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November 2018 Archives

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Recently Mankey Law Office received a favorable ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals in the unpublished case of State of Minnesota v. Cabbott James Weyker, No. A18-0786.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.

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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