When people are stopped on suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), officers might request that they complete a series of tests known as Field Sobriety Tests. These are a battery of tests developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine whether a driver is impaired. What kind of tests are they? The standard Field Sobriety Tests developed...
It is no secret that people do not always face the same consequences for committing the same crimes. Whether it be racial disparity, economic inequality, or something else entirely, there are always factors to consider when analyzing what affects sentencing outcomes. What are collateral consequences? Imagine that two young men are both arrested for the same crime, for example—marijuana possession....
Since the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, two rallying cries have been consistent – “Justice for George” and “Defund the Police.” The first one is self-explanatory, but what does the City Council mean when it pledges to defund the police? First, it’s important to note that defunding the police does not mean ending emergency services or even...
The Office is an iconic television series that was known for placing its characters in awkward and uncomfortable situations. In the episode “Dinner Party,” Michael (the boss) invites his employees over for a relaxing get together where Michael attempts to solicit funds for his ex-boss/girlfriend Jan’s failing candle company. Instead of a relaxing dinner party, Michael’s guests are treated to...
Following the tragic death of George Floyd, many wondered whether Derek Chauvin would be charged with murder, and if so, what degree of murder would he be charged with. After finding out Derek Chauvin was charged with 2rd degree murder, 3rd degree murder, and 2nd degree manslaughter, you might be wondering, why? Many people know that 1st degree murder is...
A recent Minnesota Court of Appeals case, Hagerman v. Minnesota, reversed a DWI test refusal conviction for being unconstitutional! The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. In the DWI context, administering a chemical test via breath, blood, or urine is a search. For a chemical test to be valid, police must either obtain a warrant or the test...
Yes, you can be charged with a DWI while sleeping in your parked car. Per Minnesota DWI Statute, it is a crime for any person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle while under the influence. Being in "physical control" of the vehicle only requires you to be within proximity of the vehicle controls and...
You may have noticed somebody driving a vehicle that has a license plate that looks different than the typical Minnesota license plate. Rather than loons or some other outdoor scene, these plates are plain black-and-white and many times start with the letter W. You may wonder why they have these plates. The answer is that they likely have these special...
In the early morning hours of Friday, May 29, 2020, amidst the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis, a CNN Correspondent and his crew were arrested on a street south of downtown Minneapolis while giving a live television report. Omar Jimenez, the CNN correspondent, was reporting near the police precinct building that was set on fire earlier. Mr. Jimenez was holding...
What is a first appearance? A first appearance is where the court informs the person being accused of the charge(s) against them, what the person’s rights are, and it is the first time the person being accused may enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. This is also when the court sets bail and conditions of release. What...
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