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The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant’s right to confront their accusers. If a person exercises their constitutional right to trial, then the prosecution must present the defendant’s accusers and subject them to cross examination by the defense. The Confrontation Clause demands this. However, with every great constitutional protection, there are exceptions. If the prosecution has statements it…

In our criminal justice system, a defendant has the constitutional right to confront their accusers at trial. If the accuser does not appear for trial, then the prosecution may not have as strong of a case, if any case at all. Knowing this, some defendants will attempt to tamper with the prosecution’s witnesses by trying…

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides protection against the government’s unreasonable searches and seizures for anyone on American soil. Even with this great constitutional protection, law enforcement can circumvent it to obtain information. One of these ways includes the third-party doctrine. This doctrine provides, in part, that outside entities who willingly turn…

Yesterday, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued one of the most anticipated opinions regarding DWI laws this term. The high court determined whether MN’s DWI forfeiture law was unconstitutional on its face; was unconstitutional as applied to the innocent owner of the vehicle; and was unconstitutional as applied to the driver of the vehicle. The court decided…

Recently, the Minnesota Court of Appeals dabbled with Pine Martens and Goshawks. While doing so, it reviewed the validity of a search warrant in State v. Bishop.  In Bishop, officers investigated a burglary of taxidermic mounts in a farm home. As law enforcement responded to the home, an officer knocked on the front door, a…

Minnesota appellate courts continue to beat down constitutional rights for drivers in MN DWI blood test cases.[1] This time, the onslaught continued in State v. Wood. While Appellant Wood’s unfortunate result was significantly impacted by unlucky timing, he also was on the receiving end of the appellate bench favoring search warrants over statutes. Importantly, Wood’s…

The constitutional right to have an attorney is firmly stamped in today’s modern legal system. Where the right to consult with an attorney begins and ends, however, is a more difficult area to address. This exact issue is being addressed on oral argument in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court on January 9, 2019. The…

For anyone who has dogs, or is familiar with the characteristics of them, you know that the sense of smell is impeccable. The canine sense of smell is so good, that police and other law enforcement agents have even used them in detecting criminal activity. More particularly, the presence of narcotics. The question then becomes…

Do you live in a house or an apartment? Or, some other abode? Why do we care? Depending on whether you occupy space on Boardwalk or Baltic Avenue, it will determine how much protection you have under the Fourth Amendment, at least according to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Recently, the court decided State v. Edstrom….

Ever walk in downtown Saint Paul or Minneapolis and an electric scooter whips by your ear? Yeah, me neither. These fun new methods of transportation are emerging in the twin cities as quickly as flies at a BBQ. Companies are dropping off these devices across the nation like fliers from a blimp. All you need…

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