September 16

Clemency Project 2014 – Excessive Prison Sentences

Attorney Ryan Garry and particularly the efforts of attorney Elizabeth Duel, have voluntarily taken on two cases representing incarcerated individuals whose prison sentences were exceeding long given the drug nature of the crime they were convicted for. These two pro-bono clients are serving decades in prison for drug offenses despite the nationwide effort to reduce…
December 14

Former Willmar teacher sentenced to prison in student sex case

WILLMAR MN— With his victim saying in a statement that “I did not ask to be broken,” a former high school teacher apologized for having sexual contact with her when she was 15 and his student. Chad Jeffrey Akerson, 35, of Willmar, was sentenced to a three-year prison sentence Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court….
December 14

Attorneys: Men charged in Minneapolis protester attack not racist

Attorneys for three men accused in a shooting that wounded five black men during a protest outside of a Minneapolis police precinct denied Tuesday that their clients are racist and downplayed evidence. A fourth man accused of firing the shots during the Nov. 23 attack didn’t speak at the court appearance. The bail hearing for…
December 14

Can I Avoid Going to Court Appearances?

If you have an attorney, there are some circumstances where you can avoid going to court (and your attorney appears on your behalf). In almost all misdemeanors, you can avoid going to the first appearance if you sign a waiver for your lawyer. Most first appearances in misdemeanor cases result in simply getting a new…
December 14

How Long Can I Be Held in Jail?

If someone is arrested without a warrant, they must be charged or released after a certain period of time. The general rule is that the person must be brought before a judge 36 hours after being arrested. Minn. R. Crim. P. 4.02, subdiv. 5(1). The 36 hours begins on midnight following the arrest and pauses…
October 22

Warrant Needed to Offer Blood Test in DWI Cases

A Minnesota Court of Appeals case just came down addressing blood tests in DWI cases. In State v. Trahan, decided on October 13, 2015, the facts are near identical to Ms. Willis. Trahan was stopped for erratic driving and speed. State v. Trahan, A13-0931, 2015 WL 5927980, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Oct. 13, 2015)…
April 30

Solicitation of a Child

Solicitation of a Child Charge Must Arise to the Level of Probable Cause When the Minnesota government charges a criminal defendant with Solicitation of a Child to Engage in Sexual Conduct, they must have probable cause that the crime was committed. The statute states: A person 18 years of age or older who solicits a…
March 31

Minnesota Criminal Sexual Conduct Case

Mistake of Age Defense in Minnesota Criminal Sexual Conduct Cases Under Minnesota criminal law, some criminal sexual conduct offenses allow the “mistake of age” defense, which means that the defendant can claim he’s not guilty because he believed the victim to be of the legal age of consent. Other criminal sexual conduct offenses do not…