The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that 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 the same day as the court’s decision in State v. Trahan[1] which ruled that it is also unconstitutional to charge someone with refusing…

This week, the Minnesota Supreme Court continued Its barrage against Fourth Amendment protections. In State v. Fawcett, Justice Gildea wrote for the majority (4-3) in a holding that allows police officers to search for evidence of controlled substances in a person’s blood after it was analyzed for evidence of alcohol despite a lack of probable…

We recently blogged ad nauseam about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bernard v. Minnesota and its impact on DWI laws, especially in Minnesota. But the most important Fourth Amendment decision from the Court’s 2016 term is Utah v. Strieff. As a result, a police officer may illegally stop someone, see if they have an…

Ever wonder if someone is listening to your conversation when you are in a courthouse? Or, even standing outside the building on the courthouse steps? The answer may very well be yes – the government may be listening and they may be doing so without a warrant. Conversations around courthouses occur every day when court…

As the dust settles on the United States Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision in Bernard v. Minnesota, what happens to DWI cases in Minnesota? The answer mainly depends on what type of test the driver took or refused to take. Breath Tests SCOTUS gave Its stamp of approval on Minnesota’s DWI Refusal law as it applies…

The wait is over. Last Thursday, the United States Supreme Court finally decided Bernard v. Minnesota.[1] Justice Alito’s thirty-eight-page opinion for the majority can be summed up with the following: breath testing is less invasive than blood testing; therefore the states can criminalize refusing to submit to a breath test in a DWI case, but…

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…

Every day law enforcement officers across the country are seeking search warrants. To do so, they often prepare a search warrant affidavit, or application, and provide it to a judicial officer for approval. The affidavit must establish probable cause that evidence of criminal activity will be found in the area to be searched or the…

d Why did the Minnesota Supreme Court publish an opinion on a stop issue in a routine DWI case last week in State v. Morse? Stop issues are often challenged at the district court level; and sometimes taken to the court of appeals. But the Minnesota Supreme Court? Unlike the court of appeals, it does…

Warrants, warrants, warrants. Who needs them? There are so many delightful exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement that cops can often find a way around the cumbersome process of securing a warrant. All they have to do is pick from a smorgasbord of exceptions, such as: consent, search incident to arrest, exigent circumstances, plain…

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