Minneapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Minnesota criminal defense attorney Matthew Mankey has three decades of experience in representing people facing charges of domestic assault.

A common question Mankey Law Office hears is "What if my significant other wants to drop the domestic assault charges against me?"

Once the police get involved and charges are filed for domestic assault, what was once a private has now morphed into the State of Minnesota v. Defendant. It is very difficult to get the government out of your private business once it has its prosecutorial hooks into a couple's relationship.

UNLAWFUL SEARCHES: INVALID SEARCH WARRANTS CAN RESULT IN CRIMINAL CASE DISMISSALS

Many prosecutions of criminal cases involving drug offenses begin with the execution of a search warrant. It is essential that the warrant affidavit -- the document a law enforcement officer presents to a judge to justify the issuance of a warrant -- be scrutinized for accuracy. Ensuring the affidavit's accuracy can be the make or break moment in a case involving alleged drug offenses.

Alleged Sex Crimes Involving Children: Children's Statements in Videotaped Forensic Interviews

Sex crimes involving alleged child victims present unique challenges on many issues, but particularly the admissibility of the alleged victim's statements alleging abuse.

It is imperative that a defense lawyer understand the rules, exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions about whether and how the State may use the alleged victim's statements accusing a person of a sex crime. An experienced criminal defense attorney should challenge these statements at every opportunity: in pre-trial evidentiary or dismissal motions, and at trial.

Dog Sniff at Apartment Door only Requires Reasonable Suspicion

Recently Mankey Law Office was retained to defend a client charged with two counts of felony threats of violence. It was alleged that the client threatened neighbors with a gun over a dispute involving the neighbors pit bulls. The client had a clean criminal history and vehemently denied engaging in the behavior. After careful review of the body camera footage worn by the responding officers it became clear that the allegations made by the complainants simply could not have happened as was reported. The Ramsey County Attorney assigned to the case listened carefully at the pretrial conference and agreed to re-review the video taking into account the problems that Mr. Mankey saw with the State's case. After she did so she decided that the case should be dismissed. We are happy for the outcome for our client but we also believe that the prosecutor should be commended. Our criminal justice system is designed to be adversarial and it is rare indeed when a prosecutor seeks a just result rather than blindly seeking a conviction for every case charged. This is how the system is supposed to work. We are pleased with this result.

Probable cause no longer the standard for canine searches

Recently Mankey Law Office received a favorable ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals in the unpublished case of State of Minnesota v. Cabbott James Weyker, No. A18-0786. The Office of the State Public Defender requested that Mankey Law Office write the Appellate Brief and argue the case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The facts are as follows: After receiving a tip from different officer from another jurisdiction that an informant had told him that Weyker was a methamphetamine dealer without providing any basis for the information, Officer Peter Meyer brought a drug detection dog to the door of Mr. Weyker's apartment. The dog alerted at the threshold of Mr. Weyker's apartment door, and police used this information to obtain a search warrant to search the apartment where ammunition and methamphetamine were found. The State charged Mr. Weyker with Controlled Substance Crime in the 5th Degree and possession of ammunition by an ineligible person. The District Court dismissed the case reasoning that a warrant based on probable cause was needed before the dog sniff occurred.

Availability in labor opening up opportunities for those with criminal past

The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published an article in which it reports that the shortage of available labor is opening up employment opportunities for people who have served time in prison. This is good news not only for the former convicts but also for society at large. The article reports that close to 60% of Minnesota inmates are back in prison within two years of their release. Giving former offenders the ability to work with dignity is perhaps the best way to insure that inmates do not re-offend and return to prison. We at Mankey Law Office have been asserting this for years. It should surprise no one that people return to prison when employers refuse to hire former inmates. In a country that incarcerates more people per capita than any other industrialized country it is imperative that former offenders be given at least an opportunity to lead a productive lives.

Minnesota Supreme Court expands the prohibition of carrying a pistol while intoxicated

The Minnesota Supreme Court this week greatly expanded the prohibition of carrying a pistol while intoxicated. Mr. Prigge was stopped in a motor vehicle for suspicion of driving while under the influence. A search of the vehicle revealed that there was a handgun in the center console. Prigge was subsequently charged with DWI and carrying a pistol while under the influence pursuant to Minnesota Statute ยง 624.7142 subd. 1(4) (2016) Mr. Prigge successfully argued to the District Court that the charge of carrying a firearm "about his clothes or person" while under the influence of alcohol should be suppressed because a gun in the center console was not "about his clothes or person." The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the charge reasoning that there needed to be a "physical nexus" between a person's clothes or person and the pistol. The Minnesota Supreme Court however disagreed. They determined that this analysis ignored the word "about" in the statute. About is defined as "in the vicinity" or "in the immediate neighborhood." Using these dictionary definitions of the word "about" the Supreme Court concluded that in the context of the statute that prohibits carrying a pistol while intoxicated boils down to having the pistol either on one's person or "in one's personal vicinity defined as within arm's reach.

Wax: Illegal in Minnesota

Using or abusing drugs is a difficult habit to break, but it doesn't necessarily make you a bad person. Trying drugs even a single time could result in your getting hooked, and it's important for people to realize the damage it has already done.

If you're caught using or selling it, wax is one drug that could get you into deep trouble with the law. It's a brown-colored drug made up of concentrated THC. THC is a cannabinoid, which comes from marijuana. The THC is the psychoactive substance in the plant, making it likely to cause hallucinations and other side effects.

Marijuana possession or sales lead to felonies in Minnesota

If you enjoy smoking marijuana, you probably already know that it's not legal in Minnesota. Recreationally using marijuana is only legal in a few states, but that doesn't mean you won't face charges if you buy, sell or possess marijuana in Minnesota.

Is that fair? In some ways, it isn't. Federally, marijuana is not legal, either, though, so even in states where marijuana is legal, it's possible to be arrested or charged for using marijuana.

Welfare fraud: Accusations could lead to losing assistance

If you're entitled to public assistance, you might receive benefits like compensation from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or direct cash assistance. To obtain these benefits you have to go before a social worker and discuss your case. Making any false claims during that visit could result in a charge for welfare fraud if your obtain benefits you don't deserve because of them.

Welfare fraud is described as making a false statement or misrepresenting your situation in a way that affects your eligibility. For example, if your spouse works but you do not, claiming that your home has no income since you have no income is a misrepresentation of your circumstances.

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Mankey Law Office
5500 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 1025
Golden Valley, MN 55416

Phone: 612-424-9454
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  • MACDL | Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell | Distinguished | Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement | 2019
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  • NACDL | National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers