Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney obtains warrant quashed and discharge from probation

September 9th, 2019

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins warrant quashed and discharge from probation

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson got an eight (8) year old warrant quashed for a client who lived out of state, and also obtained his discharge from probation.  Ms. Torgerson accomplished this without having to have her client come back to Minnesota for court.

Initially, Ms. Torgerson’s client’s misdemeanor DWI charged was reduced to a misdemeanor careless driving.  Then, prior to completing his probationary requirements, he had to move to another state to attend college.  Because he had not completed his probation requirements, in 2011, a warrant was issued for his arrest.  While living in another state, around six (6) years later, he was convicted of DWI.  In connection with the DWI in another state, he served three (3) days in jail, completed a MADD Victim Impact class, and Ms. Torgerson had him complete an additional sixteen (16) hours of community service.  Ms. Torgerson worked out a resolution whereby his out of state three (3) days jail could be applied to the 2 days STS Minnesota required, have the MADD class apply to his Minnesota 1 Day Program requirement, and use the extra day of jail and 2 days community service apply to the Minnesota probation violation.  Consequently, he was deemed to have satisfied his Minnesota sentence, the warrant was quashed,  his Minnesota probation deemed conditions satisfied, and he was discharged from probation without having to return to Minnesota for court.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson wins dismissal of obstruction of legal process

September 9th, 2019

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtains dismissal of obstruction of legal process

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson obtains dismissal of gross misdemeanor obstruction of legal process out of the County of Dakota, State of Minnesota.  Ms. Torgerson’s client, a young man, was charged with gross misdemeanor obstruction of legal process and misdemeanor trespass, out of the City of Eagan.  Fortunately, the gross misdemeanor obstruction of legal process charge was dismissed, and the trespass was reduced to a petty misdemeanor.  In Minnesota, a petty misdemeanor is not a crime, and, only a fine may be imposed.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Defendant falsely impersonated drug task force

September 12th, 2019

Intent required in burglary conviction where defendant impersonated drug task force

In a direct appeal from convictions of second and third degree burglary, bribery, and fleeing a police officer, defendant argued, inter alia, that his burglary convictions must be reversed because the State failed to present sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to permanently deprive the victim of possession of her property.  Noting that defendant returned to the victim’s house after the victim reported that her belongings had been rummaged through, that defendant falsely claimed to be part of a drug task force and had a toy sheriff’s badge, and that defendant had the victim’s key in his possession, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded the evidence was sufficient to prove intent.  Affirmed.

State v. Nelson, A18-1482, Pine County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Civil rights §1983 claim

September 13th, 2019

Whether defendants were protected by qualified immunity in §1983 claim?

Plaintiff filed a §1983 excessive force suit against defendants, alleging they used excessive force while arresting plaintiff and her minor son.  Defendants appealed the denial of their summary judgment motion, arguing that they were entitled to qualified immunity.

Where video evidence supported finding that plaintiff engaged in aggressive or non-compliant behavior, plaintiff and her son did not have a clearly established right to be free from being shocked with a Taser by officers attempting to arrest them and thus the officers were entitled to qualified immunity.  Judgment is reversed and remanded.

Rudley v. Little Rock Police Department, appealed from the Eastern District of Arkansas, 18-2533, Wollman, J.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felony threats of violence

September 16th, 2019

Evidence was sufficient in felony threats of violence case out of St. Louis County, State of Minnesota

Defendant challenged the postconviction court’s order denying relief from his conviction for threats of violence, arguing that (1) his statement does not constitute a threat of violence as a matter of law, (2) the evidence is insufficient to support his threat of violence conviction, and (3) the trial court abused its discretion in instructing the jury.  The Minnesota Court of Appeal concluded that defendant’s statement that complainant “need[ed] to get right with God because the end of time for you is coming real f—– soon” constituted a threat of violence, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in its jury instructions.  Affirmed.

Klimek v. State, A19-0065, St. Louis County

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Misdemeanor certified as a petty misdemeanor

September 16th, 2019

Can a misdemeanor certified as a petty misdemeanor be used to enhance a subsequent offense?

The parties agreed to a stipulated facts trial.  The trial court convicted defendant of gross misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle with no insurance.  Defendant challenged the enhancement of his conviction to a gross misdemeanor based upon two (2) prior petty misdemeanor convictions, despite the penalty provision of Minn. Stat. §169.797 (2016).

The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that, when a criminal defendant pays a fine for an offense listed on the Statewide Payable List established pursuant to Minn. R. Crim. Proc. 23.03, subd. 2, in an amount that results in a petty misdemeanor conviction, that conviction may not be used to enhance a subsequent offense to a gross misdemeanor by operation of Minn. Stat. §609.131, subd. 3.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Selseth, A18-1426, Hubbard County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Search for drugs in motor vehicle

September 18th, 2019

Warrantless dog sniff search for controlled substances in automobile

In this direct appeal from judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance, defendant challenged the trial court’s denial of his pretrial motion to suppress evidence found in his car.  Defendant argued that law enforcement conducted an illegal search for narcotics because they failed to obtain a warrant and there was no nexus connecting his unoccupied car to drug related activity.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that there was a sufficient nexus to support a reasonable suspicion of drug related activity in defendant’s car, noting that defendant told officers he had just driven to the hotel and that he had drug paraphernalia on his person.  Affirmed.

State v. Bolkema, A18-0886, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Identification of robbery suspect

September 19th, 2019

Although one person show up was unnecessarily suggestive, it was sufficiently reliable to be admitted

After the victim of a robbery identified defendant as one of the men who robbed him, defendant was charged with the offense.  Before trial, defendant sought to exclude evidence of the out of court identification.  The trial court admitted the evidence, ruling that, while the identification procedure was unnecessarily suggestive, the victim’s identification was reliable.  After a jury trial, defendant was convicted of first degree aggravated robbery.  He appealed, arguing (1) that the trial court erred by admitting the identification evidence and (2) that, even if the evidence was admissible, it was insufficient as a matter of law to prove his identity as the perpetrator beyond a reasonable doubt.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed that the one person show up identification procedure was unnecessarily suggestive, but nevertheless concluded that the identification of defendant was sufficiently reliable to be admitted, and the trial court did not err by admitting it.  Affirmed.

State v. Baker, A18-1417, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

First degree sale of controlled substance of cocaine

September 20th, 2019

No knock entry for search of cocaine

Defendant challenged his convictions of aiding and abetting first degree sale of cocaine, arguing that (1) the trial court erred by denying his suppression motion and (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of aiding and abetting first degree sale of cocaine.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the unannounced entry was supported by the requisite reasonable suspicion, noting that allegations in the warrant application of a high level of suspected drug trafficking, the number of people observed coming and going, a criminal record, and a gun being associated with the drug trafficking, presented sufficiently particularized circumstances that supported a reasonable suspicion of a threat to officer safety or a threat of destruction of evidence.  Affirmed.

State v. Rayford, A18-1504, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Statements at parole revocation hearing

September 20th, 2019

Statements made during a parole revocation hearing admissible at later trial

Where a defendant challenged the trial court’s refusal to exclude incriminating statements that he made at a State parole revocation hearing, the judgment is affirmed because the defendant voluntarily testified after being advised of his rights to counsel and to remain silent, and there were no other dangers of unfair prejudice.  Judgment is affirmed.

United States v. Daniels, 18-3049, appealed from the Western District of Arkansas, Erickson, J.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Commentary:  Important reminder:  you have a right to remain silent and any statements you make may be used against you in court.