First of all, is texting while driving illegal? Yes. According to Minnesota Statute §169.475 Subd. 2 when a vehicle is in motion or part of traffic, the person operating the vehicle upon a street or highway is prohibited from using a wireless communications device to compose, send, or read an electronic message. In addition to texting, drivers are prohibited from...
On August 1, 2019, a new hands-free driving law went into effect in Minnesota. In general, this law prohibits the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Minnesota has joined 16 other states and Washington D.C. in banning handhold cellphone use while driving. What Can I Do Under the New Law? The new law allows a driver to use their...
In Minnesota, it’s illegal to possess marijuana, but not hemp. So what’s the difference? Basically, both hemp and marijuana come from cannabis plants. Hemp is marijuana with low-levels of THC, which is tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. In Minnesota, hemp is cannabis with a THC concentration at or below 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis....
Beginning August 1, 2018, a new law in Minnesota will criminally penalize people who lie about service animals. Under the law, it is a crime to knowingly misrepresent an animal as an assistance animal in a public place to obtain rights and privileges available to someone who qualifies for a service animal. Minn. Stat. § 609.833 (2018). The new law...
Who knows?! The constitutionality of license plate readers has yet to be challenged head on. Federal courts have decided that scans by license plate readers are constitutional searches that do not require a warrant because the plates are out in public, plain view and so there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. U.S. v. Diaz-Castaneda, 494 F.3d 1146, (9th Cir....
First of all, if you are reading this while driving, PLEASE STOP. You should never do anything while driving that could distract and put you at risk of an accident. We are all guilty of this on some level. Changing the radio station or talking with passengers while driving is distracting, but certainly not illegal. Talking on your phone while...
Highly unlikely. Over the past decade or two, dashboard-mounted police squad vehicle cameras have proliferated across Minnesota law enforcement agencies. Accordingly, squad video has become common evidence in cases involving traffic stops. But just because squad video may not exist in some criminal cases, that does not mean the prosecutor will dismiss the case. In these situations, it just means...
Electronic messages are defined by the statute as “self-contained piece[s] of digital communication that [are] designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices.” Examples include e-mail, text messages, instant messages, or commands or requests to access the internet. However, voice calls or automatically transmitted alerts are not considered electronic messages.
“Professor” Mike Brandt presented yesterday at the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Criminal Law seminar, “Everything But the Trial School.” He talked about tips and tricks for effective motion practice, based on his many years of experience.
The Minnesota Legislature and Governor Dayton enacted sweeping reforms to Minnesota’s expungement laws, which took effect January 1, 2015. A person’s criminal record aspect of their defense is perhaps second in importance only to their liberty. Minnesota has two distinct types of expungements: either you qualify for an expungement pursuant to statute, or you qualify pursuant to the court’s inherent...
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