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It depends on what the meaning of the word “was” was. In a 4-3 decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court engaged in a battle of statutory interpretation to limit the scope of offenses eligible for expungement in State v. S.A.M. Even though the legislature’s most recent expungement law’s intent was to broaden the scope of possible…

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….

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…

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…

What happens to DWI cases in Minnesota while we await SCOTUS’s decision in Bernard?[1] Will judges be willing to stay all DWI cases until SCOTUS issues an opinion? Or, stay just DWI Refusal cases since that is what Bernard entails? Will judges force defense counsel to litigate the issue and force the losing party to…

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