In the legal world, deadlines are deadlines are deadlines (almost always). This is especially true when it comes to filing an implied consent petition which is usually filed in conjunction with a DUI case and today, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reiterated this message while it applied the 30 day hard-and-fast deadline to unique case:
The Oklahoma Court of Appeals recently sparked controversy after ruling that the state’s forcible sodomy law does not apply when the victim is intoxicated or unconscious. The same is not true for Minnesota, as the legislature has written the statute more broadly than the statute at issue in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma court’s decision stems from accusations against a 17-year-old boy for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old female classmate. According to reports, the female victim became incapacitated after consuming alcohol. Two of her friends carried her to the defendant’s vehicle, where he allegedly forced her to perform oral sex. He then brought the girl, who was conscious at that point, to her grandmother’s house, and the family transported her to the local hospital. After a sexual assault examination, testing revealed the defendant’s DNA on the female. Testing also determined that the female’s blood-alcohol content was .341 – over four times the legal limit to drive in Minnesota.
The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments today about the constitutionality of criminal DWI test refusal statutes. In Minnesota, when a driver has been arrested on probable cause for driving while impaired, a police officer can require the driver to take a test to determine blood alcohol concentration. The officer tells the driver he or she can consult with an attorney first, but must either consent to the test or be charged with a crime for refusing. If the driver refuses to submit to the test, he or she can be charged with a gross misdemeanor, which carries a maximum criminal penalty of up to 365 days in jail and a $3,000 fine. Currently, in Minnesota, officers are required to obtain warrants before forcing suspected drunk drivers to submit to blood or urine tests under the penalty of law. But officers do not need warrants for breath tests.
The recent Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling in State v. S.A.M. will have a big impact on Minnesotans seeking to expunge felony convictions. Unless the felony is one of those listed in Minn. Stat. § 609A.02, subd. 3(b), the conviction is not eligible for expungement.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recently announced that there were over 2,500 drunk driving arrests during this past holiday season. This was an increase from the same period the previous year. As the arrest numbers rose, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has issued opinions recently throwing DWI laws into flux..
At the end of each year, the focus is always on the “top” – the top news stories, the top photographs, the top celebrity break-ups, the top restaurants, and even the top hashtags. As you review 2015, in no particular order, here is our “Top Criminal Law Changes in Minnesota.”