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CASE UPDATES

Although the number of cases we have handled are far too many to list, the following are cases of various significance that our attorneys have been involved with:

1.                  State v. Martin – A06-2460
State argued that a district court can set bail solely to protect public safety.  However, Supreme Court ruled that the sole purpose of bail is to assure appearance.  Public safety is a factor that a court can consider in deciding whether a defendant will appear at future court appearances, but cannot be used as a factor in and of itself.  In other words, the public safety factor has to somehow relate to future appearance, otherwise it is improper to take into consideration.

2.                  State v. Brooks – C1-98-2388

Supreme Court ruled that cash only bail is unconstitutional.  This case made new law

in the State of Minnesota.
 

3.                  State v. McMains – C1-01-1270

District Court set monetary bail plus conditions, including but not limited to, no use of

alcohol.  Defense argued for bail without conditions, which was denied.  The Court of

Appeals ruled that all defendants, no matter the crime, are entitled to bail without

conditions.  This case made new law in the State of Minnesota.
 

4.                  State v. Larson – C5-01-980

A DNR officer was patrolling a lake in Rice County.  Pursuant to statute, the officer

entered the defendant’s ice fishing house without a warrant and without permission. 

The defendant was observed fishing with too many lines and was found to be in

possession of drugs.  The district court suppressed the evidence and dismissed the

case because the officer did not have a warrant.  The state appealed to the Court of

Appeals, which affirmed.  The State then appealed to the Supreme Court, which also

affirmed.  This case made new law in the State of Minnesota.
 

5.                  State v. McCloud – A03-1384

The defendant was stopped on Lake Minnetonka for various boating infractions, all

misdemeanors.  After being given a citation, the police officer searched the boat and

found evidence of a crime.  The State argued that the search of the boat was a valid

search “incident to arrest”, even though the defendant was only given a citation. 

The Court of Appeals ruled that the search was unconstitutional, and that the search

“incident to arrest” exception to the warrant requirement did not apply to

misdemeanors.
 

6.                  State v. Houx – A05-1934

The defendant was charged with felony DWI.  The district court set monetary bail plus

conditions of no use of alcohol.  The district court refused to set bail without

conditions, stating that the Minnesota DWI statute required conditions of release. 

The Court of Appeals ruled that, even in felony DWI cases, and despite the statue,

the defendant was entitled to bail without conditions.  This case made new law in the

State of Minnesota.
 

7.                  State v. Grever – A06-2322

The defendant was convicted of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon. 

Normally, this offense carried a prison term of 39 months.  But, because of a prior

conviction, the defendant was facing 60 months.  The district court sentenced the

defendant to 60 months without a jury determining the “aggravating factor”, i.e., the

prior offense.  The Court of Appeals ruled that the sentence was unlawful because a

jury did not decide the issue of the prior offense.
 

8.                  State v. Boles – A06-1634

The defendant was involved in a domestic assault.  As the police arrived at the home,

they saw the defendant throw something into a car that was parked in the driveway. 

The police asked if anyone was inside, to which the defendants girlfriend indicated a

baby was sleeping upstairs.  The police entered the home under a “protective sweep”

theory.  They located the child who was unharmed, but then proceeded to the

basement and located drugs in plain view.  Thereafter, the police searched the vehicle

and found more drugs. The defendant was convicted of controlled substance

possession. The Court of Appeals suppressed the drugs found in the basement and in

the vehicle, stating that the police had no legal authority to enter the basement, nor

search the vehicle. The charges against the defendant were dismissed.
 

9.                  Mycka v. 2003 GMC Envoy

The defendant was arrested for DWI.  He was released from jail, and his vehicle was

returned.  A day later, the police realized that, because of his prior DWI record, they

should have seized and forfeited his vehicle.  They went to the defendants home,

served him with forfeiture paperwork, and seized the vehicle.  The Court of Appeals

ruled that the police did not have the authority to seize the vehicle, and the vehicle

was returned to the defendant.
 

10.                  State v. Hitchcock – A10-77

The Defendant was involved in a hit and run, and was subsequently arrested for DWI. 

The district court convicted and sentenced the defendant to both leaving the scene

of an accident and DWI.  The Court of Appeals ruled that the driver could not be

convicted of both offenses because they were part of the “same behavioral incident”.


Contact our firm for a free initial consultation today and get the experienced legal defense team of Heefner Nelson Law on your side! Call us at 1-651-289-5577 or e-mail us at to set up an appointment. 

 
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