“Have you been drinking?” Legal Question Says MN Supreme Court During DWI Traffic Stop  Recently, the Minnesota Supreme Court waded into the waters of DWI traffic stops. In State v. Taylor, a cop approached a driver and asked him if he had been drinking. What is so wrong with that question, you ask? The officer…

New License Plate Impoundment / Whiskey Plates Law Whiskey Plates or Special Registration Plates are a requirement for drivers and vehicle owners who have been served an Order of License Plate Impoundment pursuant to DWI offenses. The Minnesota Legislature recently enacted a new law that allows for people to remove whiskey plates from their vehicles…

Legalities of CBD, Delta-8, and Other Hemp & Cannabis Products: 2018 Federal Farm Bill Recently, you likely noticed an inundation of new hemp products. There are hemp lotions, hemp teas, hemp fabrics, hemp straws, and hemp disposable utensils. And, even hemp seeds in food products! Scientists can more freely study the medical benefits and side…

Mentally Incapacitated Does Not Include Voluntary Intoxication in MN Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases: State v. Khalil Recently, Minnesota’s Supreme Court addressed the definition of mental incapacitation in the criminal sexual conduct statutes in State v. Khalil. Specifically, the court evaluated whether mental incapacitation includes someone who is voluntary intoxicated. Focusing on the word “voluntary”, the…

Should a Defendant Testify at Trial? Should a defendant testify at trial? This is one of the biggest strategic decisions for defense lawyers and their clients to make during a criminal jury trial. Regardless of what the criminal defense lawyer advises their client to do, the defendant holds the absolute power to make the final…

Does a “Felony Stop” Require Reasonable Suspicion or Probable Cause? Routine traffic stops involve an officer turning their emergency lights on, pulling a vehicle over to the side of the road, and the officer calmly walks up to the vehicle. In a felony traffic stop (“felony stop”), the officer(s) usually stay back at their squad…

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides protection against the government’s unreasonable searches and seizures for anyone on American soil. Even with this great constitutional protection, law enforcement can circumvent it to obtain information. One of these ways includes the third-party doctrine. This doctrine provides, in part, that outside entities who willingly turn…

Recently, the Minnesota Court of Appeals dabbled with Pine Martens and Goshawks. While doing so, it reviewed the validity of a search warrant in State v. Bishop.  In Bishop, officers investigated a burglary of taxidermic mounts in a farm home. As law enforcement responded to the home, an officer knocked on the front door, a…

Ever walk in downtown Saint Paul or Minneapolis and an electric scooter whips by your ear? Yeah, me neither. These fun new methods of transportation are emerging in the twin cities as quickly as flies at a BBQ. Companies are dropping off these devices across the nation like fliers from a blimp. All you need…

“[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…

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