Posts Tagged ‘possession with intent to sell’

Spreigl evidence

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Prejudicial error

Defendant was convicted of and sentenced for both first degree sale of a controlled substance (sales aggregated over 90 days) and second degree sale of a controlled substance (sale in a school zone).  Defendant challenged his convictions, arguing that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of a previous drug possession offense.  Defendant also argued that the trial court erred in convicting him of and sentencing him for both the first and second degree sales crimes.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that any error by the trial court in admitting the previous offense evidence was not prejudicial, noting that the testimony regarding the prior offense was brief, the prosecutor made no mention of the evidence in closing argument, and the trial court gave two cautionary instructions on the use of Spreigl evidence.  However, the trial court erred in entering a conviction for the the second degree sale offense.  Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

State v. Lester, A17-1248, Waseca County.

Attorney Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Drug testing

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Public assistance

Appellant challenged the denial of her application for Minnesota supplemental aid (MSA).  After a hearing, respondent commissioner concluded that Minn. Stat. § 256.024, subd. 1, unambiguously conditioned appellant's receipt of MSA benefits on submission to random drug testing.  The district court concluded on appeal that the drug testing requirement within §256D.024, subd. 1(a) did not violate the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions.  On appeal, appellant argued that the commissioner erred in concluding that the statute unambiguously applied to her, and the trial court erred in concluding that the statute is constitutional.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the statute was ambiguous, and the canons of construction resolved the ambiguity in favor of appellant.  Therefore, a condition of random drug testing within §256D.024, subd. 1, for receipt of benefits under chapter 256D applies to person who become eligible for benefits during the five year period following completion of a court ordered sentence for a qualifying drug crime and does not extend beyond the five year period.  Reversed.

Verhein vl Piper, A17-1938, Washington County.

Lynne Torgerson, Esq. was not attorney of record in this case.


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