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Carson J. Heefner is an experienced criminal defense lawyer and founding partner in Heefner Nelson Law. Carson has handled hundreds of cases over the course of his career, ranging from minor traffic violations to murder.  In addition, Carson has handled over 50 appeals to both the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Carson grew up in the Linden Hills neighborhood of South Minneapolis and attended Southwest High School.  After high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated in 1993.  He then enrolled at William Mitchell College of Law, graduating with honors in 1998.

After law school, Carson was fortunate to work for Sam McCloud, one of the most reputable and successful criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota.  Because Mr. McCloud was a pioneer in the area of DWI/DUI defense in the State of Minnesota, Carson learned from the very best. In 2006, Mr. McCloud made Carson a partner.  Carson was a partner in McCloud & Heefner, P.A. until forming Heefner Nelson Law in July of 2011.

During the course of Carson’s career, he has been instrumental in changing and defining bail and conditional release law in the State of Minnesota. Carson helped convince the Minnesota Supreme Court that cash only bail in unconstitutional (State v. Brooks), successfully argued in the Court of Appeals that a defendant is entitled to release on bail only, without the various onerous conditions that are typically imposed by the Court (State v. McMains); and prevailed at the Supreme Court in arguing that the policy of setting bail solely due to public safety concerns is unlawful (State v. Martin). These cases are routinely used by other defense lawyers in bail arguments before the district courts.

For all the ice fishing enthusiasts in the land of 10,000 lakes, Carson successfully argued in both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court that a DNR officer is required to obtain a warrant prior to entering an ice fishing house (State v. Larson).  As a result, the controlled substance charges against his client were dismissed.

Currently, Carson has a number of cases pending in the Court of Appeals where he has argued that a police officer is required to obtain a warrant prior to collecting blood and/or urine samples in DWI/DUI cases.

Carson lives in South Minneapolis and enjoys, amongst other things, golf, travel, and spending time with his two young children.

John N. Nelson's primary focus has been Criminal Defense since 1999.  As such, John is a seasoned veteran when it comes to Criminal Representation & Advocacy. It is important to note that John is admitted to both State and Federal Courts. John received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and undergraduate degree from University of Nebraska, Omaha. Moreover, although John is solely licensed in Minnesota, if you need assistance outside of Minnesota, you may still contact him so that he can make the determination if he might be of assistance.

John is a dedicated and experienced Criminal Defense Advocate. The trust he cultivates with clients is the very foundation of his practice and success with clients and community. John provides premium legal services to clients and works continuously to strengthen those relationships.

John does not wait until defendants are formally charged with a crime.  Early intervention is key because it gives us a head start on the prosecution — allowing more time to conduct investigations, interview witnesses, and research all legal options. Being proactive in a criminal case can often make the difference between facing misdemeanor or felony charges, or whether or not any charges are filed at all!

John is most enthusiastic about watching movies, reading mysteries, and watching college football.

Contact our firm for a free initial consultation today and get the experienced legal defense team of Heefner Nelson Law on your side! Call us at 1-651-289-5577 or e-mail us at to set up an appointment.


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Heefner Nelson Law
Attorneys At Law

   Trust & Integrity...the Key to a Successful Client Relationship

155 South Wabasha Street, Suite 125
St. Paul, Minnesota  55107
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Heefner Nelson Law represents clients within the state of Minnesota, which includes all seven Metro Counties and Greater Minnesota.

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