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…

“What is wrong with a Breathalyzer test when it can save lots of lives…?”[1] “[A Breathalyzer] is about as uninvasive as a search can possibly be…”[2] “Suppose you could set up a system where somebody could be reached within 10 or 15 minutes, and they would, in almost all circumstances, give a warrant.” “…[w]hat would…

Cop:                “Will you take a breath test?” Driver:            “Get a warrant.” Cop:                “I don’t need one.” Driver:            “My attorney just said you do.” Cop:                “Your attorney is wrong.” Tomorrow, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) hears oral…

Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist? O’Brien: Of course he exists. Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me? O’Brien: You do not exist.[1] In today’s world, where can you go where there is not a camera? Whether seen, or unseen, you have a pretty good idea you are under constant surveillance the moment…

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