Does a “Felony Stop” Require Reasonable Suspicion or Probable Cause? Routine traffic stops involve an officer turning their emergency lights on, pulling a vehicle over to the side of the road, and the officer calmly walks up to the vehicle. In a felony traffic stop (“felony stop”), the officer(s) usually stay back at their squad…

What is considered a firearm for MN ineligible in possession offenses? Minnesota law prohibits certain people from possessing firearms or ammunition. If convicted of being ineligible in possession of a firearm, it subjects the person to a mandatory minimum prison sentence according to the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Therefore, it is crucially important to not only…

Marijuana DWI Conviction Requires Actually Being Under the Influence of Marijuana You can get a Marijuana DWI in Minnesota. But, under Minnesota law, you must actually be under the influence of marijuana. Mere presence of marijuana in your system is not enough. Recently, the Minnesota Court of Appeals addressed this topic in State v. Berger….

California Reforms Probation Length; Minnesota Should Follow Recently, California’s Governor signed a significant criminal justice reform bill. The new law will limit the maximum time a person may be on probation or parole in certain circumstances. For misdemeanors, the limit will be one year. For felony offenses, the limit will be two years! There are…

On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed a driver’s license revocation from one of our very own cases in LaClair v. Commissioner of Public Safety.  In ruling in our favor, the court of appeals touched on a popular topic: when is law enforcement allowed to enter private property? Constitutionally protected areas, such as a…

High Percentage of False Positives in Bite Mark Evidence  Forensic odontologists who analyze bite mark evidence rely on two foundational premises. The first is that human skin is a suitable medium to capture data from, which as we discussed in our last post, is not true due to the elasticity of the skin. The second…

The Science of Bite Mark Evidence The use of bite mark evidence in the court room has been a widely accepted practice for decades. The science seems to make sense when looking at the surface; however, dig a little deeper and you will see the flaws behind the science of bite mark evidence making many…

Objects Hanging from Your Rearview Mirror Can Get You Pulled Over You’ve seen it. You may have done it yourself. You may have something hanging from it right now. Objects hanging from your rearview mirror can get you pulled over by law enforcement in Minnesota. The rearview mirror is a popular place to hang your…

Believe it or not, Minnesota courts often engage in defining simple words, such as “stop” and “at”. This exercise even occurs at Minnesota’s highest court – the supreme court. Recently, it did just that in State v. Gibson, Jr. This case addressed whether a peace officer has a lawful basis to stop a driver who…

Recently, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the principle that old DWI Refusal convictions may be thrown out if a peace officer requested a blood test without a warrant and without an exception to the warrant requirement. The vast majority of cases applicable to this situation will be from before the seminal cases in 2016….

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