Monthly Archives: July 2011

Overview of Search Warrants

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by governmental entities. A violation of an alleged offender’s Fourth Amendment rights can result in the exclusion or suppression of evidence. A warrant must be issued for searches that implicate the Fourth Amendment. To obtain a warrant, the person seeking it, …

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New Technology for Minnesota Law Enforcement Vehicles

Bloomington City Police Department recently joined a select few law enforcement agencies, including Lakeville, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Minnesota State Patrol, that are implementing a new technology. This new technology allows for squad cars to be equipped with cameras that are able to scan and read the license plates of up to 2,000 vehicles …

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U.S. Supreme Court Widens Police Powers

In a concerning 8-1 decision decided May 16, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded police search powers and greatly reduced the constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizures. The Fourth Amendment sets forth that 1) all searches and seizures must be reasonable, and 2) a search warrant may not be issued unless probable cause is …

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Codefendant’s Incriminating Statement Allowed into Evidence through Third Party

An incriminating statement made by a codefendant to a third party can come in through testimony from the third party the Court of Appeals held in a decision filed June 20, 2011. See State v. Usee. In this case, Appellant Abdulsalam Usee was jointly tried with co-defendant Ahmed Ali in-connection with a shooting of three …

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Murder Conviction Upheld in Death of Unborn Child

An attempt to withdraw a guilty plea was denied by the Minnesota Appellate Court in a decision filed July 5, 2011. See State of Minnesota vs. Paul Andrew Peterson. Appellant Paul Andrew Peterson attempted to withdraw a plea he entered to second-degree murder. The basis of his request was that he intended to cause the …

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New Ignition Interlock Driver’s License Program for DWI Offenders

As of July 1, 2011, the Minnesota DMV ceased issuing work permits or limited driver’s licenses to first-time DWI offenders whose alcohol concentration was above 0.15 and all to any repeat DWI offenders. In addition, driver’s license revocation and cancellation periods have also been substantially increased for DWI offenders. Instead of work permits, Minnesota Driver …

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Expungement Process Overview

For people who are concerned about previous convictions showing up on their criminal record, seeking an Expungement may be a viable option. Criminal records are public records, so a conviction that appears on a person’s criminal record may have negative effects when seeking employment or housing, among other things. An Expungement is a court order …

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