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“[W}hen it comes to the Fourth Amendment, the home is first among equals.”[1] Justice Sotomayor authored an important opinion in the bout between the Automobile Exception and the Curtilage Doctrine in Collins v. Virginia.[2] The Court held the automobile exception did not permit an officer to enter the curtilage of a home without a warrant…

Challenging Marijuana’s Classification as a Schedule I Controlled Substance What do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, all have in common?[1] (Hint—it’s not the U.S. presidency.) The answer: all have grown, encouraged others to grow, or have used marijuana.[2]…

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”[1] Few presidents, if any, match the effort President Obama made towards criminal justice reform. As a priority in his administration, Obama was the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. He commuted “more federal sentences than [his] eleven predecessors combined.”[2] He “consoled the families of fallen…

Recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals in a drug case addressing two important issues: (1) the proper standard of review for a district court’s conclusions of law in appeals by the State; and (2) whether a dog-sniff of a car was supported by reasonable articulable suspicion. This blog is two parts….

Drugs are a major problem in our society leaving many individuals trapped in a vicious cycle that controls their lives. The desperation caused by drugs can lead individuals to make very serious decisions with very serious consequences. Often, those consequences become part of a circle leading to deeper desperation and reliance upon substances. How do…

In State v. Schmidt, a police officer was patrolling the area of a known drug house. The officer noticed Schmidt’s vehicle parked at the house and knew Schmidt did not have a valid driver’s license. The officer waited for Schmidt to leave the house and initiated a traffic stop. The officer then peppered Schmidt with…

Cops do not always need a warrant to search you, your vehicle, or your home. Searches conducted without a warrant are unreasonable, unless one of the many exceptions to the warrant requirement exist. Some of these exceptions include: consent, exigent circumstances, search incident to arrest, the plain view doctrine, inventory searches, Terry stop and frisk,…

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