21
Jul

Restitution in Minnesota - Direct Causation Required

Over the past few decades, the criminal justice system has endured a massive change in its treatment of alleged crime victims and offenders. Those accused of committing crimes have been subject to increasingly punitive outcomes, both in law and publi…
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20
Mar

Flipping the Bird to Cops - Not a Basis for the Cop to Stop You (Federal Court Decision)

Let’s be honest. How many times have we wanted to flip the bird to a cop after pulling us over for a mundane traffic violation? Countless? Maybe just a couple? Either way, it’s probably crossed our minds when we think the minor infraction…
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28
Jun

SCOTUS Opinion - Warrant Required to Get Cell Phone Tower Records

In a surprising decision in Carpenter v. U.S., the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that law enforcement must have a warrant in order to seek historical cell phone tower records that can accurately identify the location of a person…
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1
Mar

Carrying While Under the Influence

In Minnesota, it is illegal to be carrying while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. The offense can be either a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor, requiring possible jail and/or a heavy fine, not to mention revocation of the pers…
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6
Sep

Drug Detection Dog Search in a Secured Apartment Building - Get a Warrant!

This week, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an important decision, pulling back the expanding usage of drug detection dogs for searches of controlled substances. In State v. Edstrom, the Court of Appeals held that law enforcement must get a war…
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13
Jul

Evidence at Restitution Hearings

A common part of sentencing is restitution – which is supposed to repay any victim the out of pocket losses they sustained as a result of the crime. As you can probably imagine, restitution requests can lead to a lot of issues, particularly whe…
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3
Feb

CVO - Defining 'Operation'

Criminal vehicular operation (CVO) is a charge with steep and long-lasting consequences. Central to a CVO is that the defendant was “operating” the motor vehicle. This differs than the DWI law – which has similar fact patterns ̵…
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31
Aug

State Can Dismiss and Re-file in Bad Faith - Supreme Court Decision

Last summer, the Court of Appeals decided that it is bad faith for a prosecutor to dismiss a case, with the express intent to re-file criminal charges against the same defendant, after a Court had denied a continuance request. The Court of Appeals pr…
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7
Jul

SCOTUS Ruling - Gun Rights Are Lost Following Domestic Assault Convictions

The Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled in Voisine v. United States that a reckless domestic assault is considered a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. This is significant because the 1996 Lautenberg Amendment bans firearm possessi…
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24
Jun

RIP 4th Amendment - Part 1 - Utah v. Strieff Decision

In an era where the 2nd Amendment is untouchable, the 4th Amendment is nearing extinction due to two rulings this week by the U.S. Supreme Court. Before getting into the first decision – Utah v. Strieff – let’s remind ourselves of…
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