Criminal Defense

Peter Karlsson practices law in west central Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.

The criminal defense practice focuses on DWI, drug, and property crimes. Karlsson’s experience includes trying over 100 criminal cases to verdict by jury and thousands more cases concluded by settlement or court trials. He knows from years of experience with mental illness and chemical dependency clients that forensic experts (understanding the application of law within their fields) can often be helpful in criminal court, whether as a defense or with alternative sentencing.

The criminal defense practice has evolved from no holds barred to pursuit of wholeness through drug courts and domestic violence courts. Yes, some cases need to go to trial. Knowing when to settle and having the fortitude to tell a client what is in his best interest takes experience. It is the practice of the Karlsson Law Office to charge for trials after the decision is made to actually prepare for a trial.


“Well, you will still have me around.”

  • A 17-year old client talks to his 12-year old sister on the phone from the courthouse after a jury trial in adult court and acquittal of 6 felony assault charges.

“You saved my son’s life.”

  • A father expresses thanks after judges in Minnesota and North Dakota made courageous decisions to decline prosecutors’ demands for adult court jurisdiction of armed robbery charges.
  • One judge later remarked the case will make the courts look either “very wise or very dumb.”
  • The young man successfully completed juvenile probation and began a post-secondary education.

These are a couple of the results that continue to reward and motivate Karlsson’s practice of law.

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