voted in by existing membership. Members work together to lead the way towards criminal justice in Minnesota courts.
Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
Activities: Member of the largest criminal defense bar association in Minnesota, working together to protect the rights of Minnesotans.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
Activities: Member of the largest criminal defense bar association in the United States, championing the cause of the People.
NORML Legal Committee
- Current
Activities: Member of the Norml Legal Committee. (Legal Committee of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.) We share information and insights helpful in defending those charged with marijuana crimes, and work on legalization efforts.
Minnesota State Bar Association, Criminal Law Section
- Current
Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission
Activities: We adjudicate civil rights complaints in Minneapolis, and work to advance the cause of human rights in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice
Activities: Served as President of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, the oldest criminal defense bar association in Minnesota.
Hennepin County Bar Association, The Hennepin Lawyer Editorial Committee
Member of Editorial Committee
Minnesota State Bar Association
Board of Governors
Activities: Governing Board of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Hennepin County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section
Chair of Criminal Law Section
Legal Answers
59 Questions Answered

Q. I got pulled over going 49 in a 30. The cop was facing the other way when he clocked me. He dropped it to 10 mph over.
A: Most people with a clean traffic record want to keep it that way. The only way to accomplish that is to go to court, and try to get an outcome that will not affect the drivers license record. Paying the fine will result in both a conviction and a drivers license record of the conviction. "Ten over" does no good, except in a 55 mph zone.
Q. If moving violation is not checked off on probation form can they use one against me if I get one during probation?
A: Conditions of probation (or a stayed sentence) must be articulated by the judge at sentencing. The description here, of a speeding conviction with one-year "probation" is problematic since most speeding tickets are petty misdemeanors for which probation is not possible, since they are fine only violations. A tiny percentage of speeding cases are charged as misdemeanor crimes, with a maximum 90 day jail sentence - so probation is possible for those. Many people are unaware of the exact meaning of the word "probation," however. A person who resolves a petty misdemeanor speeding ticket with a Continuance for Dismissal after one year, conditioned on no same or similar violations, might wrongly say they are "on probation." It's not possible to discuss via web Q &A like this (as opposed to a phone call), but that seems more likely. In any event, the question may be "is failure to yield the same or similar to speeding?" Personally I would say not, especially when the box for another option "any moving violation" was not checked on the list of conditions. That said, the thing to do for now is to fight the failure to yield charge.
Q. So i just got a ticket saying i was going 91 when i was going 75 how am i suppose to dispute this?
A: Remember to consider first the desired outcome. Legal disputes can be resolved through a settlement agreement with the other side, or through a trial where each side presents their evidence. In a speeding case, keep in mind also that if the speed limit is 60, and the police officer is falsely claiming I was traveling at 91, while I know I was driving 75, that is not a defense to speeding since with that evidence I am admitting going over the speed limit. If the speed limit was 75, then evidence I was traveling 75 is a defense. There are many defenses to a speeding case, including those other than actual speed. While most people will be better with a lawyer's help, I encourage everyone to contest traffic citations in court. Compared to paying the ticket (resulting in a conviction), you have nothing to lose by going to court.
Q. How long does it take to receive a ticket in the mail?
A: No news is good news. Hope for never. If you do receive one, be sure to set a court appearance and show up to try to keep it off your record. It's difficult to get one off your record once there. It's best to prevent a conviction in the first place.
Q. Got 3rd speeding ticket, the past two were from 4+ years ago. Is there a way i can get this speeding ticket dismissed?
A: The only way to get a speeding ticket dismissed is to set a court date, show up, and try to get a result that will get dismissed, or at least not go on the drivers license record. Most prosecutors will only look back three years when considering a Continuance for Dismissal, but some will look back five.
Q. Can a federal AUSA prosecutor bar a spouse from attending a preliminary meeting sharing evidence before charges filed.
A: Since such a meeting would be by agreement of both sides, one side could set a condition like that. The other side would be free to refuse, or accept the condition. So the answer is yes, but by agreement. The target could refuse the meeting without the spouse, but then the AUSA could refuse to conduct the meeting in response.
Q. Can I challenge jurisdiction if the officer issuing ticket doesn’t work for the city or county they pulled me over in?
A: Can you challenge it? Yes you can. Will the challenge be successful? It depends. It seems unlikely to have a chance without a defense attorney's help with it. A police officer outside his jurisdiction doesn't have the right to make an investigative stop unless acting "in the course and scope of his employment while outside his jurisdiction." Being "on duty" alone, without more, is not enough. The police officer wanting to execute a traffic stop outside of his or her jurisdiction can request a local police officer with authority in that jurisdiction to execute the stop, then the outside-jurisdiction police officer could be a witness. Though Minnesota Statutes Section 629.40 "ALLOWING ARRESTS ANYWHERE IN STATE," appears to provide authority to police officers outside their jurisdiction to make arrests, it does not appear to apply to most suspected traffic violations.
Q. I was only talked to early November but just got a citation late January. Issue date is back then?
A: How we defend a person at trial depends upon all of the facts and circumstances - the more the better - generally only available when defense attorney of record. In general though, most people want an outcome that will keep the violation or offense off of their public court record (and so drivers license record too, as a result). That is why we defense counsel normally focus on both getting the desired outcome by settlement agreement if possible, and simultaneously prepare for the trial that may come. The trial is a source of strength for the defense.
Q. Ex husband contesting OFP I filed on behalf of daughter. Do I need a lawyer for the hearing?
A: It's better to be represented by a lawyer for any court proceeding, than to be unrepresented. This is even more apparent where the opposing party is represented by a lawyer. However, there is no legal requirement to be represented by a lawyer. You can represent yourself, though that will be a disadvantage to you.
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Contact & Map
Gallagher Criminal Defense
310 Fourth Ave South, Suite 8000
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Cell: (612) 333-1500