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Minneapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

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 § 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.

Second-degree murder: The facts you should know

If you have to face a murder charge, the last one you want to see come up is a first-degree charge. This is the most severe and can result in heavy penalties. Instead, if you can work to have the charge reduced to a second-degree murder charge, you'll face lower penalties and potentially have a better chance of defending yourself.

The best defense of any murder charge is created by looking at the facts of the case and manipulating them in a way that puts you in a good light. For example, if you have been accused of intending to murder a loved one over a long-time conflict, you'll want to show that you were nowhere near him or her at the time of the murder or that the conflict was previously resolved and not a factor in a murder that did take place.

Can you get medical marijuana in Minnesota?

Marijuana is legal in a few of the states in America, but it has not yet been legalized throughout to the dismay of many. What that means is that some people may have recreational marijuana in their homes in Oregon or Colorado, but if they have it in their possession in Minnesota, they could face a drug crime.

Is it fair? Many would say it is not, but that's the current state of marijuana-related laws in America.

First-degree murder is penalized harshly in Minnesota

First-degree murder is the most serious form of murder that you can be charged with. Not all murders are the same, so there are different kinds of killings that could be charged as first-degree murders. In all cases, there are factors called aggravating factors that play a role in the potential penalties you'll face.

In Minnesota, the one kind of murder that is seen as most heinous includes the killing of a child, spouse, witness or judge. People accused of these acts face the most severe penalties. Other serious murder offenses in Minnesota are those that take place during sexual crimes or burglaries.

New partnership's goal is to attack opioid epidemic

A new partnership between the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Duluth Police Department has one goal: to attack the opioid epidemic that is not only gripping the area, but also the entire country. The partnership was announced at the end of July. It will benefit all of St. Louis County as law enforcement agencies work to reduce the number of overdose deaths.

The partnership provides the Duluth Police Department with a new police officer who has received training from the DEA. This officer's duties will include investigating drug cases that center around opioid abuse and prescription drugs. The partnership also gives the Duluth Police Department access to nationwide labs operated by the DEA for investigations performed surrounding drugs.

Taking a look at the marijuana laws of Minnesota

The laws surrounding marijuana in the state of Minnesota changed greatly in 2014 when the state signed medical marijuana legislation into law. Marijuana has not been decriminalized in Minnesota, one of the many states in the country yet to decriminalize the drug. Here is a brief look at the marijuana laws of the state of Minnesota.

The following are the charges levied against subjects found with marijuana on their person in the state of Minnesota:

  • 42.5 grams or less: This is a petty misdemeanor that comes with a $200 fine and possible enrollment in a drug education course.
  • Possession of marijuana above 42.5 grams up to 10 kilograms: This is charged as a felony and comes with a fine of up to $5,000 and no more than five years in jail.
  • Possession of marijuana between 10 and 50 kilograms: This is also charged as a felony, but it comes with no more than 20 years in jail and up to a fine of $250,000.
  • Possession of marijuana between 50 and 100 kilograms: This is charged as a felony and it comes with no more than 25 years in jail and a fine of $500,000.
  • Possession of marijuana totaling 100 or more kilograms is charged as a felony and comes with jail time of no more than 30 years and a fine of $1,000,000.

The benefits of a defense plea bargain

Being charged with a federal crime can put you in a pretty bad situation. You will likely experience a lot of uncertainty about your future and what it entails. When you begin to create a defense to the federal crimes charges, you will likely consider looking into plea bargains. Plea bargains offer the following advantages.

Receiving a reduction in charges is one of the biggest advantages of using a plea bargain as a defense to a federal crime charge. This is the most common type of plea deal and helps you get a lesser charge on your record. A reduction in the charge might also give you access to privileges you might have lost with the original charge, such as a driver's license or the right to vote.

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