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St. Cloud Minnesota Criminal Defense Law Blog

No Expectation of Privacy in Hotel Records

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in State v. Leonard that a hotel guest has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information they voluntarily provide to a hotel operator.

In Leonard, the appellant, Mr. Leonard, rented a room at a hotel in Bloomington. In doing so, he provided his driver's license information to the hotel clerk. Police officers arrived at the hotel and requested a guest list from the hotel's registration records. The hotel clerk provided officers with the guest list, showing Mr. Leonard as a current guest. Officers went to Mr. Leonard's room and knocked on the door. After some interactions and observations, Mr. Leonard was placed under arrest and charged multiple counts of check forgery.READ MORE...

How Will My Felony Case Resolve?

Many of our clients come to us during the scariest moments of their lives. They've never been in trouble before, and now they are charged with a felony. A common question we are asked is, "Am I going to prison?" Unfortunately, we cannot tell anyone for certain how their case will resolve, but we do inform them of the possibilities.

In Minnesota, a felony case can resolve in several ways. The case could be dismissed, or it could end with an executed prison sentence. In between those two extremes are several options. We'll explain each option starting at one end of the spectrum, a dismissal, and proceeding all the way to the other end, where you become a "guest" of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

What Is Going To Happen At My First Court Appearance?

For many people, the thought of appearing in court for criminal charges is terrifying. What will happen? What will the judge say? What should I say? Am I going to jail?

At your first appearance in court on a criminal charge, generally four things happen. First, the judge will ask if you are the person named in the complaint. Second, the judge will make sure that you have been advised of and understand your constitutional rights. Third, the judge will ask if you understand the charges against you. Last, the judge will set release conditions. READ MORE...

Can I Get a DWI Driving on a Frozen Lake?

With colder weather upon us, many Minnesotans will be taking to the ice in search of a bucket of a fresh fish to fry up for dinner. Some have had better luck than others. For those who were hoping to find Crappie City but instead only caught Bottle Bass, the question of, "Can I get a DWI out here on the ice?" might have crossed their mind. READ MORE...

Driver Successfully Challenges Constitutionality of DWI Forfeiture Statute

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in Megan Ashley Olson, et al., v. One 1999 Lexus MN License Plate No. 851LDV VIN: JT6HF10U6X0079461 that the DWI forfeiture statute, as applied to Ms. Olson, is unconstitutional.

Minnesota Statute § 169A.63 governs when a vehicle may be forfeited. In Minnesota, when someone is arrested for a "designated offense"-First Degree DWI, Second Degree DWI, getting a DWI while your driver's license is canceled as inimical to public safety, or getting a DWI while driving with an alcohol-restricted license-the vehicle they are driving at the time of the offense is subject to forfeiture. When this happens, the driver can contest the validity of the forfeiture by filing a demand for judicial determination. READ MORE...

Keep Your Pistol Out Of Arm's Reach When Under The Influence

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled recently in State v. Prigge that a person under the influence of alcohol who is driving a vehicle with a pistol within arm's reach can be charged with a crime.

In Prigge, the defendant was arrested for DWI. Law enforcement performed an inventory search of the vehicle after the arrest. During the search, law enforcement found a loaded pistol in the center console. The defendant was charged with violating Minnesota Statute § 624.7142, subd. 1(4). READ MORE...

Why Did I Get A Ticket For A Fender Bender?

Many Minnesotans will find themselves on the side of the road this winter with their flashers on having just been in a fender bender. Unfortunately, the hassle of getting your car repaired may not be the only thing you have to deal with. You may receive a citation for failing to drive with due care. READ MORE...