ROBERT J. SHANE’S DEFENSE BLOG

Mr. Shane has over 30 years experience as a criminal defense attorney and a winning record. He will help you understand your rights.

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Defense Tips for Suspects in a Criminal Case

CONSENT SEARCHES. You may be asked by a police officer to consent to the search of your person, home, or car. What should you do? Just say no. DO NOT sign a Consent to Search form. The police will make all kinds of dire threats to gain your consent to search, such as: (1) we will get a search warrant if you don't cooperate; (2) you will be  arrested; (3) we will bring in the narcotics detection [...]

November 17th, 2017|

Carrying a Pistol in a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence

What's the law in Minnesota about carrying a pistol in a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance? If you have a permit to carry and the pistol is located on or about your person or clothing, it's a misdemeanor   for a first time offense.   A second or subsequent offense is a gross misdemeanor.  The police are authorized to request a preliminary breath test in order to determine whether or not to [...]

November 17th, 2017|

Marijuana in a Motor Vehicle Law and the Trunk Exception

What is the law in Minnesota regarding marijuana in a motor vehicle? The most important point to remember is that it's a felony for a person to possess more than 42.5 grams of marijuana in a car, on their person or anywhere within their possession or control. If a person  is the owner or driver of a motor vehicle and choses to transport 1.4 grams or less of marijuana inside the car, the offense is   a petty misdemeanor and  not   a crime in Minnesota.   The offense [...]

September 23rd, 2017|

Does a Landlord have Authority to Consent to a Police Search of your Apartment?

It's Saturday night and you are in downtown Minneapolis  with your friends  having a good time. Before leaving your apartment, you smoke some marijuana   and leave behind about 45 grams in a plastic bag  on the kitchen table.  While you are gone, a  pipe bursts in your apartment and water  leaks down through the ceiling of  the apartment below you. A tenant notices the water leak and calls maintenance to fix the problem. Maintenance  enters your apartment while you are gone and  notices the bag of marijuana [...]

July 22nd, 2017|

Predatory Offender Registration Defense

If you are charged with a violation of the Minnesota predatory offender registration law, the consequences of a conviction can be dire. If it's a first time offense, you are facing a mandatory minimum prison commit of not less than a year and a day and not more than five years! If you have a previous conviction for failure to register, you are facing a mandatory minimum prison commit of  not less than two years and not more [...]

July 9th, 2017|

Wrongful Conviction Compensation in Minnesota

If you have served any prison time based on a wrongful conviction and have been exonerated by the court, you may be eligible for compensation. Eligibility can occur in a situation where a court has reversed or vacated a judgment of conviction based on grounds consistent with innocence and the charges are dismissed by a prosecutor. A person may also be entitled to compensation where a conviction was reserved on grounds consistent with innocence and a new trial is ordered,  but the  prosecutor [...]

May 20th, 2017|

Drug Conspiracy Law in MN

Who is a potential coconspirator to a drug sale? Any person  who conspired  with another person to commit a drug sale  where one or more of the coconspirators did some overt act in furtherance of the  of the conspiracy. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.175. The courts in Minnesota have determined that everything said, written or done by a single coconspirator in furtherance of a common plan to commit a drug sale  is evidence of a crime admissible against any other coconspirator, even though he [...]

March 4th, 2017|

How to Insure a Low Bail Setting

If a person has been arrested in Minnesota, the goal is to have  bail set  in the lowest  possible amount in order to  expedite release from custody. Why is it so important for a defendant to be released from jail while his  case is pending? The main reason of course is to be able to return to your employment and prevent job loss.  The second reason is to be able to  assist your attorney in the investigation and preparation of your defense. The judge will consider various factors when making a [...]

January 29th, 2017|

When Can Police Search a Visitor’s Personal Belongings during a Search Warrant?

The  Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects our homes  against unreasonable searches and seizures by the police. A home may be search with a valid warrant but this will requires  a showing before a judge of probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and  the home  contains evidence of the crime. Any container inside the home may be searched if there is reason to believe the container may conceal the object of the search, [...]

December 21st, 2016|

When Can the Police Arrest You without a Warrant?

A licensed peace officer may arrest a person in Minnesota without a warrant under the following circumstances: (1) A person who commits a public offense observed by the police officer may be arrested without a warrant. If the offense is a misdemeanor, the law requires that the person be released on a citation unless it appears that an arrest is necessary to prevent bodily harm to the person or to someone else, or if there is a [...]

December 13th, 2016|

Can the Police Search Your Garbage for Contraband?

The police have a valuable tool to find out whether or not you have controlled substances in your home. It's called the garbage search. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that whoever deposits their trash for collection in an area open to public inspection gives up their right to privacy with respect to all of the discarded items. If the police suspect you of selling, possessing, or manufacturing drugs, they will make arrangements to ride along [...]

December 13th, 2016|

What can be done if I have already confessed?

Most people want to tell the truth. It’s in our nature. A confession to the police acknowledges our wrongdoing. When we confess, the weight of the world is lifted off our shoulders. We feel better inside, especially when the confession is given to an authority figure like a police officer. We are taught from childhood to admit to our misdeeds, apologize to the other kid, and say we are sorry. Religion teaches us to confess our sins. [...]

December 13th, 2016|

How To Avoid a DWI Arrest

Stay calm; don't get out of the car. Let the police officer come to you. Locate your license and registration as you will need to have it ready to hand over to the officer. You don't want to be observed fumbling around for these items as the officer will note this fact in his report as a symptom of intoxication. Roll your window down only enough to be able to communicate with the officer and pass over [...]

December 13th, 2016|

Defense Tips for Suspects in a Criminal Case

CONSENT SEARCHES. You may be asked by a police officer to consent to the search of your person, home, or car. What should you do? Just say no. DO NOT sign a Consent to Search form. The police will make all kinds of dire threats to gain your consent to search, such as: (1) we will get a search warrant if you don't cooperate; (2) you will be  arrested; (3) we will bring in the narcotics detection [...]

December 13th, 2016|

Use of the Entrapment Defense in Minnesota

        In Minnesota, the entrapment defense may be used in a criminal case to combat government overreaching and obtain an acquittal. In order to prevail on the defense, a defendant  will need to establish by a "fair preponderance of the evidence" that the government induced him to commit the crime. Inducement occurs when the criminal design is conceived  in the mind of the government. Police will often  pressure,  badger, and lure a defendant  to [...]

December 12th, 2016|

POLICE SUBJECT MPLS. AIRPORT PACKAGES TO DOG SNIFF

Just when you thought your express mail package was safe from government intrusion, think again. Police at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport are now free to remove any package from a conveyor belt and subject it to a sniff by a narcotics detection dog. This seeming violation of the Fourth Amendment is no longer considered an unreasonable search and seizure in Minnesota. If the package was shipped  from  California or Arizona, it may  appear suspicious to a police officer as these states are known a source [...]

October 12th, 2016|

Police Entrapment in Sex Sting Cases

How do the police set you up on a typical sex sting operation in Minnesota?  The police may start by placing an ad on Backpages which reads something like,  "Naughty Little Play Things." The ad will  list the girls ages at 18. A person who responds to this ad will   soon be entrapped by the police through the use of the age old "bait and switch" technique. How does it work? Well, the police start with the "bait" by  including a sensual [...]

September 8th, 2016|

How to Stay Out of Prison on a MN Drug Case

Are you charged with a controlled substance crime in Minnesota that calls for a prison commit? Are there no defenses in your case and you are about to give up all hope? Help is on the way. You just need to prove to an open-minded judge at the time of sentencing that you are "particularly amenable to treatment in a probationary setting." Your criminal defense attorney will need to file a motion for a dispositional departure from the presumptive [...]

April 3rd, 2016|

Minnesota Court of Appeals Declares Test Refusal Statute Unconstitutional

The Minnesota Court of Appeals  reversed the DWI conviction of a criminal defendant for refusing to submit to a urine test where police failed to obtain a search warrant. The Court held that  Minnesota's test-refusal statute is unconstitutional when applied to suspects who are charged with refusal to submit to either a warrantless blood or urine test. The defendant in the case, Ryan Thompson, was stopped by police after bar closing for erratic driving and failed both the [...]

December 29th, 2015|

Expungement of a 5th Degree Controlled Substance Crime in MN

So at one time in your past you  made a mistake; the police  caught you with a felony amount of marijuana,  cocaine, or methamphetamine.  You were charged  in Minnesota with the felony offense of  Controlled Substance Crime in the Fifth Degree. You may have been  convicted of the felony offense  or plea bargained the case down to a Stay of Adjudiction.  You  served your sentence and have been discharged from probation. Now What? If the case resulted in a conviction, the [...]

October 29th, 2015|

Can the Police use My Confession Against Me?

The answer to this question depends on whether or not your confession  was voluntary.  The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow the prosecution to use  an involuntary confession  against you  at trial. When determining voluntariness, Minnesota courts look to see if the defendant's will was overborne at the time of the confession by the  police through the use of coercion or manipulation.  Other factors  considered by the courts include the defendant's age, maturity, intelligence, education and ability to understand. Courts also look at the length of [...]

October 13th, 2015|

Marijuana Grow House Defense in MN

I recently defended a client who was charged with operating a  marijuana  grow house. Drug Task Force agents executed a narcotics search warrant at his home and discovered  marijuana plants growing on all three levels. On the upper level of the home agents found 251 suspected  marijuana starter plants in a walk-in closet. The plants ranged between 1.5 and 5.5 inches tall. On the main level  agents discovered 70 suspected marijuana plants that were approximately 9 inches tall. In the basement agents found [...]

October 9th, 2015|

Anoka County Prostitution Sting

I recently defended two  clients in Anoka County who were charged with  misdemeanor  prostitution. The stakes were high as both clients had green cards and a conviction would  jeopardize their chances of becoming  U.S. citizens. The Coon Rapids Police Department designed an online ad to capture the attention of men interested in paying money for sex. The ad was  posted  on Back Pages and included the catch phrases  "Ring Tia's Bell"  and "I'm a freak between the sheets. " The ad even  required a promise that anyone [...]

August 23rd, 2015|

Charged with a Crime in MN while on the Delayed Entry Program?

Don't give up. You can still ship out on time with the right criminal defense strategy. The secret here is to study the regulations for your branch of the armed services and determine  what crimes will trigger the need for a "waiver" from your commanding officer. You do not want to be convicted of a crime that requires a waiver as you  may not qualify for  a waiver and your dream of serving your country will come to a screeching [...]

May 2nd, 2015|

The Role of the Confidential Informant in a Controlled Drug Buy

The informant plays a valuable role in a successful Minnesota drug bust. The informant could be a first time citizen informant with no criminal history performing his civic duty. This type of informant is presumed by the courts to be reliable. The informant could be a confidential informant known as a CI who has connections to the criminal underworld. This informant is not presumed to be reliable and  is often either paid by the police for his information or has been promised a favorable [...]

March 29th, 2015|

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