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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Police Serve a Void Search Warrant

  I recently represented a client who was charged in Anoka County District Court with 5th Degree Controlled Substance crime. Police officers executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence eleven days after the warrant was issued by the court. Officers located a felony amount of marijuana in his bedroom. The law in Minnesota regarding the execution and return of search warrants is found in Minn. Stat. §626.15(a) which provides as follows: “Except as provided in paragraph [...]

January 16th, 2015|

Computer Search Warrants in Minnesota

Let's say that as a part of an ongoing investigation into suspected drug dealing, the police have obtained a search warrant for your computer. The search warrant gives the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension permission to search your computer for "photographs, internet searches, communications including but not limited to emails, videos, stored data, and any and all data on a hard drive." During the course of the search, the investigator discovers evidence of an unrelated crime such [...]

January 7th, 2015|

Free Yourself from your Past with an Expungement

You are now able to petition the court to expunge from your record petty misdemeanor convictions, misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor convictions, and certain felony convictions. The expungement law in Minnesota has been amended to allow for a more complete remedy. Now you can seal from public view not only the courthouse file containing all the dreaded facts regarding your criminal case, but all records maintained by the arresting agency and the BCA! The new statute imposes a mandatory waiting [...]

October 31st, 2014|

Sex Trafficking Law in Minnesota

Sex trafficking is a serious felony offense under Minnesota law and is as: (a) receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing, or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of the individual; or (2) receiving profit or anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from an act described in clause (1). First Degree Sex Trafficking crime involves a person who, acting other than as a john or a prostitute, intentionally [...]

September 20th, 2014|

Mortgage Fraud Defense

Mortgage fraud is a complex white collar crime and can involve obtaining mortgage loan proceeds by perpetrating such crimes as identity theft, forgeries, bank fraud, wire fraud, theft by swindle and racketeering. Oftentimes, fake identity documents are created for a straw buyer who is paid for his role in the scheme. The documents may falsely state his identity, income and liabilities in order to qualify for a mortgage loan. False identity documents are then passed along to [...]

September 6th, 2014|

How to Get Less Prison Time in a Minnesota Criminal Case

It is possible to reduce the amount of time you will spend in prison. You will need the right set of facts and circumstances to reach this goal. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines establish the presumptive prison sentence in every serious felony case. The determination of the sentence is based on the severity level of the offense and your criminal history score. In order to avoid a presumptive prison sentence, a Minnesota criminal defense attorney will need to [...]

August 9th, 2014|

The Consent Defense in a Rape Case

Depending on how the case is charged out by the prosecution, the defense of consent may be available to criminal defendants charged with rape. Consent is defined under Minnesota law as a person's words or overt actions that indicate a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act. Consent does not exist simply because of a prior or current social relationship between a defendant and the alleged victim. Consent also does not exist where the [...]

July 25th, 2014|

Minnesota’s New Expungement Law

Coming soon to a courthouse near you is a way to seal your criminal past. We have all made mistakes and fallen into trouble with the law. Now you have a chance to keep your future employer, landlord, friend, or relative from finding out about a prior conviction. On January 1, 2015, a new expungement law goes into effect in Minnesota. Under certain circumstances, you may qualify to file a petition to seal all records relating to [...]

July 8th, 2014|

When Can Police Enter Your Home Without a Warrant?

Police may only enter your home without a warrant if you give them consent to enter or when they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and exigent circumstances exist.The Fourth Amendment protects all citizens against unreasonable searches by the government of "persons, houses, papers and effects." The presence of exigent circumstances can justify a warrantless entry of your home only when police are in hot pursuit, or there is danger to human life [...]

May 25th, 2014|

When can I be Charged with Conspiracty to Sell Marijuana?

In order for a person to be charged with the crime of conspiracy to sell marijuana in Minnesota, the state must be able to establish probable cause to believe that there was (1) an agreement between two or more people to sell marijuana to a third person; and (2) an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. Let's say for example Mr. Jones is a drug dealer who receives a call from Mr. Smith who wants to [...]

April 27th, 2014|

Restore Your Gun Rights Now

If you have been convicted of a crime of violence, Minnesota law prohibits you from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm. This law has a devastating effect on the rights of all Minnesota hunters who have made a mistake at some point in their past but have since become law abiding citizens. A crime of violence includes felony convictions for offenses such as murder, kidnapping, assault, and criminal sexual conduct. A person who violates the statute [...]

March 15th, 2014|

Felon in Possession of a Firearm

It's a crime in Minnesota for a person convicted of a felony to possess a firearm. See Minn. Stat. Sec. 624.713. Before the state can obtain a conviction, it will need to prove the defendant is a person who is ineligible to possess a firearm. An experienced criminal defense attorney will advise his client to stipulate to this fact in order keep the jury from learning about the defendant's negative past. Secondly, the state must prove that [...]

March 8th, 2014|

When Can Police Ask for Consent to Search Your Car for Drugs?

The scope of a police investigation must be limited to the original purpose for the traffic stop. If you were stopped for a burned out tail light or for speeding, the scope of the police investigation must be limited to the original purpose for the stop. The officer can only ask you related questions such as, "How fast were you driving?" or "Did you know your tail light was burned out?" That's it. The scope of the [...]

March 2nd, 2014|

The Use of an Entrapment Defense in a Controlled Buy Drug Case

In order  to assert an entrapment defense in a controlled buy case, a defendant must show by a fair preponderance of the evidence that the government induced the commission of the crime. Inducement by the government requires more than  merely providing a person with an opportunity to sell drugs. Soliciting a person to commit a crime in not government entrapment. Inducement by the government to commit a crime can be proven by presenting evidence at trial that the government persuaded, badgered, [...]

February 17th, 2014|

How to Avoid a Conviction on a Minnesota Theft Offense

If you are charged with a theft offense in Minnesota, your case may be eligible for a diversion program. A diversion is a treatment program available to theft offenders and is an alternative to a conviction. The program requires you to participa...

January 24th, 2014|

When Can You Withdraw a Guilty Plea in MN?

A defendant in a Minnesota criminal case has no absolute right to withdraw a guilty plea. The  Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure  allow for the withdrawal of a guilty plea in two different situations. In the first,  a judge may ...

January 6th, 2014|

Narcotics Dog Sniff and the Drug Package Profile

Does your package fit the drug package profile? If so, there may be reasonable, articulable suspicion for the police to conduct a narcotics dog sniff. If the dog alerts to your package, probable cause will be established for the issuance of a search warrant. The United States Constitution and the Minnesota Constitution protect all citizens with the fundamental right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Minn. Const. art. [...]

December 7th, 2013|

The Use of Force to Defend against a Home Invasion

When can I use force to defend myself against a home invasion? Under Minnesota law, you are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to defend yourself from an assault. The law allows the use force in self-defense during a home invasion when (1) you have not been aggressive toward or provoked the other person; (2) you have an honest belief that you are about to die or suffer great bodily harm; and (3) you must [...]

November 8th, 2013|

Minnesota Robbery Defense Lawyer

One of the  central issues for the jury to decide in every robbery case  is  the identification of the suspect. The state will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is the person who in fact ...

September 21st, 2013|

When Can Police Conduct a Pat Frisk?

Before the police can conduct a pat frisk, there must first be a lawful investigative stop. Police are allowed to temporarily detain a person or stop a car when there is reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed. The standar...

August 30th, 2013|

When Can Police Conduct a Pat Frisk?

Before the police can conduct a pat frisk, there must first be a lawful investigative stop. Police are allowed to temporarily detain a person or stop a car when there is reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed. The standar...

August 30th, 2013|

Do I have a Right to Make a Phone Call from Jail?

Yes, any person who is newly admitted as an inmate to a jail facility in Minnesota has a right to make either a local or collect long-distance phone call. The right to make a phone call from jail allows you to contact either a family member or a sig...

August 16th, 2013|

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