Case Law Updates


Failing to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle Ticket - Minnesota

In the hierarchy of traffic tickets, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle is one of the more serious offenses. Most of the time, it’s a simple petty misdemeanor offense (which is not considered a crime under Minnesota law). But, sometimes,…
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DWI Aggravating Factors - Supreme Court Clarification

The severity of a DWI in Minnesota depends on the number of aggravating factors, if any. If there are none, the DWI is a misdemeanor offense, with no statutory sentencing requirements. If one or more DWI aggravating factors are present, the DWI can b…
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Minnesota's Revenge Porn Law Ruled Unconstitutional

In December 2019, the Court of Appeals struck down Minnesota’s revenge porn law that made it illegal to “intentionally disseminate an image of another person who is depicted in a sexual act or whose intimate parts are exposed.” Minn. Stat.…
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Lying to Police is not Obstruction of Legal Process in Minnesota

Obstruction of legal process in Minnesota is a very serious charge, but it also can be overcharged by cops that are inpatient or simply out to get a defendant. One way in which we have seen it overcharged is when a defendant is not cooperating or lyi…
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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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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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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 b…
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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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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 warr…
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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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