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Many people ask the question, or at least think of it: should I get a public defender for my case? The best thing to do before getting too engulfed in the thought is figure out if you are deemed financially eligible for a public defender. Every county court in Minnesota has application forms to apply…

Last week, we discussed State v. Lugo,[1] a case addressing two distinct issues: (1) the proper standard of review for a trial court’s conclusion of law in an appeal by the State; and (2) whether a dog-sniff was supported by reasonable articulable suspicion. Today, we will discuss the opinion’s lesson on appellate standards of review: that…

Sex offender registration laws, limiting what sex offenders can and cannot do, are intended to protect the public. In today’s technological age, however, these restrictions can make it extremely difficult for sex offenders who completed their sentence to function in everyday society. We know what you’re thinking: “is inconveniencing people convicted of a sex crime…

When a person hears that someone is charged with a crime, the first thing they probably think to themselves is “well, did they do it? Are they guilty?” Do they ever think “is this even a crime?” Despite the fact there may be no due process right more fundamental than the one that laws must…

This week, the Minnesota Court of Appeals limited the scope of offenses eligible for expungement in State v. S.A.M. Once Minnesota’s new expungement law took effect last year, a wide array of offenses suddenly became eligible for expungement.[1] Virtually every petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and gross misdemeanor conviction became eligible for expungement under specific conditions.[2] Additionally,…

In the United States, more than 2.2 million people are currently serving prison sentences. That is a staggering number of individuals who not only are unable to contribute to society, but for whom society must provide. It is widely accepted that some individuals deserve punishment and that others must be separated from the general population. But,…

Using a “canned” speech while reviewing a plea petition with a client who is not a U.S. citizen teeters on the brink of ineffective assistance of counsel. Recently, the Minnesota Court of Appeals determined a defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel when his lawyer advised him he would not be deported for pleading guilty to…

Harry: Lloyd, I can’t feel my fingers, they’re – they’re numb! Lloyd: Oh, well, here. Take this extra pair of gloves, my hands are starting to get a little sweaty. Harry: Extra gloves? You’ve had extra gloves this whole time? Lloyd: Uh, yeah, we’re in the Rockies! Harry: I’m gonna kill you![1] Did Harry actually…

Minnesota’s DWI Refusal law took another hit on Monday. The court of appeals determined it is unconstitutional to charge someone with refusing to submit to a urine test in a DWI case in State v. Thompson. The decision came on the heels of the court of appeals’ opinion in State v. Trahan,[1] which ruled charging…

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