Success/Results2020-07-22T19:39:46+00:00

Felon in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court did not err in imposing sentencing enhancement? 

Where a defendant challenged his sentence after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, the District Court properly found that the firearms were used in connection with an assault and drug trafficking, so the court did not err in applying an enhancement.  Affirmed.

United States v. Comeaux, 21-2977, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, District of Minnesota.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court did not err in sentencing defendant on his unlawful possession of a firearm case?    

Where a defendant challenged his sentence in a firearm case, the District Court did not err in applying enhancements for an offense involving a stolen firearm and for possessing a firearm in connection with another felony offense, the record supported the findings that the weapon was stolen and that the defendant used it to facilitate his drug activities.  Affirmed.

United States v. McCampbell, 21-3375, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in sentence imposed?    

Where a defendant challenged his sentence after pleading guilty in a drug case, the defendant’s flight from police through residential neighborhoods at high speed late at night constituted reckless endangerment to support an enhancements, the sentence was not improper.

United States v. Williams, 20-3443, Grasz, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether failure to give unanimity instruction was plain error?    

Where a defendant challenged his conviction on three counts of a four count indictment for child abuse, with each count concerning a different child, the District Court erred by not giving a special unanimity instruction, which was plain error, so the conviction on that count is vacated, but the evidence was sufficient on the remaining counts to support the conviction for aggravated child abuse.  Vacated and remanded in part, affirmed.

United States v. Keepseagle, 20-3626, Smith, J.  Appealed from United States District Court, District of South Dakota.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether relationship evidence was admissible in domestic assault case?    

Defendant challenged his conviction for 5th degree domestic assault.  He argued that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting verbal relationship evidence and evidence of two prior instances of domestic abuse under Minn. Stat. §634.20.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that, to be admissible as domestic conduct evidence, it was not required that the speech be such that it would on its own violate a criminal statute.  Affirmed.

State v . Apfelbacher, A21-0565, Chippewa County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court properly denied defendant’s motion to suppress?    

Defendant was convicted of drug and firearms offenses.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the District Court erred in denying his motion to suppress, on the grounds that the officers did not have a particularized and objective basis for suspecting defendant of wrongdoing to support a Terry stop.  Defendant also argued that the officers’ actions of drawing their weapons and handcuffing defendant did not automatically transform the stop into an arrest.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Terry stop and found that the circumstances did not constitute an arrest.  Affirmed.

United States v. Johnson, 21-1788, Grasz, J.  Appealed fro United States District Court, District of South Dakota.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s sentence was proper?    

Where a defendant challenged the denial of his motion for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act, the District Court properly decided that the defendant was not eligible for the reduction.  Affirmed.

United States v. Minnis, 21-1652, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in granting sentencing reduction based upon subsequent change in law?    

Defendant appealed from the denial of his motion for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act.  Defendant had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.  The sentencing court calculated a guidelines range of 262 to 327 months, finding that defendant qualified for career offender status.  Under a subsequent change in law, twelve (12) years later, the defendant would not qualify as a career offender.  Notwithstanding, the District Court denied defendant’s motion for a sentence reduction.  Where the District Court was permitted but not required to consider the current sentencing guidelines, despite defendant’s post sentence rehabilitation, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in declining to grant sentence reduction.

United States v. McDaniel, 21-1347, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court properly revoked defendant’s probation?    

The trial court revoked defendant’s probation on his conviction of 1st degree possession of a controlled substance.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court abused its discretion by concluding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring continued probation.  Noting the trial court’s finding that treatment had failed because defendant repeatedly did not take advantage of the 0pportunity to obtain mental health services in the community, the Minnesota Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion.  Affirmed.

State v. Vargas-Perez, A21-1181, Rice County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether putting foil on anti-theft sensors on clothing constitutes possession of shoplifting gear?    

Police encountered defendant leaving a retail store with concealed, unpurchased merchandise that was tagged with anti-theft sensors wrapped in aluminum foil.  Defendant was convicted of possessing a shoplifting device.  Defendant appealed, arguing that because the aluminum foil was not designed to assist in shoplifting, the statute did not criminalize its possession.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that material that was commercially manufactured for a lawful purpose, but has been modified to assist a shoplifter to defeat an electronic article surveillance system constitutes a device, gear, or instrument that was designed for an unlawful purpose and therefore supports a conviction of possession of shoplifting gear.  Affirmed.

Douglas v. State, A21-1011, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court properly revoked defendant’s probation?    

Defendant appealed from the trial court’s revocation of his probation.  He argued that the trial court failed to make the required findings before revoking his probation, and, that the record did not support revocation of his probation.  Noting the trial court’s findings regarding defendant’s failure to notify his probation officer of his whereabouts, or to provide his address, and its observations that he was not willing to submit to supervision, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court adequ8ately considered defendant’s need for confinement.  Affirmed.

State v. Craven, A21-1120, Douglas County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether petitioner’s request for expungements were properly denied?    

Petitioner argued that the trial court erred by determining that two of her criminal records were not eligible for statutory expungement, a 1994 record for felony possession of a crack cocaine, a gross misdemeanor theft, and a 1998 record for felony theft.  She also argued that the trial court abused its discretion by denying her petition to expunge these records.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that, even if the trial court erred in concluding that the crimes did not qualify for statutory expungement, that error did not affect the result, because the trial court conducted an analysis to conclude that petitioner failed to show that she was entitled to expungement.  Affirmed.

State v. T.A.W., A21-1125, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s sentence as career offender was correct?    

Where a defendant challenged his sentencing following a drug conviction, the district court did not err in determining that the defendant was a career offender based on an Iowa conviction.  Affirmed.

United States v. Jackson, 20-3684, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in revoking defendant’s probation before making proper findings?    

This appeal followed the trial court’s revocation of defendant’s probation and execution of his stayed sentence for felony driving while impaired.  Noting that the trial court made the required findings on the Austin factors only after it ordered the revocation, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court failed to make the required findings prior to the revocation and abused its discretion by basing the revocation on an erroneous factual finding.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. O’Brien, A21-1266, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant did not establish the entrapment defense?    

Where a defendant challenged the District Court’s denial of his request for an entrapment instruction, the denial of the request was not erroneous because the defendant did not introduce any evidence of inducement, which is an element of entrapment.

United States v. John, 20-3362, Erickson, J.  Appealed from United States District Court, District of Nebraska.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court properly denied defendant’s motion to suppress his statements?    

Where defendant moved to suppress statements made to law enforcement during an in home interrogation, the denial of the motion is affirmed because the defendant was not in custody when he made the statements, and therefore the officers did not need to advise him of his Miranda rights, and, his statements were voluntary.  Affirmed.

United States v. Sandell, 21-1511, Grasz, J.  Appealed from United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Firearms Charges Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s sentence for firearms offenses was not substantively unreasonable?    

Defendant was convicted of firearms offenses.  Defendant appealed his sentence.  Defendant challenged the District Court’s calculation of the Guidelines range and argued that he was entitled to a sentence reduction.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that defendant failed to show that he was entitled to a sentencing reduction for possessing ammunition for a lawful sporting purpose.  Accordingly, the District Court did not err in calculating defendant’s Guidelines range, nor abuse its discretion in varying upward after considering the relevant statutory factors.  Affirmed.

United States v. Sholley-Gonzalez, 21-3133, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether expert testimony was properly admitted?    

Where a defendant challenged his conviction for sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography, challenging the admission of expert testimony that identified the fingers in an explicit photo as those of the defendant, any error was was harmless due to the overwhelming evidence of guilt.  Affirmed.

United States v. Red Legs, 20-3506, Shepherd, J.  Appealed from United States District Court, District of South Dakota.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the automobile exception is applicable?    

Where defendant challenged a warrantless search of his vehicle, the police had probable cause to believe that the vehicle contained drugs and they knew the vehicle was mobile, so the automobile exception applied and no further exigency was required.  Affirmed.

United States v. Barron, 20-3440, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court did not err in declining a sentence reduction for acceptance of responsibility?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to firearms offenses.  The District Court sentenced him, and in so doing, declined a sentence reduction for acceptance of responsibility.  Defendant appealed on the grounds that his sentence was substantively unreasonable.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where the District Court considered defendant’s post arrest statements that minimized his conduct and properly weighed the sentencing factors, it did not err in declining to grant a sentencing reduction for acceptance of responsibility.  Affirmed.

United States v. Garfield, 21-2235, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Western District of Arkansas.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court did not err in denying defendant’s motion for reduction of sentence?    

Defendant was convicted of possession of  a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Defendant was sentenced to consecutive terms of five years, 25 years, and 25 years for the three firearms offenses.  Defendant appealed.  Where a non-retroactive change in the law could not support finding extraordinary and compelling reasons for sentence reduction, the District court did not err in denying defendant’s motion.

Kelly, J., concurring:  “. . . I would have voted to reverse and remand.  In my view, sentence disparities such as those created by amendments to §924(c) are properly considered as part of an individualized assessment of whether extraordinary and compelling reasons for a sentence reduction exist under the First Step Act.”

United States v. Taylor, 21-1627, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s sentence was substantively reasonable?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.  The District Court imposed sentence.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his sentence was substantively unreasonable.  Where the District Court considered the relevant statutory sentencing factors and imposed a within Guidelines sentence, defendant did not receive a substantively unreasonable sentence.

United States v. Chandler, 21-3332, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether enhancement in sentence was proper based upon supervisory role in offense?    

In sentencing defendant, the District Court enhanced the offense level after finding that defendant played an aggravating role in the drug dealing operation by supervising sales.  The District Court also departed downward from the enhanced Guidelines range based on defendant’s cooperation in the government prosecution of another individual.  Defendant appealed.

Where the evidence showed that the co-defendant did not start the drug distribution operation prior to defendant’s involvement or that they shared equally in profits, defendant’s provision of equipment and materials was sufficient to find that he exercised a supervisory role over the co-defendant.

United States v. Hibbert, 20-3676, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UDPATE:  Whether the District Court did not err in revoking defendant’s parole supervised release?    

Defendant violated his parole supervised release.  The District Court revoke his parole supervised release.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that because the District Court considered and reasonably weighed all the relevant statutory sentencing factors, and imposed a within the Guidelines sentence, it did not abuse its discretion during sentencing.

United States v. Shouse, 21-3729, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence established by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant violated his supervised release?    

The District Court revoked defendant’s supervised release.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the District Court erred in finding that a preponderance of the evidence showed that defendant had violated the conditions of supervised released.  In a supervised release proceeding, the burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where the District Court did not make a clear error in its findings of fact, there was no basis to overturn its decision to revoke defendant’s supervised release.

United States v. Bevins, 21-2722, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s enhanced sentence for felon in possession of firearm was proper because of prior drug conviction?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm in federal court.  In sentencing defendant, the District Court accepted the PSR’s Presentence Recommendation for a base level enhancement for a prior Illinois conviction for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance.  Defendant appealed his sentence.   On appeal, defendant argued that his Illinois conviction was not a controlled substance offense.  Where governing case law provided that defendant’s prior Illinois conviction was controlled substance crime, his argument on appeal was foreclosed by precedent.  Affirmed.

United States v. McConnell, 21-1086, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1) was not unconstitutional as applied to defendant?    

Defendant was convicted of possession of firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1).  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the statute was unconstitutional as applied to him because his possession of a firearm was not in or affecting commerce.  Where the court had previously ruled in other cases that Congress had not exceeded its authority under the Commerce Clause in enacting §922(g), defendant’s arguments on appeal were foreclosed.  Affirmed.

United States v. Duchaine, 21-2297, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, District of North Dakota.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court properly issued the order for protection?    

Defendant challenged the trial court’s issuance of an order for protection, arguing that the trial court violated his right to procedural due process.  During the hearing, defendant was unable to transmit videos to the trial court.  Noting that defendant admitted that he broke into the complainant’s bedroom, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the defendant failed to establish a due process violation.  Affirmed.

Steffenhagen v. Castrillon, A21-1176, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant met his burden of proving physical inability to test?    

Defendant challenged the implied consent revocation of his drivers license, following a DWI.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erred by asking questions during the hearing and that he satisfied his burden of proof by presenting sufficient evidence of his physical inability to test.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court did not commit reversible error by inquiring about defendant’s prior DWI charges during the implied consent hearing, and, did not clearly err in finding that defendant failed to meet his burden of proving the affirmative defense of physical inability.  Affirmed.

Jackson v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, A21-0716, Ramsey County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s sentence on conviction of felon in possession of firearm was properly enhanced by prior crime of violence conviction?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to firearms offenses.  The District Court sentenced defendant.  When sentencing, the District Court considered and applied a prior state crime of violence conviction.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant contended that the prior conviction was not a crime of violence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals noted that where prior cases had held that defendant’s state offense of conviction was a crime of violence because there was no reasonable way the offense could be committed without physical force or the threat of force, the District Court had properly found that defendant had a prior crime of violence conviction.

United States v. Wheat, 21-2531, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his hospital room?    

Defendant sought to suppress evidence found in his hospital room.  There was a shooting earlier.  Defendant was in his hospital room.  An officer entered his hospital room and seized his bloody clothing from the floor.  The evidence was sufficient to show that the firearm had been in or affected interstate commerce.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that defendant did not have an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy in his hospital room, and therefore, defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were not violated.

United States v. Marcus Mattox, 20-3065, Gruender, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the terroristic threats statute, reckless disregard section, is not unconstitutional?    

Defendant challenged the constitutionality of the threats of violence statute, reckless disregard section, §609.713, subd. 1, under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Defendant argued that the reckless disregard section was unconstitutionally overbroad.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that:  (1) a threat of violence is made in reckless disregard of the the risk of causing terror when the defendant makes the violent threat while consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the defendant’s words or actions will cause terror; (2) true threats , a category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment, do not require specific intent to threaten a victim and can encompass violent communications that are made recklessly; Minnesota’s threats of violence statute punishes only true threats; and (3) Minnesota’s threats of violence statute is not substantially overbroad under the First Amendment.

State v. Mrozinski, A20-0231, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant was not entitled to a jury instruction on conspiracy withdrawal?

Defendant was convicted of conspiracy.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his conviction had to be reversed because the District Court erred in not giving a jury instruction on withdrawal from the conspiracy and he allegedly withdrew from the conspiracy.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that that because the statute did not require proof of an overt act, the District Court did not err in not giving a jury instruction on withdrawal from the conspiracy.  Affirmed.

United States v. Castillo, 21-1387, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction of resisting law enforcement officer?    

Defendant was convicted in federal court of forcibly assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement with a dangerous weapon, a firearm.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of resisting a law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon, a firearm.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld defendant’s conviction stating that the evidence was sufficient.  Affirmed.

United States v. Wilkins, 20-2404, Loken, J.  Appealed from United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether admission of hearsay and insufficient evidence required conviction to be vacated?    

Defendant was convicted of criminal sexual conduct.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that admission of hearsay and vague testimony required reversal of his conviction.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals, noting that the victim’s testimony that defendant did the same “things” and “stuff” as her cousin, did not establish consistency, whereby the forensic interview and trial testimony were not sufficiently consistent to qualify under the prior consistent statement exception.  Accordingly, this was reversible error.

State v. Gabriel-Ramos, A20-0322, Nobles County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

By |March 11th, 2022|Categories: Victories/Case Law Updates|0 Comments

Felon in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the other persons present were not accomplices so no corroboration was needed?    

Defendant was convicted of second degree intentional felony murder and possession of a firearm by an ineligible person.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the accomplice testimony was insufficiently corroborated whereby his convictions should be vacated.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that, although all three purported accomplices were present during the confrontation with the victim, the evidence did not support defendant’s assertion that the four men went outside specifically to confront the victim, the circumstances did not indicate that they played a knowing role in the shooting, whereby the witnesses were not accomplices and their testimony did not need to be corroborated.  Affirmed.

State v. Yim, A21-0602, Olmsted County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Drug charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant should have received a minor role reduction in his sentence on a drug trafficking conviction?    

Defendant was convicted in federal court of drug trafficking.  At sentencing, the District Court did not give him a reduction in sentence for having a minor role in the offense.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s sentence and held that defendant was not entitled to a minor role reduction since he did not show that he was substantially less culpable than the average participant in the drug trafficking offense.

United States v. Jones, 21-1888, Gruender, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Arkansas.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Ineligible person in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence supported defendant’s conviction of felon in possession of a firearm?    

Defendant was convicted of felon in possession of a firearm in federal court.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the evidence was sufficient to show that the defendant actually or constructively possessed the firearm, so the judgment is affirmed.

United States v. Perkins, 21-1893, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Criminal sexual conduct

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether admission of relationship evidence was proper?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  On appeal, defendant argued that (1) admission of relationship evidence was error; and (2) lifetime conditional release was error.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that evidence that defendant showed pornography to minors constituted sexually manipulative, grooming activity toward minor children that was the type of “domestic conduct” that is relationship evidence under §634.20 of the Minnesota Statutes.  However, because defendant was convicted of the 3 counts concurrently, defendant did not have a prior conviction for criminal sexual conduct and could not be subjected to lifetime conditional release.

State v. Hager, A21-0229, (Washington County).

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s sentence for felon in possession of a firearm was not substantively unreasonable?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm in federal court.  On appeal, defendant challenged his sentence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the sentence since the sentence was not substantively unreasonable and the court thoroughly explained its reasoning.

United States v. Hamber, 20-3307, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Domestic abuse no contact order DANCO

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s convictions for felony domestic abuse no contact order violations should be reduced to gross misdemeanors for lack of adequate factual basis?    

In his direct appeal, defendant argued that his four felony convictions for violating a domestic abuse no contact order DANCO should be reduced to gross misdemeanors because the factual basis entered in support of his guilty pleas did not support felony level offenses.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that defendant was correct that the factual basis for his guilty please did not support felony DANCO violations because only one of the prior convictions that he admitted to was a qualified domestic violence related conviction.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Foster, A21-0533, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

DAC on private property

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a person cannot be guilty of driving after cancellation on private property?    

A sheriff’s deputy observed defendant, who had a cancelled drivers license, drive his vehicle in his mother’s driveway.  He arrested him for driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety.  The questions in this case are whether (1) the arrest was authorized; and (2) if not, whether evidence obtained after the arrest should have been suppressed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that Minn. Stat. §171.24, subd. 5, which prohibits person from operating a motor vehicle after license cancellation, does not apply to person operating a motor vehicle on private property.  Conviction reversed.

State v. Velisek, A21-0275, Beltrami County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Right to public trial

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not violated defendant’s right to a public trial during COVID restrictions?    

Defendant was convicted of fleeing a peace office in a motor vehicle, driving while impaired (DWI), test refusal, and fourth degree assault of a peace officer.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that, inter alia, the COVID pandemic did not provide adequate grounds to close the courtroom to in person observation by the public, and, that the failure to allow in person observation resulted in a structural error requiring reversal.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trail court’s findings supported its restriction on the public’s in person access to defendant’s trial.  Affirmed.

State v. Hunter, A21-0562, Beltrami County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of a firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the federal firearms statute did not violate the Second Amendment in an unconstitutional manner as applied?    

Where a defendant, who was found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon argued that the application of the federal firearms statute violated his rights under the Second Amendment, the statute did not violate constitutional rights of the defendant as applied, but the defendant was improperly sentenced as an armed career criminal, so the sentence is vacated and remanded for resentencing.

United States v. Williams, 20-3311, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Nebraska.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea should be granted?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to 1st degree aggravated burglary.  Subsequently, he brought a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.  H argued that he plea was inaccurate because he did not provide a sufficient factual basis.  Noting that defendant in his plea colloquy testified that he “did not try to rob” the victim, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that his testimony negated the intent element of the offense and did not otherwise establish an adequate factual basis for his guilty plea.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Mattson, A21-0174, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Drivers license reinstatement

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether petitioner failed to prove that he was entitled to reinstatement of his drivers license?    

Pro se petitioner challenged the trail court’s determination that he failed to meet the requirements to have his drivers license reinstated.  Noting that petitioner failed to provide proof of full payment of the reinstatement fee or completion of a required written examination to qualify for a reinstated drivers license, the Minnesota Court of Appeals determined that he was not entitled to reinstatement.  Affirmed.

Milliman v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, A21-0563, Meeker County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Obstructing legal process is interpreted very broadly.    

Police responded to a complaint that a man was threatening to kill someone.  A police officer determined that no threat existed.  After, the officer asked for the identification of a group of men.  Defendant started yelling that no one needed to comply and refused to identify himself.  Defendant was charged with obstructing legal process, and misdemeanor ordinance violations of disruptive intoxication, and yelling and screaming.  Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained after the seizure.  The trial court denied the motion and defendant was ultimately found guilty of obstructing legal process.  Three years later, defendant filed a petition for post conviction relief, arguing the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because there was reasonable, articulable suspicion that defendant violated the city ordinances, the denial of the motion to suppress was appropriate.

Turner v. State, A21-0777, Stearns County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Child Pornography Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether there was no error in the District Court’s sentence in this child pornography case?    

Where a defendant challenged his sentence in a child pornography case, the District Court did not err by considering Dropbox files when it calculated his offense level, and enhancements for distribution in exchange for valuable consideration, for sadistic images of a toddler, and for possession of more than 600 images were properly imposed.  Affirmed.

United States v. Hennings, 20-3483, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Obstruction of Justice

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the sentencing enhancement was not substantively unreasonable?    

Defendant was convicted of drug and guns offenses, after he pleaded guilty.  When sentenced, the District Court applied an enhancement for obstruction of justice.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld defendant’s sentence noting that the District Court did not err in applying an enhancement for the obstruction of justice, and the sentence was not substantively unreasonable.

United States v. Blakely, 21-2249, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s stalking conviction must be vacated?    

Defendant was convicted of 2 counts of stalking.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that as to the first count, the evidence was sufficient as to that victim.  However, on the second count, the government failed to show that the defendant traveled in interstate commerce with the intention to harass the second victim, so that conviction must be vacated.

State v. Gross, 20-3167, Kelly, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Firearm Sentencing Enhancement

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in sentence enhancements for felon in possession of a firearm conviction?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm.  The District Court sentenced him to a 6 level enhancement.  Defendant appealed his sentence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his sentence on the grounds that (1) a 6 level enhancement was appropriate for assaulting a police officer; (2) enhancements for possessing a firearm in connection with another felony was appropriate; and (3) enhancement was appropriate for reckless endangerment during flight; and (4) defendant did not show that the District Court erred by denying him a reduction for acceptance of responsibility.  Affirmed.

United States v. Sparkman, 21-1042, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Restitution

CASE LAW UPDATE:  If a defendant’s flees a police officer in a motor vehicle, he will be required to pay for the damage to the squad car caused in trying to stop him.   

Defendant was convicted of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.  He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,566.64.  Defendant appealed the restitution order arguing that the trial court erred:  (1) in ordering him to pay restitution for damage caused to police squad cars because an officer’s decision to perform pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuvers and (2) in failing to consider his ability to pay the restitution ordered.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that (1) the damages that resulted to the poice squad cars and homeowner were the direct result of defendant’s decision to flee the officers, which required the officer to perform PIT maneuvers in the interest of public safety; and (2) the trial court failed to expressly state that it considered defendant’s ability to pay restitution, whereby the determination must be remanded.   Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

State v. Haney, A21-0732, Anoka County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Parole violation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the urine sample established defendant’s parole violation?    

Defendant was on supervised release parole.  He was charged with a parole violation.  Defendant was found guilty and his supervised release was revoked.  He appealed.  On appeal, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the revocation on the grounds that a drug test administrator had provided testimony about a urine sample and that constituted ample evidence to find that defendant violated his supervised release.  Affirmed.

United States v. Christinson, 21-1535, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Right of confrontation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether overwhelming evidence of guilt renders error harmless beyond a reasonable doubt?    

Defendant was convicted of five felony offenses, including aiding and abetting 1st degree aggravated robbery and 1st degree burglary.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the admission of identification testimony violated the Confrontation Clause.  Defendant also ordered that the trial court failed to consider ability to pay when determining restitution.  Noting that the inculpatory evidence at trial was overwhelming, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that any error in the admission of testimony regarding the show up identification was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, the record was silent as to whether the trial court considered ability to pay in determining restitution  Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

State v. Makuac, A21-0111, Blue Earth County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Appeal waiver

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant waived his right to appeal?    

Federal court has appeal waivers.  Defendant pleaded guilty to drug offenses.  The plea agreement included an appeal waiver.  Defendant was sentenced.  Defendant appealed his sentence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal held that the appeal waiver was valid, enforceable and applicable to the issues raised.  Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.

United States v. Garmoo, 21-2387.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of North Dakota.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Methamphetamine Sentence

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s enhanced sentence for possession of methamphetamine was correct?    

Where defendant challenged his sentence after pleading guilty in a methamphetamine case, the record supported the District Court’s finding that the defendant managed or supervised at least one other person while selling drugs, so the application of an aggravated role enhancement is affirmed.

United States v. Quijada, 20-3099.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Drugs and guns

CASE LAW UPDATE:   Guns near drugs will get you a longer sentence in federal court.    

Where a defendant challenged his sentence, arguing that the District Court miscalculated the guidelines range, a 2 level firearm enhancement was not clearly erroneous given the weapons’ close proximity to the defendant’s drug trafficking activities.  Affirmed.

United States v. Bell, 21-1005.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Odor of marijuana

CASE LAW UPDATE:  The odor of marijuana is difficult to beat.    

Where a defendant moved to suppress evidence gather during a traffic stop, arguing that officers could not have smelled marijuana while driving behind his vehicle, the officers testimony was credible, and their suspicion was particularized to his vehicle, so the District Court did not err in denying his motion to suppress.  Affirmed.

United States v. Shumaker, 20-3467, Smith, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Appeal waiver

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant waived his right to appeal via his appeal waiver?    

Where a defendant challenged his sentence after pleading guilty to a firearm offense, the defendant’s plea agreement included an appeal waiver that was valid, enforceable and applicable to the issues raised on appeal, so the appeal is dismissed.

United States v. Pierce, 21-2779,.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record on this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether allowing a police officer to testify via Zoom did not violate defendant’s 6th Amendment right of confrontation when there was a known exposure to COVID, as opposed to a general public concern?    

The issue is whether defendant’s 6th Amendment right of confrontation was violated when the police officer, who was in quarantine due to a known exposure to COVID, was allowed to testify via Zoom?  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that although the 6th Amendment right of confrontation was implicated, it was not violated by allowing the police officer to testify via Zoom, where he was in quarantine due to a known exposure to COVID.  In contrast, where there is merely a generalized concern regarding the COVID pandemic such does not sufficiently further an important public policy so as to permit dispensing with a criminal defendant’s right to confront a witness face to face in court.

State v. Tate, A21-0359, Becker County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

COMMENTARY:  very bad policy.  They cannot start making exceptions like this to the 6th Amendment right of confrontation.  They should have continued the trial until the officer was out of quarantine.  We cannot fundamentally change Constitutional rights because of COVID.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was insufficient to uphold defendant’s conviction of controlled substance crime?    

Defendant challenged his first degree controlled substance crime conviction.  He argued that the State failed to prove that he possessed the controlled substance.  Noting evidence that defendant was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of a vehicle exhibiting signs of drug use, that defendant fled the vehicle when the officer noticed a white substance and tinfoil, and a tin full of heroin was found in the vehicle, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence  was sufficient to establish that defendant possessed the controlled substance.  Affirmed.

State v. Howard, A21-0334, Beltrami County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erroneously denied petitioner’s petition for expungement?    

Petitioner argued that the trial court erred by denying his expungement petition on the basis that Minnesota expungement statute prohibited inherent authority expungement for people required to register as offenders.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the expungement statute does not limit expungement under the judiciary’s inherent authority.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. D.V.L., A21-0640, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Probation Violation Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court abused its discretion in revoking defendant’s probation?    

Defendant violated his probation.  The trial court revoked his probation.  Defendant appealed. On appeal, defendant argued that the trial cour failed to make adequate findings and consequently, abused its discretion by revoking his probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals, noting that the trial court’s extensive findings relating to the need to confine defendant, inferred from those findings that the trial court determined it was necessary to confine defendant in order to protect the public.

State v. Kraven, A21-0683, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in revoking defendant’s probation for a probation violation?    

The trial court revoked defendant’s probation.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the trial court abused its discretion by finding that (1) he willfully and intentionally violated his probation; and (2) the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.  Noting that the record reflected that the trial court did clearly order defendant not to contact the victim, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by finding that defendant willfully and intentionally violated probation under the second Austin factor.  Affirmed.

State v. Burk, A21-0817, Dakota County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in admitting relationship evidence? 

Defendant challenged his convictions of violation of an order for protection and threats of violence.  Defendant sought reversal of his convictions and a new trial, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting relationship evidence under Minn. Stat. §634.20.  Because the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the evidence.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that evidence that defendant had previously entered the victim’s home without her permission and assaulted her assisted the jury in putting the charged offenses into context and in judging the credibility of the witnesses, and thus the trial court did not abuse tits discretion in admitting it.  Affirmed.

State v. Sovde, A21-0127, Beltrami County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in revoking defendant’s probation?    

Defendant challenged the trial court’s order revoking his probation and executing his prison sentence.  He argued that the trial court abused its discretion by finding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence in the record supports the trial court’s finding that confinement was necessary to protect the public from further criminal activity by defendant.

State v. Burk, A21-0817, Dakota County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether there was sufficient evidence to support conviction of domestic assault?    

On appeal from his convictions of felony domestic assault and threats of violence, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of domestic assault.  Noting that the proposition that the victim fell down the stairs as a result of accidental contact with defendant was conjecture based on no evidence, and that the evidence showed that defendant threatened to kill the victim and then pushed her down the basement stairs, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to sustain the conviction of domestic assault harm.

State v. Anderson, A21-0325, Ramsey County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a petty misdemeanor conviction under chapter 152 constitutes a prior conviction for subsequent enhancement purposes?    

Interesting case!

Defendant was convicted of domestic assault.  He was sentenced.  He appealed his sentence.  Defendant had a 2005 petty misdemeanor conviction for possession of marijuana, and, a 2007 5th degree controlled substance conviction.  The issue on appeal was whether defendant’s 2007 5th degree conviction should be counted a gross misdemeanor, or, as a felony, when calculating his criminal history score.  Convictions for possession of controlled substances are gross misdemeanors if the defendant “has not been previously convicted of a violation of” chapter 152, the chapter involving drug convictions.  Defendant argued that his 2005 petty misdemeanor possession of marijuana should not count as a previous conviction under chapter 152, and consequently, his 2007 5th degree controlled substance should have been counted as a gross misdemeanor, and not a felony (resulting in a lower criminal history points and a shorter sentence on his current domestic assault conviction).  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the phrase “convicted of a violation of” chapter 152 includes a petty misdemeanor violation of chapter 152!  This means that a subsequent conviction can be enhanced because of a prior PETTY MISDEMEANOR conviction of chapter 152, which includes possession of a small amount of marijuana, or possession of paraphernalia!

State v. Morgan, A19-1902, Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court should have allowed defendant to withdraw his plea to second degree murder? 

Defendant sought to withdraw his guilty plea to second degree murder on the ground that is was involuntary, and therefore, invalid.  Noting that there was no support in the record for defendant’s argument that his mother coerced him to plead guilty, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that there was no support in the record for defendant’s assertion that his plea was involuntary.  Affirmed.

State v. Moore, A21-0245, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins gun rights restoration in Benton County    

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won a gun rights restoration case out of the County of Benton, State of Minnesota.  Petitioner’s only disqualifying case was from when he was a juvenile, a teenager, now approximately 20 years ago.  He is now 39 years old, owns his own home, and has been married 11 years, with 2 children.  He has obtained his Master Plumbers License, and has his own successful plumbing business.  As a child, he had positive experiences with firearms.  His father collected firearms.  Petitioner had obtained his Firearms Safety Certificate.  He now wanted to get his Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms restored, and go hunting and trap shooting with his father.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s two convictions of failing to register as a predatory offender violated double jeopardy?    

Defendant was convicted and sentenced for two convictions of failing to register as a predatory offender.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that being convicted and sentenced on two convictions of failing to register as a predatory offender violated double jeopardy.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that defendant’s two convictions and sentences did not violate double jeopardy because he committed two separate and distinct offenses when he failed to register on two separate occasions in two sequential months.

State v. Larson, A21-0220, Carlton County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction of promoting prostitution?    

Defendant was convicted of promoting prostitution.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the evidence was not sufficient to support his conviction for promoting prostitution.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that there was sufficient evidence because of the detailed text messages, notwithstanding that the the hotel room was booked in the defendant’s mother’s name, and, the victim did not testify.

State v. Arnold, A20-1035 (Hennepin County).

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

In Camera Paradee Motion

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in failing to conduct an In Camera Paradee review?    

Defendant was convicted of criminal sexual conduct.  He brought a motion for postconviction relief.  The trial court denied same.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the postconviction court abused its discretion by rejecting his request for In Camera Review of the victim’s counseling and social service records.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the postconviction court abused its discretion in denying defendant’s motion for in Camera Review of the alleged victim’s records on the grounds that defendant’s affidavit relaying the information he learned from the victim’s mother about the prior allegations provided enough information to make a plausible showing that the records he sought could contain material and favorable evidence.  Reversed and remanded.

Groves v. State, A21-0474, Mille Lacs County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a person is guilty of wrongfully obtaining public assistance if they violate any one of the purposes of the programs?    

Defendant was convicted of wrongfully obtaining public assistance.  Defendant had obtained public assistance to which he was not entitled through making false statements in applications therefor.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the State had to prove he intended to defeat the purposes of all the public assistance programs listed in the statute, not just one.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that the statute requires proof that a defendant acted with the intent to defeat the purposes of any one or more of the listed public assistance programs, not all.

State v. Irby, A20-0375, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in dismissing petitioner’s petition for post conviction relief?    

Petitioner was convicted.  Petitioner filed a petition for post conviction relief.  It was not brought within the 2 year statute of limitations; however, petitioner raised the interests of justice exception.  The trial court dismissed it.  Petitioner appealed.  On appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that petitioner did not provide any explanation for the untimeliness of his petition, and, that the interests of justice exception did not apply.

Bowers v. State, A21-0649, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the delay to trial because of COVID measures did not violate defendant’s right to a speedy trial?    

Defendant was convicted of failure to register as a predatory offender.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his right to a speedy trial was violated because his trial did not begin until 137 days his initial demand.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that defendant’s right to a speedy trial beyond 60 days of demand was not violated on the grounds that the trial court found that the COVID pandemic constituted good cause for delay, that defendant did not object to that finding, defendant did not contend on appeal that that finding was erroneous, and defendant did not show prejudice.  Affirmed.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the police officer’s commentary on defendant’s intent on video was inadmissible and prejudicial?    

Defendant was convicted of 5th degree criminal sexual conduct.  Defendant had been in a gas station.  Defendant, who had a disability, had fallen onto the gas station worker.  The issue was whether the contact with the gas station worker was intentional, or, whether he had accidentally fallen on her.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the admission of body worn camera video during which the officer exclaimed that defendant was groping the alleged victim, was prejudicial error, because it was comment on the ultimate issue of his intent.  The Minnesota  Court of Appeals agreed.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Jones, A20-1624, Ramsey County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Juvenile Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether juvenile defendant violated child pornography statute with another teen?    

Juvenile teen defendant engaged in sexting with another juvenile teen 2 years his junior.  He was found guilty of possession of child pornography as a result.  Juvenile defendant appealed.  On appeal, he argued that (1) the evidence was insufficient to adjudicate him delinquent because the child pornography statute does not criminalize voluntary teen sexting; and (2) the child pornography statute, as applied to teenage couples engaging in voluntary sexting, violates fundamental due process rights.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals (1) held that the evidence was sufficient under the plain language of the child pornography statute; and (2) declined to address the due process challenge because juvenile defendant did not raise the issue in the trial court.

In re N.R.C.A., A20-1352, Itasca County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Probation Violation Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in revoking defendant’s probation?    

Defendant was convicted of a controlled substance crime.  He was sentenced and placed on probation.  Defendant was placed in Drug Court.  Defendant did not comply with Drug Court, and the sanctions imposed did not result in compliance.  Consequently, he was discharged from Drug Court.  Thereafter, his probation was revoked.  Defendant appealed the revocation of his probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the revocation of defendant’s probation on the grounds that although the Drug Court was forgiving of defendant’s initial challenges, he was ultimately discharged because he did not comply with the program’s requirements and sanctions did not work.

State v. Liimatainen, A21-0536, Carlton County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court properly applied a sentencing enhancement for possession of a firearm in connection with drug offense?    

Defendant was convicted of possession of drugs with intent to sell in federal court.  Defendant had also possessed a firearm in connection with this offense.  At sentencing, the District Court applied a sentencing enhancement for possession of a firearm in connection with possession of drugs with intent to sell.  Defendant appealed his sentence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding there was sufficient evidence for the drug offense, and that the sentencing enhancement for possession of a firearm was properly applied.

United States v. Magsby, 21-2426, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether sawed off shotgun found in search should have been suppressed?    

Defendant was convicted of the firearm offense of possession of a sawed off shotgun.  She appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the sawed off shotgun found during a warrant search of her apartment following a shooting in the area.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the affidavit in support of the warrant was sufficient to establish probable cause that evidence of the shooting would be found, and even though the warrant did not meet the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment, the good faith exception applied, and, the shotgun was properly seized under the plain view doctrine.

United States v. Saddler, 21-1884, Loken, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of South Dakota.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Firearms Charges Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether it was error for the District Court to not give defendant credit for acceptance of responsibility in his felon in possession of a firearm sentence?    

Defendant was convicted of felon in possession of a firearm.  The District Court sentenced him on his conviction of felon in possession of a firearm, but did not give him credit for acceptance of responsibility.  Defendant appealed his sentence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that because defendant had committed a violent offense after his conviction but before sentencing, he was not entitled to acceptance of responsibility.

United States v. Garner, 20-3160, per curiam.  Appealed from United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minneapolis Firearms Charges Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Gun Charges Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court did not err in sentencing the defendant for his felon in possession of a firearm conviction?    

Defendant was convicted of felon in possession of a firearm.  The federal district court sentenced him.  Defendant appealed his sentence.  Defendant argued that disparate impact alone was sufficient to show an equal protection violation.  Defendant’s claim of disparate impact on juveniles was also rejected.  The defendant failed to show that it was error to sentence him under the Armed Career Criminal Act.  There were still 4 qualifying convictions and 3 predicate convictions which supported application of the Armed Career Criminal Act.  Affirmed.

United States v. Ronning, 20-2788, Shepherd, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.

Minnesota Gun Charges Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of firearm

Whether the District Court did not err in its sentence on felon in possession of a firearm conviction?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm in federal court.  The District Court did an upward variance when it sentenced defendant.  Defendant appealed. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that because the District Court adequately explained the sentence, correctly calculated the range, and adequately explained the reasons for the upward variance, the District Court correctly sentenced defendant on his felon in possession of a firearm conviction.

United States v. Brown, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minneapolis Firearms Charges Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

 

Second Amendment Attorney

Whether the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying petition for gun rights restoration?    

Petitioner brought a petition to restore his Second Amendment rights to possess firearms.  The trial court denied his petition.  Petitioner appealed.  On appeal, Petitioner argued that the trial court erred in concluding that he failed to show good cause to restore his gun rights.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that the public safety concerns outweighed Petitioner’s private interests.

State v. Ramirez, A21-0073, Brown County.

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was NOT attorney of record in this case.

Criminal sexual conduct attorney

Whether the four audio clips were properly admitted into evidence?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erred in concluding that the State had provided sufficient foundation to admit into evidence four audio clips from a recorded telephone call.  Noting that the victim testified about the authenticity and correctness of the recordings, and that he voice and defendant’s were on the recordings, and that the recordings depicted what occurred in the hotel room, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the recordings were properly admitted.

State v. Cartharn, A20-0922, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

The bad, federal, good faith exception

Whether the federal good faith exception applied in this federal case?    

There is a bad, good faith exception in federal cases.  Defendant was convicted of  possession of methamphetamine.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the GPS tracking data from his phone and Google email account should have been suppressed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the officers were entitled to rely on the magistrate judge’s finding that there was a nexus between the geolocation data requested and criminal activity, and the good faith exception applied to the warrants.

Commentary:  With all due respect, the good faith exception eviscerates the requirements of the United States  Constitution.

United States v. Barnes, 20-2583, Kobes, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Domestic Abuse (DANCO)

Whether because of COVID measures, defendant’s right to a speedy trial was not violated?    

Defendant was convicted of felony violation of a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO).  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that his conviction needed to be reversed on the grounds that his jury trial did not commence until 77 days after he demanded a speedy trial, in violation of his constitutional right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that in the context of a speedy trial analysis, neither the State nor the defendant are responsible for the delay in bringing a defendant to trial when that delay is solely due to public safety concerns related to COVID.  Herein, there was no constitutional violation because  the trial court delayed commencing trial solely because of the COVID pandemic, the order of the Minnesota Supreme Court prohibiting jury trials, and the conclusion that jury trials could not be conducted safely at an earlier date.  Affirmed.

State v. Jackson, A21-0126, Washington County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Drug charges

Whether “sell” in a drug case includes an offer to sell?    

Defendant offered to sell 13 grams of heroine, which is more than 10 grams of heroine.  Defendant delivered 8.906 grams of heroine at the sale, less than 10 grams.  The trial court sentenced defendant to 78 months in prison.  Defendant appealed, arguing that sell meant what he actually sold, not what he offered to sell.  Under Minn. Stat. 152.021, subd 1(3), the definition of “sell” includes an offer to sell, not just what is actually sold.

State v. Fugalli, A19-2007 (Minnesota Supreme Court 2021).

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Probation Revocation

Whether a revocation of probation is not permitted after expiration of probation following a stay of adjudication?    

Defendant argued that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to revoke its deferral of adjudication pursuant to Minn. Stat. §152.18 because the revocation occurred after the expiration of the imposed term of probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the provision of §609.14, subd. 1(c), permitting the revocation of probation after the expiration of its term, does not apply to a disposition deferring judgment pursuant to §152.18.  Reversed.

State v. Solien, A21-0144, Kandiyohi County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Probation Violation Lawyer

Whether the trial court properly revoked defendant’s probation for 10 probation violations?    

Defendant violated his probation 10 times in 6 years.  The trial court revoked his probation and imposed a 36 month prison sentence.  Defendant appealed.  Noting that the defendant had committed 10 probation violations in 6 years, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by revoking defendant’s probation and executing his sentence.

State v. Thomas, A21-0188, Kandiyohi County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Juvenile delinquency

Whether the probation of the juvenile was properly revoked?    

Defendant juvenile was adjudicated delinquent of 1st degree aggravated robbery.  The trial court revoked her extended jurisdiction juvenile status probation and executed her sentence.  Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion and violated equal protection.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because defendant’s probation violations were intentional or inexcusable, and that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation, the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked her extended jurisdiction juvenile status and executed the stayed sentence, and the defendant failed to support her equal protection argument.  Affirmed.

State v. M.N.M., A21-0291, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Competency

Whether the trial court should have ordered a Rule 20 regarding competency?    

Defendant was convicted of 4th degree assault of employee of a secure treatment facility.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court violated his right to due process of law by denying his request for a Rule 20 competency evaluation.  Defendant asserted 3 reasons to doubt his competency:  He (1) had been civilly committed since 2007; (2) had a diagnosed mental illness; and (3) had himself questioned whether he was competent to stand trial.  Noting that defendant’s commitment as a sexually dangerous person who also suffered from certain mental illnesses demonstrated that the committing court found his mental conditions inhibited his ability to control his sexual impulses, not that his mental conditions inhibited his ability to rationally consult with his attorney, understand the proceedings, or participate in his defense, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court did not err by denying defendant’s request for a competency evaluation.  Affirmed.

State v. Carlson, A21-0011, Carlton County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of a firearm

Whether the District Court’s lengthier sentence for felon in possession of a firearm was substantively reasonable?    

Defendant was convicted of be a felon in possession of a firearm.  At sentencing, the District Court departed upward, making his sentence longer.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the District Court properly considered the mitigating factors and weighed them against defendant’s extensive crimnal history and propensity for violence, so the upward variance was warranted and the sentence was not substantively unreasonable.  Affirmed.

United States v. Hubbs, 20-3044, Loken, J., Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Confession

Whether defendant’s confession, without corroboration, is insufficient to sustain a conviction?    

Section 634.03 of the Minnesota Statutes requires a defendant’s confession to be corroborated by independent evidence reasonably tending to prove that the specific offense charged has been committed.  Herein, defendant was convicted of 5 counts of criminal sexual conduct; one of which was exclusively based upon his confession.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that because the State failed to introduce evidence independent of defendant’s confession that reasonably tended to prove that one specific incident of criminal sexual conduct, that conviction must be reversed because his confession to it was  not sufficiently corroborated.

State v. Holl, A19-1464, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Postconviction Relief

Whether the denial of defendant’s petition for postconviction relief was not erroneous because the evidence was not newly discovered evidence?    

Defendant Onyelobi appealed the denial of her petition for postconviction relief without a hearing.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that her co-defendant’s affidavit that he did not tell her that he was going to shoot the victim was not newly discovered evidence because she was present when the events the evidence purports to describe occurred.

State v. Onyelobi, A21-0517, Hennepin County, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Second Amendment Rights

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Should the petitioner’s rights to possess firearms been restored?    

Petitioner brought a petition to have his Second Amendment rights to possess firearms restored.  The trial court, Brown County, denied his petition.  Petitioner appealed.  On appeal, petitioner argued that the trial court errd in concluding that he failed to show good cause to restore his gun rights.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that the public safety concern outweighed petitioner’s private interests.  Affirmed.

State v. Ramirez, A21-0073, Brown County.

Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was NOT attorney of record in this case.

Public nuisance

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s convictions must be reversed because the ordinances were not valid?   

Defendant was convicted of 2 counts of public nuisance ordinance violations .  Defendant appealed.  Defendant argued that the ordinance was not valid because the State did not prove that the ordinance had been published.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because the ordinance defendant was found to have violated required that it be published prior to implementation, and, because no evidence of publication existed, the ordinances were not validly enacted.   Convictions reversed.

State v. Torgerson, A20-1140, Fillmore County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Right to Speedy Trial

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s right to a speedy trial was not violated?    

Defendant was convicted of 2nd degree assault and threats of violence.  Defendant appealed.  Defendant argued that his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated.   The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that his right to a speedy trial was not violated on the grounds that even though the start of defendant’s trial was more than 60 days from the date of his demand and thereby raised a presumption that a speedy trial violation occurred, the government did not deliberately attempt to delay the trial to hamper defendant’s defense, because the delay was the result of the judicial branch’s response to the COVID virus.  Affirmed.

State v. Paige, A20-1228, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Pretrial publicity

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s trial should have been moved to a new venue because of pretrial publicity?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree manslaughter.  He appealed, arguing that his motion for a change of venue should have been granted because of prejudicial pretrial publicity.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in denying his motion for change of venue, because the 3 news articles that connected defendant to the victim were based on publicly available factual information, none of the articles contained anything that purported to be the opinions of people who are supposed to know the facts, defendant was afforded a full and fair opportunity to question prospective jurors about the publicity and challenge those not considered impartial, and defendant failed to demonstrate actual prejudice due to pretrial publicity.

State v. Larson, A20-1200, Douglas County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Drug charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant was not entitled to a downward departure in sentencing?    

Defendant was convicted on drug charges and was sentenced.  Defendant appealed her sentence.  On appeal, defendant argued that she should have been given a mitigating role reduction.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that defendant was not entitled to a mitigating role reduction on the grounds that unobjected to facts showed that the defendant coordinated drug deliveries, wired money for the conspiracy, and allowed drugs to be stored at her home.  Affirmed.

United States v. Vela, 21-1930, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Probation Violation Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court in concluding defendant violated her probation?    

Defendant and the State agreed to a stay of adjudication.  Defendant was sentenced.  Subsequently, the trial court concluded that defendant had violated her probation.  Defendant appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred by concluding that defendant violated her probation based solely upon an incident that preceded the stay of adjudication.  Reversed.

State v. Askvig, A20-1336, Olmsted County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Right to a public trial

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the closure of the courtroom during jury voir dire violated defendant’s rights to a public trial?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st and 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct in Jackson County.  During jury voir dire, the trial court ordered that the courtroom be closed to the public.  Defendant appealed, arguing that the closure of the courtroom during jury voir dire violated his constitutional right to a public trial.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that while th charges involved traumatic and deeply personal experiences, the charges alone did not support a generalized concern that the 18 jurors were likely to provide false information or withhold information if questioned in open court.  Accordingly, the closure of the courtroom was too broad given the alternative imitations that the trial court declined to impose.  Conviction reversed.

State v. Maine, A21-0023, Jackson County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Somali cop murder vacated

CASE LAW UPDATE:  First Somali police officer’s murder of Australian women reversed    

Somali police officer Mohamed Noor shot and killed Australian woman when she called 911 to help a neighbor she thought was being raped.  He was found not guilty of 2nd degree murder, but found guilty of 3rd degree depraved mine murder, and 2nd degree manslaughter.  He has served about 28 months in prison.  The Minnesota Supreme Court just reversed his 3rd degree depraved mind murder conviction, on the grounds that it requires  a generalized indifference to human life, not a focus on one person, and he was focused on one person.  He will thus be released from prison before serving even 2 1/2 years for murdering Justine Damond.

State v. Noor, A19-1089, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

 

Probation violation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation?    

Defendant violated his probation and the trial court executed his sentence.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court abused its discretion in concluding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion, noting that the trial court’s findings that addiction had such a grip on defendant that he was unable to comply with probation, despite multiple opportunities to do so.  Affirmed.

State v. Thorson, A21-0535, Benton County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson win gun rights restoration in Benton County    

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Attorney Lynne Torgerson won a gun rights restoration case in the County of Benton, State of Minnesota.  Petitioner had a difficult childhood.  He was taken from his biological parents as a baby, because his parents had drug addiction issues.   Consequently, he grew up in foster homes and underwent adoption(s).  Petitioner had one (1) adult disqualifying case, a drug case, involving marijuana, which was now 12 years old.  Since that time, he attended schooling for, and became a plumber, and had become a responsible adult. Finding good cause, the Court granted Petitioner’s petition to restore his gun rights.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Manslaughter

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s conviction for 1st degree manslaughter is valid?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree manslaughter.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his conviction must be reversed because the crime of conviction did not apply to the facts of the case, and, the State failed to prove causation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that Minn. Stat. §609.20(2) is applicable to an individual who assaults a pregnant woman and causes the death of a subsequently born child, and, that the State proved that defendant’s assault on his ex-girlfriend was a substantial causal factor in the subsequently born child’s death.  Affirmed.

State v. Moore, A20-1278, Olmsted County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Child pornography

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the search warrant was supported by probable cause?    

Defendant was convicted of child pornography.  He had brought a motion to suppress the evidence obtained from a search warrant.  His motion was denied.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the information provided in the search warrant affidavit was sufficient to support the probable cause determination.  Affirmed.

United States v. Espinoza, 20-3049, Colloton, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Criminal sexual conduct

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court properly admitted relationship evidence?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that (1) the trial court erred in admitting relationship evidence; and (2) imposing a sentence that was a greater than double upward durational departure from the sentencing guidelines without sufficient findings; and (3) entering convictions on lesser included offenses.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that (1) the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it determined that the probative value of defendant’s daughter’s testimony about 3 instances of sexual abuse was not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice; (2) the double than double departure without finding a severe aggravating factor must be vacated; and (3) the convictions for lesser included offenses must be vacated.

State v. Gutierrez, A20-1156, Ramsey County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Interference with privacy

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether use of phone camera is an aperture with the meaning of interference with privacy?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to interference with privacy.  Later, he brought a motion to withdraw his plea on the grounds that it was invalid because the factual basis for the plea did not support the elements needed to support the conviction.  Defendant’s motion was denied.  He appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that use of the victim’s cell phone camera to take pictures and obtain a view of her intimate parts constituted the use of an aperture within the meaning of Minn. Stat. §609.746, subd. 1(b).  Affirmed.

State v. McReynolds, A20-1435, Dakota County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Shoplifting charges

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtains continuance for dismissal in shoplifting case out of Brooklyn Park    

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson obtained a continuance for dismissal in a shoplifting case out of the City of Brooklyn Park, County of Hennepin, State of Minnesota.  A continuance for dismissal means that there was no plea of guilty and no conviction, meaning that this offense does not go on her client’s record.  Well done Ms. Torgerson!

Motion to withdraw plea

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to withdraw his plea?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to felony domestic assault.  Subsequently, he brought a motion to withdraw his plea on the grounds that he experience cognitive dysfunction that negatively impacted his ability to understand and participate in the plea hearing, proving a fair and just reason for withdrawal.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that defendant’s medical records refuted his claim of cognitive dysfunction, whereby defendant failed to establish a fair and just reason for withdrawal.  Affirmed.

State v. Chaparro, A20-1298, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Murder liability for aiding acquisition of drugs

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant is liable for murder of his friend because he helped him obtain the drugs?    

Defendant was convicted of aiding and abetting 3rd degree murder, for the drug overdose of a friend.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence failed to show that he aided and abetted the murder, and, that the trial court erred by failing to give the jury a join acquisition instruction.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence formed a complete chain showing that defendant played a substantial role in bring about the victim’s death, because it showed that defendant was the connection between the victim and the drug dealer who sold the victim $20 worth of heroin and fentanyl.

State v. Johnson, A20-1109, St. Louis County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of a firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether an inoperable firearm is still a firearm?    

Defendant was convicted of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person in violation of Minn. Stat. §624.713, subd.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the State failed to prove that a shotgun and a rifle found in his residence constituted firearms.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because actual shotguns and rifles are firearms as a matter of law under the statute, where evidence shows at trial that an item is a real shotgun, rifle, or other cartridge firing gun, even if the firearm is no longer operable, no additional evidence is needed to prove that the item is a “weapon” and a “firearm” under §624.713, subd. 1.  Affirmed.

State v. Reynolds, A20-1468, (Otter Tail County).

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Juvenile Delinquency

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether best interests of the child is not required in relation to mandatory predatory offender registration?    

Juvenile was adjudicated guilty of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct.  This resulted in mandatory predatory offender registration.  On appeal, juvenile argued that the trial court erred by adjudicating him delinquent without a best interest finding.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court was not required to make a best interest finding in order to adjudicate juvenile delinquent and require mandatory predatory offender registration.  Affirmed.

In re C.R.M., A20-1104, Rice County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Peremptory Strikes

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant failed to prove that State’s peremptory strike of only non-white juror was a pretext for racial discrimination?    

Defendant was convicted of criminal sexual conduct.  During the trial, the State use a peremptory strike to remove the only non-white juror from the jury.  Defendant objection’s was overruled.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the State’s peremptory strike of the only non-white juror was racial discrimination.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that the defendant failed to prove that the State’s use of a peremptory strike on the only non-white juror was a pretext for racial discrimination.  Conviction affirmed.

State v. Lufkins, A19-1809, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer

Minnesota Expungement Attorney Lynne Torgerson wins expungement in Polk County    

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won an expungement case in the County of Polk, State of Minnesota.  Approximately twenty (20) years earlier, Ms. Torgerson’s client had been convicted of misdemeanor assault.  Since that time, Ms. Torgerson’s had remained crime free, was married, had children, and had an established career.  Finding a lack of risk to public safety if the records were expungement, the Court granted the request.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Certificate of Innocence

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a defendant will not be granted a Certificate of Innocence after a vacated conviction if the underlying conduct constituted a violation of state law?    

Defendant was convicted.  Subsequently, his conviction was vacated.  Later, he petitioned for a Certificate of Innocence.  His petition was denied.  The conduct underlying the vacated conviction constituted a violation of state law.  Accordingly, he was not entitled to a Certificate of Innocence.  Judgment affirmed.

United States v. Brewer, 21-1286, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Arkansas.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

State breach of plea agreement

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the defendant must be resentenced on the grounds that the government breached the plea agreement?    

Defendant and the United States entered into a plea agreement.  In the plea agreement, the defendant and government agreed to an offense level of 12.  Defendant also executed a plea waiver.  At sentencing, the government argued that an offense level of 20 applied.  The District Court applied the higher offense level.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that (1) the government breached the plea agreement by arguing that an offense level of 20 applied, rather than the agreed upon level 20; (2) that defendant could appeal despite the appeal waiver, because the government breached the plea agreement; and (3) that the case must be remanded for resentencing.  Vacated, remanded.

United States v. Brown, 20-2170, Gruender, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Child pornography

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a person has no expectation of privacy in files shore over a peer to peer network?    

Defendant was convicted of child pornography.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that an officer who downloaded files had conducted a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, whereby the evidence should have been suppressed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction, holding that defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in files that he shared over a peer to peer network, including files he shared anonymously with law enforcement.  Hence, the Fourth Amendment was not violated.

United States v. Shipton, 20-2570, Arnold, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtains stay of adjudication in 5th degree drug possession case  in Sherburne County    

Sometimes prosecutors, judges, and defense counsel agree that mercy is appropriate.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had a drug addiction issue.  He was charged with 5th degree possession of a controlled substance.  The Sherburne County Attorney’s Office and Court agreed to give the defendant a stay of adjudication, whereby no conviction would go on his record, and put him on probation for 5 years.  If he successfully completes probation, the case will be dismissed, thereby keeping his criminal record clean.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Felon in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant did not establish justification defense in felon in possession of a firearm case?    

Defendant was charged with felon in possession of a firearm.  At trial, he raised the Justification Defense (necessity defense).  The District Court denied the defense.  Defendant was convicted.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the District Court did not err on the grounds that (1) defendant failed to produce evidence that he took reasonable steps to dispossess himself of the weapon once the threat abated; and (2) the defendant did not take advantage of reasonable, legal alternatives to continued possession of the firearm.  Affirmed.

United States v. Still, 20-3103, Wollman, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson

Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson to seek certiorari at United States Supreme Court    

Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson is planning to seek certiorari at the United States Supreme Court.  In Minnesota, Ms. Torgerson’s client sought to have the carry permit requirement statute struck down as unconstitutional on the grounds that it punishes, at a gross misdemeanor or felony level, the pure Constitutional behavior of carrying a firearm in public.  https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-supreme-court-state-s-permit-to-carry-law-doesn-t-violate-2nd-amendment/600084918/Unfortunately, but not all that surprising, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied the motion.  https://www.mncourts.gov/mncourtsgov/media/Appellate/Supreme%20Court/Standard%20Opinions/OPA200176-080421.pdf  What is surprising, is that there were no dissents by any Minnesota Supreme Court Justice.  Well wishes to Ms. Torgerson and her client.

State v. Nathan Hatch, No. A20-0176, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Attorney Fees

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a prevailing party after settlement can still be awarded attorney fees?    

Case involved a voter registration dispute.  The parties entered into a settlement agreement.  The parties did not address attorney fees.  The defendants did not dispute that the plaintiff was the prevailing party.  Accordingly, it was not an abuse of discretion for the District Court to award fees and costs.  Affirmed.

League of Women Votes of Missouri v. Ashcroft, Kelly, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court’s Blakely violation was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt?    

Defendant was charged in a complaint that charged him with criminal sexual conduct on or between 2004 and 2018.  At trial, defendant was found guilty.  At sentencing, without a Blakely Jury, the trial found that his date of offense was after August 1, 2006, the date the sentencing guidelines increased the severity of his presumptive sentence.  Defendant appealed, alleging that he was entitled to have a jury determine his date of offense, under Blakely.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court determination of defendant’s offense date did violate Blakely, but concluded the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.  The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed.

State v. Reimer, A19-1801, Minnesota Supreme Court.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer

Minnesota Expungement Attorney Lynne Torgerson won an expungement case in Sherburne County   

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won expungement of a 17 year old domestic assault conviction out of the County of Stearns, State of Minnesota.  At the time of the original offense, Petitioner was a teenager.  Additionally, his criminal record ceased when he was a youth.  Meeting the standard required, The Honorable Karen Schommer granted the petition for expungement.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Minnesota Probation Violation Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation?    

Defendant was convicted of ineligible person in possession of a firearm.  When sentenced, he was placed on probation.  While on probation, he did not successfully complete drug treatment, failed numerous drug tests, and drove under the influence of methamphetamine and PCP.  After a probation violation hearing, the trial court revoked his probation.  Defendant appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the revocation on the grounds that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.

State v. Scaife, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Vouching testimony

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether admission of vouching testimony of mother of victim, even if error, was not prejudicial?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  At trial, the victim’s mother testified and vouched for her daughter.  Defendant appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that even if the mother’s testimony was admitted in error, defendant failed to meet his burden in showing that he was prejudiced.  Affirmed.

State v. Jack, A20-1188, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer was not attorney of record in this case.

Attorney Fee Award

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether attorneys’ fee could be awarded after a consent decree?    

Plaintiffs had filed suit to challenge portions of North Dakota’s election statutes.  The parties ultimately resolved the case through a consent decree.  Plaintiffs moved for an award of attorneys’ fees.  The District Court granted the motion, over defendant’s timeliness objection.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that plaintiff’s motion was untimely.  However, the Court also found that plaintiff’s reasonable interpretation that a preliminary injunction was not the appropriate point to request attorneys’ fees constituted excusable neglect for the untimeliness of their motion.  Affirmed.

Sprit Lake Tribe v. Jaeger, MLW No. 77048, Case No. 20-2142, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Colloton, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of North Dakota.

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

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins gun rights restoration in the County of Dodge, State of Minnesota    

Minnesota Gun Rights Attorney Lynne Torgerson won a gun rights restoration case in Dodge County, Minnesota, the Honorable Jodi Williamson presiding.  Petitioner herein had had some disqualifying cases approximately 10 to 17 years earlier.  Since that time, Petitioner had turned her life around, gotten married, and become a long term, stable employee.  Finding good cause, the Court granted her petition to restore her rights to possess firearms.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Human Services Licensing

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the denial of request to set aside disqualification was not arbitrary and capricious?    

Relator was disqualified from withing with patients of licensed programs.  Relator brought a request to set aside the disqualification.  Relator’s request was denied.  Relator appealed.  Because the Commissioner must give preeminent weight to the safety of the residents, and because several relevant factors supported the Commissioner’s finding, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that Commissioner’s denial of Relator’s request to set aside the disqualifications was neither arbitrary and capricious, but was supported by substantial evidence.

S.K. v. Minn. Dept. of Health, A20-1260, Minn. Dept. of Health.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Malicious Punishment of Child

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a unanimous verdict is not required in a malicious punishment of child case?    

Defendant was convicted of malicious punishment of child.  At trial, the evidence was that defendant’s girlfriend’s 11 month old son because unconscious, lethargic, and covered with multiple mysterious bruises in locations atypical for his age.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his conviction was improper due to the lack of a unanimity instruction.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the crime of malicious punishment does not require a unanimity instruction.

State v. Schwendeman, A20-0762, Morrison County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Stay of adjudication

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the State must consent to a stay of adjudication absent a clear abuse of the prosecutorial charging function?    

The trial court sentenced defendant.  Over the State’s objection, the trial court gave the defendant a stay of adjudication.  The State appealed.  On appeal, the State argued that the trial court erred by ordering a stay of adjudication over the State’s objection.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because the trial court did not identify any clear abuse of the prosecutorial charging function that would allow it to stay adjudication over the State’s objection, resentencing was required.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Fenstra, A20-1600, Kandiyohi County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Second Amendment Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction of illegal firearm possession?    

Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he knowingly possessed a firearm.  Noting evidence that defendant was the sole occupant of a locked, running truck where a loaded firearm was found in plain view at the foot of the driver’s seat, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant knowingly possessed the firearm found in the truck.  Affirmed.

State v. Pierce, A20-0215, Hennepin County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Revenge porn statute

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the revenge porn statute is constitutional?    

Defendant was convicted of violating the revenge porn statute, non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images under Minnesota Statute §617.261.  The constitutionality of same was challenged all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, on the grounds that it was unconstitutionally vague on its face.  On remand to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, that court held that the revenge porn statute is not unconstitutionally vague.  Conviction affirmed.

State v. Saari, A19-1102, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

12 Person Jury Requirement

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether while a person is entitled to a 12 person jury, they are not entitled to a 12 person poll of the jury record    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree burglary (assault) and 2nd degree assault with a dangerous weapon.  At trial, he had a jury of 12 persons, to which he is entitled.  After the verdict, the transcript only reflected that 11 jury members were polled as to their verdict.  Defendant appealed, arguing that only 11 jurors found him guilty.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals found that he had a 12 person jury, but that the transcript inaccurately reflected that only 11 were polled.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the inaccuracy in the transcript relating to polling did not establish a constitutional violation.  Affirmed.

State v. Bey, A20-1097, Stearns County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Felon in possession of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether lack of knowledge that one is prohibited from possessing firearms is not a defense?    

Defendant was convicted of felon in possession of a firearm.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his conviction should be reversed on the ground that the question of whether he knew he was a felon was not presented to the grand and petit juries.  Even acknowledging that these were plain errors, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the plain errors did not affect his substantial rights because he could not show a reasonable probability that he would not have been charged or convicted if the right question had been presented.  (So apparently, it is a defense to not know one is a felon).

United States v. Willis, 19-3361, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

First Amendment speech

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Blocking traffic is not First Amendment protected speech.    

Defendant was charged with violating a statute that prohibiting blocking traffic.  She had attended a rally.  She was arrested for failing to move out of the street and onto a sidewalk during the event as police reopened the street.  At the District Court level, defendant raised a constitutional challenge to the traffic ordinance prohibiting the obstruction of traffic, on the grounds that it was overbroad and vague, and violated her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.  The District Court agreed.  The City appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the traffic ordinance prohibiting blocking traffic was constitutional.

Langford v. City of St. Louis, 20-1488, Colloton, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Marijuana is still illegal

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether marijuana is still illegal under federal law?    

Defendant was convicted of conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the federal prosecution for conduct that is legal under state law violated the principle of federalism.  However, the defendant did not cite precedent for his argument.  Further, the prosecution did not offend the principles of federalism.  Affirmed.

United States v. Maupin, 19-3550, Loken, J.  Appealed from United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Minnesota Gun Rights Attorney

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins gun rights restoration in Benton County    

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won a gun rights restoration case in the County of Benton, State of Minnesota.  Petitioner’s disqualifying case was 25 years old.  In 2006, all other civil rights of Ms. Torgerson’s client were restored.  In the interim, Petitioner was employed in the hospitality industry and work in management positions, positions of trust in handling money, and managing employees.  Because of the COVID lockdowns, his employer went out of business.  Petitioner now wanted to pursue his own business involving fishing and hunting.  The State of Minnesota did not oppose the Petition.  Finding good cause, Petitioner’s request to restore his gun rights was granted.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Drug Sales Charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was not sufficient to support conviction of 1st degree controlled substance crime?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree controlled substance crime – sales.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was not sufficient to support his conviction of drug sales because the informant was not credible.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals, noting that the informant’s testimony was consistent and was corroborated by other evidence in the record, held that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict.  Affirmed.

State v. Ybarra, A20-1060, Otter Tail County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Postconviction relief

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s petition for post conviction relief was procedurally barred?    

Defendant brought a second petition for post conviction relief.  It was denied.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that:  (1) his claims were not procedurally barred; and (2) that the former stalking statute, Minn. Stat. §609.749, subd. 2(2) (2016), was overbroad and unconstitutional as applied.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that, because defendant knew or should have known of his constitutional claims at the time of his earlier prior direct appeal, his arguments were Knaffla barred.  Affirmed.

Corrigan v. State, A20-1323, Scott County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Threats of violence

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the jury instruction provided by the court on “reckless” was erroneous?    

Defendant was convicted of the felony threats of violence.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the trial erred in its jury instruction on the “reckless” element.  Noting that the the strength of the State’s evidence of a purposeful threat made it unlikely that the jury rested its verdict on the alternative means of committing the offense by a reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not plainly err in its instruction on the definition of the element “reckless.”  Affirmed.

State v. Crockett, A20-0849, Dakota County.

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Revenge Porn

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the revenge porn statute is not unconstitutionally vague?    

Defendant was convicted of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, Minn. Stat. §617.261, colloquially known as revenge porn.  He appealed.  Defendant argued that the statute was unconstitutionally vague.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the defendant failed to meet the very heavy burden of establishing that Minn. Stat. §617.261 was unconstitutionally vague.  Affirmed.

State v. Casillas, A19-0576, Dakota County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Stalking Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in sentencing defendant on a lesser included offense?    

Defendant was convicted of harassment and stalking.   He was sentenced.  The trial court sentenced him on a lesser included offense.  Defendant appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the gross misdemeanor conviction on the grounds that the trial erred in sentencing defendant on a lesser included off