You were recently pulled over for a minor traffic violation. The officer walked up to your vehicle, stated they smelled the odor of marijuana and asked if you had been smoking. You responded that you hadn’t. The officer asked if you have any marijuana on you and you again responded in the negative. The officer then asked if you could...
One’s right to a speedy trial is guaranteed under both the United States Constitution (VI amendment) and the Minnesota Constitution (Article I, Section 6). In Minnesota, defendants hold the right to request a speedy trial. Once a plea other than “guilty” is entered and the demand for a speedy trial is made by a defendant or prosecutor, the trial is...
A police officer is someone who is supposed to protect people and keep communities safe. But during the Parkland, Florida school shooting in 2018 the school resource officer, Scot Peterson, stood outside the school not doing enough to mitigate the situation, according to prosecutors in Florida. Meanwhile, innocent students lost their lives inside. However, Mr. Peterson said he did respond,...
Some states have a “stand your ground” law, which means that a person does not need to back down from an attacker before they can use deadly force. Minnesota has something different, called a “duty to retreat” rule, which means that the person must back away from the confrontation if it is possible and backing down does not put them...
Under the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution and under the Minnesota Constitution, the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits a person from being prosecuted twice for the same crime by stating, “No person shall…be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…” This constitutional provision prevents the government from having multiple chances to re-charge...
This question is similar to the age-old philosophical query "if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" But in order to get a DWI, someone would have to see you do something. For example, a citizen bystander could report your driving to the cops, who could come into...
Voluntary intoxication means that a person voluntarily decided to get intoxicated. For example, if a person goes into a bar and consumes enough alcohol to be intoxicated, that person can be said to be voluntarily intoxicated. When it comes to criminal law, voluntary intoxication can be a defense to a crime. However, this defense is only available for certain crimes....
A Harassment Restraining Order or Order for Protection is a civil filing, not a criminal case. Therefore, a HRO or OFP will not show up on someone’s criminal record. However, a violation of an OFP or HRO can result in a criminal conviction with either a guilty plea or a guilty verdict after a trial. A criminal conviction most certainly...
The short answer is yes, as well as in many other circumstances. In Minnesota, all personal property is subject to forfeiture if it was used or intended to be used to commit a designated offense. Designated offenses include a felony violation of the following: Unlawful Transfer or Sale of Recordings (Minn. Stat. § 325E.17); Unlawful Identity of Transferor (Minn. Stat....
In Minnesota, citizens are protected from improper and illegal law enforcement practices. One defense to certain criminal charges is the entrapment defense. Entrapment exists where it appears law enforcement officers “lured the accused into committing an offense which he otherwise would not have committed and had no intention of committing.” See State v. Grilli, 230 N.W.2d 445 (Minn. 1975). It...
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