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

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 offense.

State v. Dewuske, A20-1008, Chisago County.

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

Probation Violation Lawyer

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

Defendant’s probation was revoked.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court failed to make adequate findings supporting revocation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the revocation of defendant’s probation on the grounds that he had an extensive history of second chances of which he failed to avail himself.

State v. Holm, A20-1605, Faribault County.

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction of drive by shooting?    

Defendant was convicted of drive by shooting.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his criminal conviction of drive by shooting.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the circumstantial evidence was sufficient on the grounds that:  (1) the victim saw the defendant driving a car slowly in front of her home; (2) her neighbor heard several gun shots; and (3) there were seven bullet holes in the victim’s walls.

State v. Johnson, A20-0521, Hennepin County.

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

Ineligible person in possess of firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Conviction reversed because circumstantial evidence insufficient    

Defendant was convicted of ineligible person in possession of a firearm, based upon circumstantial evidence.  He appealed arguing that the evidence was insufficient.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed, holding the circumstantial evidence insufficient on the grounds that there was a reasonable hypothesis inconsistent with guilt given that although DNA evidence may have established that defendant touched the gun at some point, it did not establish when he had contact with it, the firearm was not found in the bedroom where defendant appeared to be sleeping and storing his belongings, the firearms was not in plain sight; accordingly, the evidence did not show that he was consciously exercising dominion and control over the firearm on the date of the search.

State v. Smith, A20-0654, Hennepin County.

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

Drug Charges Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s marital privilege was not violated?    

Defendant was convicted of drug charges.  She appealed.  On appeal, she contended that her marital privilege was violated by disclosure of communications.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held there was no violation in the admission of text messages since defendant:  (1) failed to show a valid marriage; and (2) she waived any privilege when she consented to a search of her phone.  Affirmed.

United States v. Hernandez, 20-1343, Colloton, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, District of Iowa.

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

Minnesota Gun Rights Attorney

Minnesota Second Amendment Attorney Lynne Torgerson wins appeal from denial of permit to purchase in Carver County    

Minnesota Gun Rights Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won an appeal from a denial of a permit to purchase in Carver County.  In or about April 2020, Ms. Torgerson’s client, Petitioner, applied for a permit to purchase at the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.  The Carver County Sheriff’s Office issued a denial, citing two (2) cases, which were actually not disqualifying cases.  Accordingly, Petitioner appealed to the trial court.  The trial court reversed the Carver County Sheriff’s erroneous denial of the permit to purchase, and ordered that said permit be issued forthwith.  Sometimes mistakes are made, erroneously denying people their Second Amendment rights.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Order for protection violation

CASE LAW:  Whether defendant’s challenge to the validity of the order for protection was not timely?    

Defendant was convicted of violating an order for protection.  He had encountered his former girlfriend at a Walmart.  He appealed his conviction.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court violated his right to due process by issuing the order.  Defendant did not contest the validity of the order before he was convicted.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals therefore held that his challenge was an ineffective collateral attack on the underlying order and declined to address the merits of his constitutional argument.  Affirmed.

State v. Standifer, A20-0678, Hennepin County.

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

Illegal Firearm Possession

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the circumstantial evidence was sufficient to uphold defendant’s conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm?    

Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant contended that the circumstantial evidence was insufficient to uphold his conviction.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the evidence was sufficient on the grounds that officers found the loaded handgun and magazine in a purse in the backseat of defendant’s vehicle, in which he was the sole occupant, and, that an analyst testified that approximately 97.6% of the general populations’ DNA could be excluded, but that defendant’s could not.

State v. Jones, A20-0767, Hennepin County.

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

Child Pornography Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s internet searches for pictures of minor girls was admissible?    

Defendant was charged with sex trafficking.  He was found guilty by a jury.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the District Court erred in admitting his internet searches for pictures and videos of minor girls.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the evidence was relevant to defendant’s intent and purpose because he traveled across state lines to meet girls, and the probative value of the evidence was not outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.  Affirmed.

United States v. Nordwall, 20-2122, Gruender, Jr.  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.

Burglary charges lawyer

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

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree burglary following a jury trial.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of burglary, on the grounds that the State failed to prove that he had an intent to commit a crime when he entered his father’s home.  Noting that the evidence showed that defendant entered his father’s house with a flammable substance and a lighter on his person, he was equipped to commit arson.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals therefore concluded that he entered his father’s house with the intent to commit arson.

State v. Conant, A20-0760, St. Louis County.

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

Parole Violation Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the district court did not err in revoking defendant’s supervised release?    

Defendant had had his supervised release revoked one time previously.  In this second instance, the court again revoked defendant’s supervised release and imposed a 24 month prison sentence.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that there was no error since the trial court properly considered the relevant factors, and, adequately explained the basis for the sentence.  Affirmed.

United States v. Clark, 20-1172, Shepherd, 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.

Forfeitures

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in ordering the forfeiture of money?    

Defendant was involved in a drug conspiracy.  During a search, money was found in a residence used in connection with the drug conspiracy and was seized.  The evidence was that money seized was used to commit or facilitate illegal drug activities.  The trial determined that the money was subject to forfeiture.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court on the grounds that the money was used to commit or facilitate illegal drug activities.

United States v Sheley, 20-2678, Erickson, 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.

Parole Violation Lawyer

Minnesota Parole Violation Lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins parole violation hearing in Lyon County    

Minnesota Parole Violation Attorney Lynne Torgerson won a parole violation hearing in Lyon County.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had originally been convicted of a drug offense and sentenced to prison.  He was subsequently released on parole.  Later, it was alleged that he was not cooperating with with his Parole Office, and, that he had been out of contact for a number of years.  The State had not pursued the violation for a number of years, and, knew that he had been living on his farm, raising cattle and growing crops.  Under the COVID rules, because Ms. Torgerson’s client was not an imminent threat, he was not returned to prison.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

1st degree controlled substance crime

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether it was not error to deny a mistrial after a police officer testified that he knew defendant from a different investigation?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree controlled substance crime, unlawful possession of a firearm, and threats of violence.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court committed reversible error by denying his motion for a mistrial after a police officer impermissibly testified that he knew defendant from another investigation.  Noting that (1) the challenged testimony was isolated and brief; (2) the evidence against defendant was strong; and (3) the trial court provided a curative instruction, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the denial of defendant’s motion for a mistrial was not an abuse of discretion.  Affirmed.

State v. Mutcherson, A20-0644, Stearns County.

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

Co-conspirator’s statements

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the co-conspirator’s out of court statements were subject to the right of confrontation?    

This case presented the question of whether a testimonial statement of a non-testifying co-conspirator is subject to the right of confrontation?  Defendant’s co-conspirator made testimonial statements during police questioning.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that:  (1) an out of court testimonial statement made by a co-conspirator who does not testify at trial is subject to a Confrontation Clause analysis.

State v. Sutter, A19-1045, Minnesota Supreme Court.

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

Minnesota Detainers Act

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the Minnesota Detainer’s Act was not violated?    

The Minnesota Detainers Act requires the State to bring a prisoner to trial within 6 months upon request.  Minn. Stat. §629.292, subd. 1.  Failure to do so requires the charges to be dismissed with prejudice.  The State dismissed the charges after the prisoner made the request, but re-charged the prisoner 1 year later.  Prisoner also raised a speedy trial violation.   The Minnesota Supreme Court held that because the criminal charges were no longer pending after the complaint was initially dismissed, the State did not violate prisoner’s rights under the Detainers Act, nor the right to a speedy trial.

State v. Mikell, A19-0732, Minnesota Supreme Court.

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

Pre-Charge Representation Lawyer

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney Lynne Torgerson successfully averts charges of sexual misconduct    

In today’s Me Too movement climate, sometimes wrongful accusations of sexual misconduct occur.  Ms. Torgerson’s client’s former girlfriend accused him of sexual misconduct and was being investigated by law enforcement of the Mankato Police Department, in Blue Earth County.  Ms. Torgerson was retained on a pre-charge representation basis; meaning, being hired to represent her client before formal charges have been brought.  Hiring counsel at this stage, particularly where wrongful sexual misconduct accusations have occurred, can sometimes be very beneficial.  Ms. Torgerson intervened, invoked her client’s constitutional rights, and after investigation, the police never brought any charges against her client.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Drug charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to prove 5th degree sale of controlled substance and unlawful possession of 7 firearms?    

Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of 7 firearms and 5th degree sale of marijuana.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions, and, that the trial court erred in sentencing him to all 7 firearm offenses.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that (1) the evidence was sufficient to find that he possessed 5 firearms in his bedroom and 2 in the storage area; and (2) the trial court erred in sentencing.  Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

State v. Mindermann, A20-0723, Otter Tail County.

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

Expert Witness

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the expert witness to testify?    

Defendant was convicted of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing expert witness testimony.  Defendant argued that because the child was a teenager, he was able to coherently explain why he did not immediately come forth with accusations, whereby the expert testimony did not aid the jury.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held no abuse of discretion by allowing the expert to testify about common behaviors of adolescent victims of sexual assault.  Affirmed.

State v. Limon, A20-0840, Stearns County.

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

Petition for Postconviction Relief

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the defendant’s petition for post conviction relief must be granted on the grounds that the conviction is in question because a competency evaluation was not conducted?    

Defendant had been convicted of violating a harassment restraining order.  She brought a petition for post conviction relief to vacate her conviction on the grounds that the conviction was in question because a competency evaluation should have been conducted.  Noting that throughout the duration of her cases, defendant maintained she has been targeted individual for decades, stated the government and private citizens were torturing her by placing foreign objects in her body, poisoning her food, killing her cats, recording her, and trying to get her to commit suicide, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded there was sufficient reason to doubt her competency, and a competency evaluation should have been conducted, it was not, so her conviction is vacated.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Durschmidt, A19-0833, Lyon County.

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

Second Amendment Attorney

Minneapolis Second Amendment Attorney Lynne Torgerson wins appeal of denial of permit to purchase in Benton County    

Minneapolis Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won an appeal of a denial of a permit to purchase in Benton County.  In 2018, Ms. Torgerson’s client was wrongfully denied an application for a permit to purchase, meaning, he was wrongfully denied his Second Amendment rights to possess and purchase firearms.  Now, after this victory, after being denied his Second Amendment rights for three (3) years, Ms. Torgerson’s client can rightfully purchase and possess firearms.  Mr. Torgerson’s client was 28 years old, a high school graduate, married, had a 5 year old son, and was gainfully employed.  He does not use illegal drugs, and has never had any mental health hospitalizations or judicial commitments.  He had taken gun safety when he was about 12 years old, his brother is a highway patrolman, and he now wants to teach his son gun safety, how to hunt, and be able to engage in self protection if necessary.  Citizens need to note that sometimes applications for permits to purchase and/or carry are erroneously denied.  To get it fixed, you will probably need to hire a trustworthy, competent Second Amendment Lawyer.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Exposure to methamphetamine

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s child was “exposed to methamphetamine”?    

Defendant was convicted of exposing her child to methamphetamine under Minnesota Statute §152.37, subd. 2(b).  The evidence was that her child slept on a mattress behind which police found a small purse containing methamphetamine.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that a child is exposed to methamphetamine under section 152.137, subd. 2(b) of the Minnesota Statutes when the child is subjected to risk of harm from the methamphetamine.  Affirmed.

State v. Friese, A19-0451, Minnesota Supreme Court.

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

Harassment Restraining Orders

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support issuance of harassment restraining order?    

Defendant appealed the issuance of a harassment restraining order against him on the grounds.  He argued that the evidence was insufficient, and, that a 500 foot distance requirement and 2 year duration were not warranted.  Noting that defendant approached plaintiff 3 times on a jet ski, circled plaintiff’s pontoon, sprayed plaintiff, yelled profanities, called plaintiff names, and threatened to beat plaintiff, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s order.

Suess v. Scott, A20-1334, Sherburne County.

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

Harassment restraining order

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court’s anti-staring provision was proper?    

A neighbor of petitioner obtained a harassment restraining order against him.  Petitioner appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the harassment restraining order against petitioner on the grounds that petitioner had taken a substantial step towards inflicting bodily harm when he swerved his vehicle towards the neighbor and her mother, supporting the finding of harassment.  Additionally, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the prohibition of staring more than 1 second was proper.  Affirmed.

Joyce v. Clement, A20-1162, Olmsted County.

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

Criminal vehicular operation charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in allowing the State Trooper to testify as a expert witness in accident reconstruction?    

Defendant was convicted of criminal vehicular operation.  He appealed, challenging the testimony of a State Trooper as an expert witness in accident reconstruction.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the record supported the trial court’s findings that the State Trooper qualified as an expert witness because:  (1) he had been certified as an accident reconstruction expert for 17 years; (2) served as such in approximately 300 cases; (3) was trained in heavy vehicle accident reconstruction; (4) received training in electronic data retrieval; (5) his testimony had foundation reliability; and (6) accident reconstruction practices fall outside the ordinary knowledge of laypersons.  Affirmed.

State v. Flategraff, A20-0345, Steele County.

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

Minnesota Second Amendment Attorney

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins gun rights restoration case in Washington County    

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won a gun rights restoration case in the County of Washington.  The Court found good cause for restoration on the grounds that it had been 19 years since the disqualifying conviction, he had remained law abiding, petitioner showed remorse for past criminal drug use and testified that going to prison helped him change for the better.  Being a truck driver, he is regularly tested, which corroborates that petitioner had abstained from drug use for 17 years.  Petitioner had also gotten married, had children, volunteered in his community, and now wants to go hunting, and be able to engage in self defense should the need arise.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Order for Protection Violations

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether positive contact is still a violation of an order for protection?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to violation of an order for protection (OFP).  Later, defendant brought a petition for post conviction relief to withdraw his guilty plea.  The trial court denied his petition.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his guilty plea was inaccurate.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because defendant admitted that he told his children to wish their mother, the OFP petitioner, Happy Mother’s Day, and such 3rd party contact is a violation of the OFP, the guilty plea was accurate.

Post v. State, A20-0998, Hubbard County.

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

DWI/DUI

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the stop was supported by reasonable articulable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot?    

Defendant was convicted of driving while impaired.  He appealed.  On appeal, he challenged the stop.  The evidence showed that the officer responded to a reported trespass involving a white male with short hair, a black shirt, blue jeans, who fled in a black car.  Within 10 minutes of the report, the officer stopped defendant, a white male with short hair driving a black car near the reported trespass.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that this provided reasonable, articulable suspicion to support the stop.

State v. Halverson, A20-0647, Stearns County.

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

Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether admission of the Spreigl evidence was not error?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  Defendant appealed.  Defendant argued that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of a prior sexual assault, Spreigl evidence.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in admitting Spreigl evidence.

State v. Lea, A20-0042, Hennepin County.

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

Domestic Assault Charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was admissible relationship evidence?    

Defendant was convicted of felony threats of violence and misdemeanor domestic assault.  Defendant appealed.  She argued that the evidence was not “domestic conduct” under Minn. Stat. §634.20.  Noting that “domestic conduct” under the statute includes more than just domestic abuse or violation of a protective order, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that an incident where defendant went to her son’s school, chased him through the hallways, screamed at him, and attempted to grab him in front of his peers, qualified as domestic conduct.  Affirmed.

State v. Denne, A20-0736, St. Louis County.

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

Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the juvenile court properly certified defendant’s case to adult court?    

Defendant 15 year old juvenile was convicted of aiding and abetting 1st degree aggravated robbery.  The State moved to certify defendant to adult court.  At a hearing, a forensic psychologist and juvenile probation officer testified that certification would best serve public safety.  The trial court relied on their testimony and studies and found that public safety was best served by certifying the charges to adult court.  On appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed.

In re Welfare of A.A.A., A20-1363, Scott County.

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

Gun Rights Lawyer

Minnesota Second Amendment Attorney Lynne Torgerson wins appeal from denial of a permit to purchase in Carver County    

Minnesota Gun Rights Attorney Lynne Torgerson won an appeal from a denial of a permit to purchase in Carver County.  A number of years earlier, Ms. Torgerson’s client had been convicted of a felony crime, but it was not a felony crime of violence.  Minnesota law provides that defendants convicted of felonies which are not crimes of violence get their gun rights back automatically upon discharge from probation, along with their rights to vote, hold office, etc.  Thus, her client was legal to own possess, and purchase firearms.  Notwithstanding, after discharge from probation, upon application for a permit to purchase, Ms. Torgerson’s client’s application was denied.  Upon appeal, Ms. Torgerson’s client was granted a permit to purchase.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Flee Police Officer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain defendant’s conviction of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle?    

Defendant was convicted of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to uphold the jury’s verdict.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the officer’s identification of defendant, and testimony that he saw the vehicle speeding away from the office in town after he turned on his lights and siren, running a stop sign, and passing traffic in a turn lane was sufficient to support the conviction.  Affirmed.

State v. Hondl, A20-0738, Steele County.

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

Minnesota Expungement

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the felony theft of a motor vehicle conviction was not eligible for statutory expungement?    

Petitioner had been convicted of felony theft of a motor vehicle and later sought expungement of same.  The trial court held that her offense was not eligible for expungement under Minn. Stat. §609.02, subd. 3(b)(20).  Petitioner appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that petitioner’s conviction was not eligible for statutory expungement, noting that the phrase “other theft offense” did not included Minn. Stat. §609.52, subd. (3)(d)(v), the provision under which petitioner was sentenced for theft of a motor vehicle.  Affirmed.

State v. D.E.L., A20-1280, Morrison County.

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

Hearsay

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the admission of confidential informant’s testimony violated hearsay rule?    

Defendant was convicted in Otter Tail County District Court of 1st degree controlled substance crime.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce the substance of the confidential informant’s statements into evidence.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held, noting that the State used the content of the CI’s controlled phone calls as substantive evidence, that admission of the phone calls was plain error that prejudiced defendant.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Rogahn, A20-0861, Otter Tail County.

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

Peremptory Strikes

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the prosecutor’s removal of the only minority juror was race neutral?    

Defendant was convicted of theft.  He appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that:  (1) the trial erred by denying his challenge to the prosecutor’s peremptory strike of the only minority juror; and (2) abused its discretion by admitting surveillance footage without proper authentication.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that:  (1) the struck juror’s recent criminal record was a race neutral reason for removal; and (2) it was proper to admit the surveillance footage based on the district manager’s authentication.  Affirmed.

State v. Brown, A20-0759, Scott County.

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

Firearms charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in imposing a sentencing enhancement?   

Defendant pleaded guilty to possessing an unregistered short barreled shotgun.  The District Court, when sentencing defendant, ordered an enhancement for possessing a destructive device.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court, holding it was plain error to order an enhancement for possessing a destructive device because the shotgun did not have a large enough bore diameter to quality for the enhancement.  Remanded.

United States v. Zarate, 20-1154, 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.

Federal Sentencing

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court did not err in applying carjacking offense characteristic as sentencing enhancement?    

Defendant was convicted of carjacking, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, and, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that:  (1)  it was not error to admit photos and conversations from a Facebook page; and (2)  the defendant failed to show that it was error to apply the carjacking offense characteristic as a sentencing enhancement.  Affirmed.

United States v. Wright, 19-3190, Smith, J.  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.

Minnesota Second Amendment Attorney

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

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won another gun rights restoration case out of Benton County.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had honorably served in the military and was retired law enforcement.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had been a firearm’s instructor.  Ms. Torgerson’s client had had one disqualifying conviction.  Ms. Torgerson’s client was a law abiding citizen, and not a risk to public safety.  Finding good cause, the trial court ordered restoration of gun rights.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Single Behavioral Incident

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in concluding that possession and dissemination of child pornography were separate criminal acts?    

Defendant was convicted of possession and dissemination of child pornography.  He appealed his sentence.  He argued that the trial court erred in imposing sentences for both possession, and, dissemination of child pornography on the grounds that they were committed as part of a single behavioral incident.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the dissemination and possession offense were separate criminal acts because they did not share unity of time.  Affirmed.

State v. Rudquist, A20-1012, Carver County.

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

Possession of Child Pornography

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support conviction of possession of child pornography?    

Defendant was convicted of possession of child pornography in Olmsted County.  Defendant appealed.  Defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of child pornography.  Noting that a cell phone and hard drive recovered from defendant’s home contained images of young girls that the jury determined were child pornography, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that circumstantial evidence was sufficient to establish that defendant was in constructive possession of the computer hard drive.  Affirmed.

State v. Kamencic, A20-0050, Olmsted County.

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

Change of Venue

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the two defendants could bring a motion to change venue?    

Medical malpractice case was brought in county where one defendant resided, but where the cause of action did not occur.  Two defendants brought a united motion to change venue under Minn. Stat. §542.10, which allows “several defendants residing in different counties” to compel a transfer of venue when the majority of them united in the demand.  The trial court denied the motion, concluding two defendants did not amount to several.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed.  The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed, holding that the word “several” in the context of venue motions means “separate.”  Therefore, two defendants may unite in a request under Minn. Stat. §542.10 to change venue.

Manselle v. Krogstad, A20-0076, Minnesota Supreme Court.

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

Defamation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the court did not err in dismissing defamation law suit?    

Appellant, a former city chief of police, challenged summary judgment dismissing his defamation and data practices claims relating to statements made in connection with an employment background investigation.  He also contested the denial of his motion to amend his complaint to seek punitive and exemplary damages.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that (1) the alleged defamatory statements were true, expressed opinions rather than facts, or were protected by conditional privilege, and (2) appellant did not produce evidence of damage caused by the claimed data practices violations.  Affirmed.

Madison v. Todd County, A20-0794, Morrison County.

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

Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer

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

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer Lynne Torgerson won a gun rights restoration case in Benton County.  Ms. Torgerson’s client was a high school graduate, a university graduate, had obtained a Master’s Degree, and a doctoral degree.  He had served in the Army, and received an Honorable Discharge.  He had served in the National Guard, and received an Honorable Discharge.  His career was in education.  Approximately 27 years earlier, he had been convicted of 2nd degree assault, his only disqualifying offense.  Finding good cause, the trial court granted the petition for restoration.  Well done Ms. Torgerson.

Right to a Public Trial

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court violated defendant’s constitutional right to a public trial?    

Defendant was convicted of 2nd degree driving while impaired and driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety.  During the trial, the trial court conducted voir dire of a juror in chambers in order to protect the other jurors from the bias of that juror.  Defendant appealed on the grounds that his constitutional right to a public trial was violated.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court violated the defendant’s constitutional right to a public trial, and that the court should have rather, excused the other jurors from the courtroom and conducted voir dire in the open, public courtroom.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Montonye, A20-0640, Stevens County.

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

Right of confrontation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court properly relied on written exhibits to calculate criminal history score?    

Defendant was convicted of 3rd degree drug sale and 5th degree drug possession.  At sentencing, the trial court relied on three (3) written exhibits to calculate his criminal history score.  Defendant objected on the grounds that it violated his 6th Amendment right of confrontation.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the trial court’s reliance on the written exhibits did not violate defendant’s right of confrontation.  Affirmed.

State v. Wright, A20-0933, Hennepin County.

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

Prisons and COVID

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in denying plaintiff’s request for relief based up COVID?    

Defendant is incarcerated in Moose Lake Prison.  Defendant requested to be released on the grounds that the Minnesota Department of Corrections, its Commissioner, and the prison’s Warden were not complying with their duties to protect him from COVID.  The trial court denied defendant’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and, for a writ of mandamus.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s request on the grounds that he failed to establish that respondents were deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm to the health of defendant and other prisoners.  Affirmed.

Foster v. Minn. Dept. of Corrections, A20-0976, (Carlton County).

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

Perjury

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the defendant’s perjury conviction should be reversed?    

Defendant was convicted of perjury.  She appealed.  On appeal, she challenged the sufficiency of the evidence, failure of the prosecution to disclose impeachment evidence, and the introduction of inadmissible evidence.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the circumstances proved were consistent with only one conclusion:  that defendant knowingly testified falsely at the omnibus hearing for her daughter’s boyfriend that the boyfriend was at her house on the night of an alleged assault.  Affirmed.

State v. Mastin, A20-0822, Faribault County.

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

Spreigl evidence

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether in defendant’s burglary trial the trial properly admitted Spreigl evidence?    

Defendant was convicted of 2nd degree burglary.  Police had stopped defendant who was driving a unique car which matched the description of one seen leaving two of a string of burglaries.  The police searched the vehicle and found evidence implicating him in another burglary.   During trial, the State sought to introduce as Spreigl evidence testimony describing, and surveillance video depicting, a different burglary during which the burglar wore distinctive clothing that matched clothing defendant was wearing when arrested.  The trial court allowed the Spreigl evidence.  Defendant appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that the Spreigl evidence clearly and convincingly showed both identity and a common scheme.  Affirmed.

State v. Nixon, A20-0413, Ramsey County.

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

Drug possession charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the denial of a hearing on defendant’s motion to withdraw a plea to 3rd degree drug possession was not error?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to 3rd degree possession of drugs in Hennepin County District Court.  Subsequently, defendant brought a motion to withdraw his plea.  After filing the paperwork, the trial denied defendant’s request for a hearing, and, denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.  Defendant appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that defendant was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing nor to withdraw his plea.  Affirmed.

State v. Jackman, A20-0735, Hennepin County.

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

Harassment Restraining Order

CASE LAW UPDATES:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction of violating a harassment restraining order?    

Defendant challenged her conviction for violating a harassment restraining order (HRO).  Noting that upon entering the ballroom where the victim was seated, defendant made eye contact with the victim, whispered to another person while laughing and point at the victim, followed the victim out of the ballroom, and walked up to the victim and said “[y]ou f—— b—– . . . I should just kick your f—— a–,” or words to that effect, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that sufficient evidence supported the jury’s determination that defendant violated the harassment restraining order (HRO).

State v. Boyd, A20-0663, Mille Lacs County.

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

Freedom of Religion

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s freedom of religion was not improperly infringed by one time denial of a Ramadan meal or Eid feast?    

Where an inmate challenged the adverse grant of summary judgment on claims arising from the denial of religious texts, the claims were subject to dismissal for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and the record did not establish that the practice of the inmate’s religion was substantially burdened under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act or the First Amendment by the one time denial of a Ramadan meal or Eid feast meal, so the judgment is affirmed.

Scott v. Gibson, 20-3000, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.

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

Restitution

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the defendant’s request for a restitution hearing was timely?    

Defendant was convicted of aggravated robbery.  Defendant requested a restitution hearing.  The trial court denied his request for a hearing.  Defendant appealed.  Defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his request on the grounds that it was untimely, because the Governor’s executive order suspending the statutory filing deadlines tolled the 30 day period in which a request must be made.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the Governor’s order suspending filing deadlines remained in effect, making his request timely.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Moreno, A20-1095, Benton County.

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

Investigatory Stops

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether there was a reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk defendant?    

The State, County of Hennepin, appeal the granting of a motion to suppress.  The State challenged an order suppressing evidence of defendant’s unlawful possession of a firearm.  The State argued that the trial court erred by concluding that officers lacked the requisite reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to stop and frisk defendant.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that evidence that an identified citizen informant called 911 and said an individual matching defendant’s description pointed a gun at someone during a funeral  was sufficient by itself to support the Terry stop.  Reversed and remanded.

State v. Demry, A20-1411, Hennepin County

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

Promotion of prostitution

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the State failed to prove prior convictions of theft by swindle were not from same behavioral incident?

Defendant was sentenced to 131 months prison for conviction of promotion of prostitution.   Defendant appealed.  Defendant argued that the trial court erred by assigning him 5 criminal history points, which included 3 points for 3 prior convictions for theft by swindle.  Defendant argued that the 3 points for the 3 prior convictions for theft by swindle arose from the same behavioral incident.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the State failed to prove that the 3 prior convictions for theft by swindle did not arise from the same behavioral incident.  However, the defendant had not raised this issue at the trial court.  Accordingly, the sentence is reversed, but the State can introduce evidence on this issue.

State v. Yancy, A19-1695, Hennepin County.

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

Criminal History Score

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court miscalculated defendant’s criminal history score?    

Defendant was convicted of fifth degree possession of methamphetamine.  After a probation violation, his probation was revoked.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court:  (1) miscalculated his criminal history score; (2) erroneously added a conditional release term to his sentence; (3) abused its discretion in denying his request for a downward dispositional departure; and (4) abused its discretion by revoking his probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the trial erred in calculating defendant’s criminal history score and in adding a conditional release term, but upheld the probation revocation and denial of a downward departure.

State v. Ames, A20-0835, A20-0837, Crow Wing County.

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

Right of Confrontation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the 911 calls were not barred by the 6th Amendment right of confrontation because they were nontestimonial?    

Two victims call 911 after defendant pistol whipped them.  The State charged defendant with unlawful possession of a firearm, second degree assault with a dangerous weapon, and misdemeanor domestic assault.  The trial court admitted the victims’ 911 calls into evidence as nontestimonial excited utterances.  On appeal, defendant challenged the admission of the 911 calls on the ground that it violated the 6th Amendment’s confrontation clause.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that because the circumstances surrounding the 911 calls objectively showed that the primary purpose of the statements was to describe the circumstances requiring police assistance, the statement were nontestimonial.  Affirmed.

State v. Stuckey, A20-0595, Hennepin County.

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

Failure to yield to pedestrian

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was insufficient to support conviction for failure to yield to pedestrian?    

Defendant was convicted of failing to yield to a pedestrian. Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued the trial court erred in instructing the jury, and, that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction.  Noting that for a safety zone, a cross walk, not to be a place of safety would in effect nullify the statutes relating to pedestrian right of way at intersections and crosswalks, the Minnesota Court of Appeals found no abuse of discretion in the jury instructions, and, also found that the evidence supported the conviction.  Affirmed.

State v. Namst, A20-0482, Hennepin County.

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

DWI Physical Control

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was insufficient for DWI physical control?    

Defendant appealed his conviction of driving while impaired, DWI, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the jury’s guilty verdict.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that surveillance video evidence that defendant entered his semi truck through the driver’s door while intoxicated, remained in the truck for about 4 minutes, and that the truck was operable, was sufficient to establish defendant’s physical control of the vehicle.  Affirmed.

State v. Czarnecki, A20-0263, Meeker County.

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

Possession of Firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the District Court erred in imposing a firearm enhancement in methamphetamine conviction?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  At sentencing, the District Court applied an sentencing enhancement following its finding that a revolver seized with the drugs belonged to the defendant.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where the informant’s tip stated that defendant was armed,  the firearm was found in a vehicle’s trunk, each of the occupants of the vehicle can be found to be in joint constructive possession of the firearm, and a sentencing enhancement may be applied.

United States v. Selby, 19-3778, 19-3779, 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.

Child Pornography Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in defendant’s sentence for child pornography?    

Defendant was convicted of possession of child pornography.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant challenged the calculation of his criminal history score.  He argued the trial court because it failed to establish the offense dates for two of the four counts to which he pleaded guilty.  These facts are necessary to determine the assignment of multiple custody status points for those offenses.  Additionally, defendant alleged that the trial court imposed sentences in the wrong order.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because defendant admitted to possession of child pornography during the same time frame he was on probation, his criminal history score properly included two custody status points.

State v. Flantz, A20-0667, Anoka County.

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

Juvenile Delinquency Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in revoking extended juvenile jurisdiction status and executing the adult prison sentence?    

Defendant challenged the trial court’s revocation of his extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ) status and execution of an adult sentence.  Defendant claimed that the trail court erred in concluding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.  Noting that the trial court determinations were based on the facts in the record and finding no legal error, there was no abuse of discretion in revoking the extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ) status and executing an adult prison sentence.

State v. D.D., A20-0490, Hennepin County.

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

Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he or his accomplice used force or coercion to accomplish penetration.  Noting that the force or coercion used against the victim need not precede or be separate from the sexual penetration, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence supported defendant’s conviction.

State v. Mullen, A20-0305, A20-0310, St. Louis County.

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

Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support convictions of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct and 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct, 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, felony stalking, and assault.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was not sufficient to support his convictions.  The victim’s testimony was that defendant put his arm around her neck and grabbed her arm, eliciting pain, to force her to show him to her bedroom, that defendant forcefully choked her during sex, and, that she tried but was unable to push him off.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that evidence showed that the victim reasonable possessed an imminent fear of great bodily harm and that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions.

State v. Schuety, A19-1637, Crow Wing County.

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

Burglary Charges Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the circumstantial evidence was insufficient to support burglary conviction?    

Defendant was convicted of burglary.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his burglary conviction.  The circumstances proved were that a person used a slingshot to break windows at a building separate from the restaurant defendant was charged with burglarizing.  Evidence was that he entered that building with a bag and conducted a search.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that although the circumstances were consistent with defendant burglarizing that building, the circumstances allowed for a reasonable hypothesis that defendant did not enter the restaurant that was the basis of the charge.  Conviction reversed.

State v. Nixon, A20-0411, Ramsey  County.

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

First degree felony assault

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether it was not error to exclude evidence of civil lawsuit?    

A six (6) month old child was injured at defendant’s daycare.  A jury found defendant guilty and she was convicted of 1st degree assault.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court abused its discretion by precluding evidence about the child’s parents’ civil suit for monetary damages against defendant.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that evidence of a civil lawsuit could be relevant, but then so would the related bankruptcy and insurance policy, which would lead to a trial within a trial.  That would unduly confusing to a jury.  Accordingly, it was proper to exclude this evidence.  Affirmed.

State v. Gregor, A20-0141, Scott County.

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

Drug Charge Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain conviction of distribution of drugs resulting in death?    

Defendant was convicted of distribution of drugs resulting in the death of a customer.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to prove that the defendant distributed the fentanyl that caused the death.  Affirmed.

United States v. Ross, 19-3524, Wollman, 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.

Firearms Charges Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the four (4) level enhancement for using a firearm in connection with another offense was not erroneous?    

Defendant pleaded guilty and was convicted of using a firearm in connection with another crime.  The District Court imposed a four (4) level enhancement to defendant’s sentence for using a firearm in connection with another offense.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the four (4) level enhancement for using a firearm in connection with another crime was not error.

United States v. Lawrence, 20-2128, per curiam.  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.

Juvenile Delinquency Defense Attorney

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in denying adult certificate and extended jurisdiction juvenile (EJJ)?    

Juvenile defendant was charged with second degree murder and aiding and abetting 1st degree aggravated robbery.  The trial court denied the State’s motion for adult certification and extended juvenile jurisdiction (EJJ).  The State appealed.  The State argued that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to properly consider public safety factors.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that when considering the culpability factor in determining whether granting adult certification serves public safety, the trial court may not consider mitigating factors that are not recognized by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.  Reversed and remanded.

In re H.B., A20-0954, Hennepin County.

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

Drive By Shooting

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain defendant’s conviction of drive by shooting?    

Defendant was convicted of drive by shooting and assault.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the evidence was not sufficient to sustain his conviction of drive by shooting.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that two (2) victims testified that they heard defendant threaten them, saw him point the barrel of a rifle in their direction, and heard a gunshot.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that this direct evidence was sufficient to sustain defendant’s conviction.

State v. Linderman, A20-0483, Chisago County.

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

Assault with great bodily harm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether evidence of defendant’s alcohol consumption in assault case was relevant as to his judgment?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree assault, the infliction of great bodily harm upon his 5 month old son.  The evidence showed that the injuries occurred while defendant was home alone with his 2 infant children.  Medical evidence also showed that the injuries resulted from non-accidental, abusive, physical trauma.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erred in admitting evidence:  (1) of his alcohol consumption, and (2) his prior domestic abuse of his girlfriend.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of alcohol consumption on the grounds that it was relevant to defendant’s judgment, conduct, and credibility of details of incident; and (2) that defendant was not unfairly prejudiced by evidence that he previously assaulted his ex-girlfriend.  Affirmed.

State v. Damian, A20-0450, Meeker County.

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

DWI & DUI

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the use of force in an arrest cannot be the basis of a motion to suppress in a DWI case?    

A deputy sergeant stopped a car driven by defendant and arrested him for driving while under the influence and with a cancelled license.  The officer had drawn his firearm and ordered defendant to the ground.  Defendant was convicted of DWI and DUI and driving with a cancelled license.  On appeal, defendant argued that his motion to suppress should have been granted on the grounds that the police officer used excessive force while arresting him.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the use of force, even if excessive, is not a basis for a motion to suppress evidence.  Affirmed.

State v. Urrutia, A20-0178, Beltrami County.

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

Ineligible in Possession of Firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether evidentiary errors entitle defendant to a new trial?    

Defendant was convicted of ineligible person in possession of ammunition and second degree sale of heroin.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal defendant argued that he is entitled to a new trial on the grounds of multiple evidentiary errors.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held there was no plain error by allowing the State to offer defendant’s messages and parking lot activities to prove a necessary element of the sale of heroin charge, and, that defendant’s text messages were not admitted to prove the truth of their contents, but to contextualize defendant’s messages.

State v. Freeman, A20-0192, Hennepin County.

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

Sex Offender Registration

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant was properly required to register as a sex offender against a minor?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor.  Under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act statute, defendant was sentenced to register, because his offense was categorized as a sex offense against a minor.  After awhile, defendant stopped registering.  He was convicted of failing to register.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the statute was void for vagueness.  The statute provided that a defendant is required to register when the circumstances involved a sex offense against a minor.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the district court correctly found that defendant’s conduct involved a sex offense against a minor.  Affirmed.

United States v. Burgee, 19-3034, Smith, 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.

Motion to suppress

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the arrest was justified under the community care-taking doctrine?    

Defendant appealed from the denial of his motion to suppress evidence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where defendant was stopped after a report that a child was with defendant, that defendant was armed and threatened to kill anyone who came to get the child, and where defendant escalated the situation during the welfare check, officers had a reasonable basis to arrest defendant under the community care-taking doctrine.

United States v. Halter, 20-1219, Erickson, 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 Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the amendment of the complaint was proper?    

The State accused the defendant of sexually assaulting an 11 year old girl.  Defendant was charged with 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  A bench trial was held.  After the victim testified about the timing of the sexual assault, the State was allowed to amend the complaint from “on or about” a specific date to “on or about” a range of 3 years that ended with a specific date.  Defendant appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the amendment.  Affirmed.

State v. Murdock, A20-0323, Hennepin County.

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

Minnesota Drug Charges Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the drug test was a condition of release not a term of the plea agreement?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree sale of methamphetamine and 2nd degree possession of methamphetamine, pursuant to a plea agreement.  Defendant appealed her sentence.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court improperly participated in plea negotiations by requiring her to take a drug test, and then penalizing her for failing to comply with this condition by imposing a lengthier sentence than recommended under the plea agreement.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the requirement of a drug test was a condition of release pending sentencing, not a term of the plea agreement.

State v. Bigelow, A20-0600, Olmsted County.

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

Obstructing Legal Process

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in admitting hearsay in obstructing legal process trial?    

Defendant was convicted of fifth degree assault and obstructing legal process.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court plainly erred by admitting:  (1)  a police officer’s out of court statement that defendant bites and spits; and (2) two officers’ testimony that defendant’s conduct interfered with their work.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the challenged statement was not clearly inadmissible hearsay and its admission was not plain error.  Affirmed.

State v. Anderson, A20-0028, Carver County.

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

Ineligible Person in Possession of Firearm

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

Defendant was convicted of being an ineligible person in possession of ammunition and receiving stolen property.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued his right to a speedy trial was violated.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that defendant’s right to a speedy trial was not violated because during the delay he was already incarcerated on unrelated charges, he suffered no apparent prejudice in being able to present his defense, and the reasons for the delay were large administrative.

State v. Morrow, A19-1658, Blue Earth County.

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

Possession of firearm and drug trafficking

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether stop of defendant’s vehicle was supported by reasonable suspicion?    

Defendant was convicted of possession with intent to distribute drugs and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Defendant appealed.  Defendant’s vehicle was stopped after a report of a trespassing vehicle, a police dispatch regarding same, and after he veered on to the wrong side of the road.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the officers had a reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop and could continue the stop through investigation of the trespassing report.  Affirmed.

United States v. Marin, 19-3214, Pitlyk, J.  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.

Minnesota Order for Protection Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to find that domestic abuse occurred thereby justifying issuance of the order for protection (OFP)?    

Respondent requested an order for protection (OFP) on behalf of the parties’ minor child.  The trial court granted same.  Appellant appealed.  On appeal, appellant challenged the OFP arguing the record did not support a finding that appellant committed domestic abuse.  Appellant argued that the trial court’s finding that she slapped and kicked the child was clearly erroneous.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the child’s testimony that appellant slapped him, kicked him, and screamed in his face, was sufficient to support the finding of domestic abuse.  Affirmed.

Prudhomme v. Kazmierczak, A20-0300, Steele County.

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

Stalking Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s plea to stalking was accurate?    

Defendant was convicted of stalking pursuant to his guilty plea.  Defendant subsequently sought to withdraw his plea on the grounds that it was not accurate.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that:  (1) given that defendant was subject to multiple orders that prevented him from having contact with the victim, being near her home, or being at their child’s school; and (2) he nevertheless went to the school and told the victim that if she did not shut it down, he would do something newsworthy to her, the record established that defendant should have known his conduct would cause the victim to feel terrorized, and the plea was accurate.

State v. McReynolds, A20-0373, Hennepin County.

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

Drug Charges Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the district court should have departed downward on defendant’s sentence on a drug charge?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to a drug offense.  At sentencing, defendant requested that the court impose a downward departure.  The district court declined to give defendant a downward departure.  Defendant appealed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sentence on the grounds that the District Court did not fail to recognize its authority to impose a downward departure, and the sentence was substantively reasonable.

United States v. Gilbert, 20-1143, per curiam.  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.

Felon in Possession of Firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s conviction for felon in possession of a firearm should be reversed because the firearm should be have suppressed?    

Defendant was convicted of felony in possession of a firearm.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the firearm should have been suppressed.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that defendant waived the issue that the firearm should have been suppressed because he failed to raise the issue in a pretrial motion to suppress.  The evidence was sufficient to prove defendant possessed the firearm.  Affirmed.

United States v. Strain, 20-1289, per curiam.  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.

Minnesota Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the prior 2006 Illinois conviction did not qualify as a serious drug felony so the 25 year mandatory minimum sentence did not apply?    

Defendant was convicted of drug trafficking.  Defendant was sentenced.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the government failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a prior 2006 Illinois conviction qualified as a serious drug felony, so that the 25 year mandatory minimum sentence did not apply.   The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Accordingly, defendant was entitled to a resentencing.

United States v. Oliver, 19-2209, Kelly, J.  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.

 

Minnesota Drug Charges Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in its determination of drug quantity?    

Defendant pleaded guilty to drug offenses.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant challenged her sentence.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that:  (1) the district court did not err in its determination of drug quantity; (2) there was no error in assessing firearm or role enhancements; (3) the sentence was not substantively unreasonable.  Affirmed.

United States v. Kivett, 20-2262, per curiam.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

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

Drug Charges Defense Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction of first degree controlled substance crime?    

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree controlled substance crime.  On appeal, he argued the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction.  Noting that defendant had admitted to using methamphetamine during the week, and that a lottery ticket with defendant’s name on it was in the cooler with the drugs, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant constructively possessed the methamphetamine found in his truck.

State v. Anderson, A20-0213, Hennepin County.

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

Domestic Assault Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the victim wife’s statement’s were admissible under the residual hearsay exception?    

Defendant was convicted of domestic assault and possession of methamphetamine.  Defendant argued on appeal that his convictions must be reversed on the grounds that the trial abused its discretion in admitting his wife’s audio recorded statement to police and a video statement on a body worn camera.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that there was evidence of trustworthiness under the totality of circumstances.  Affirmed.

State v. Johnson, A19-2989, McLeod County.

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

Solicitation of Juvenile

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether evidence was sufficient to sustain conviction of soliciting a juvenile through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct?    

Defendant was convicted of soliciting a juvenile through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct.  He appealed.  Defendant argued that (1) the evidence was insufficient; and (2) the jury erred in rejecting his entrapment defense.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant reasonably believed the person he solicited and agreed to hire was 15 years old.  Further, there was no evidence that the State induced defendant to solicit and hire the poster.  Affirmed.

State v. Ineh, A20-0005, Hennepin County.

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

Felony Interference with Privacy of a Minor

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether knowledge of age is not an element of the offense of felony interference with the privacy of a minor?    

Defendant was convicted of felony interference with the privacy of a minor.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court in its interpretation of Minn. Stat. §609.746, subd. 1(e)(2), the felony interference with the privacy of a minor statute.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that a conviction for interference with the privacy of a minor under §609.746, subd. 1(e)(2) does not require proof that the defendant had knowledge of the victim’s age.  Affirmed.

State v. Galvan-Contreras, A20-0366, Hennepin County.

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

Possession of a Firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether  the defendant possessed of firearm in connection with drug trafficking?    

Defendant was convicted in federal court of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  On appeal, defendant argued that he possessed a gun to only protect his chickens.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded there was strong evidence that showed a link between the gun possession and the crime of drug trafficking, whereby the jury could find the required nexus without expert testimony.

United States v. Urbina-Rodriguez, 19-3022, Melloy, J.  Appealed from the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri.

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

Minnesota Probation Violation Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court should not have revoked defendant’s probation?    

Defendant appealed the revocation of her probation.  Defendant had violated the conditions of her probation by failing to abstain from using alcohol and by failing to follow the recommendations of her chemical dependency assessment.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the record supported the trial court’s finding that confinement was necessary to protect the public and that defendant was in need of correctional treatment that could most effectively be provided if she were incarcerated.  Affirmed.

State v. Davis, A20-0448, Clay County.

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

Solicitation of a child

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant failed to make a threshold showing of entrapment in solicitation of child case?    

Defendant was convicted of engaging in electronic communication relating sexal conduct with someone believed to be a child.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence did not support the jury’s rejection of his entrapment defendant.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that defendant failed to make a threshold showing of inducement, noting that the agent’s attempts to reengage defendant during lapses in texting afforded the defendant the opportunity to engage in crime and were not improper inducement.  Affirmed.

State v. Mallet, A19-1972, Ramsey 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 defendant’s habeas corpus petition could only be granted on the grounds of actual innocence?    

Defendant was convicted of felon in possession of a firearm.  He brought a petition for habeas corpus relief.  The claim was procedurally defaulted.  Accordingly, the petition could be granted in a habeas proceeding only if defendant showed actual prejudice or actual innocence.  The evidence did not establish actual prejudice or actual innocence.  Affirmed.

Clay v. United States, 20-1232, 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 Robbery Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred when it refused to instruct the jury on duress or coercion?    

Defendant was convicted of robbing an individual of personal property belong to the United States.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the District Court erred when it refused to instruct the jury on duress or coercion.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the defendant failed to prove the existence of duress or coercion by a preponderance of the evidence.  Accordingly, the District Court did not prohibit the defendant from arguing his theory of defense.  Affirmed.

United States v. Sharron, 20-1427, Erickson, J.  Appealed from United States District Court, District of Nebraska.

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

Drug conspiracy charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the wiretap evidence should not be suppressed for failure to properly minimize?    

Defendant was convicted in federal court of drug conspiracy.  On appeal, defendant challenged the denial of his motion to suppress wiretap evidence.  He argued that the government did not properly minimize irrelevant communications.  The trial court held that the government complied with the minimization mandate.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld defendant’s conviction for drug conspiracy and the denial of the motion to suppress.  Affirmed.

United States v. Campbell, 19-1127, Shepherd, j.  Appealed from United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa.

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

Drug charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the informant’s tip was not sufficiently corroborated?    

Defendant was convicted of three controlled substance crimes.  An informant gave police a photo of defendant and told them defendant would arrive at a location within a general time frame in possession of cocaine.  Defendant arrived in the backseat of an Uber.  The police conducted a search of the Uber, found cocaine the in the backseat, and arrested defendant.  Subsequently, the police conducted a search pursuant to a search warrant of defendant’s home and found drugs there as well.  Defendant moved to suppress the evidence found in the Uber and at his home.  The trial court denied the motion.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the informant was a stool pigeon the courts were reluctant to believe, and that the informant’s tip was not sufficiently corroborated to support the arrest.  Reversed.

State v. De Sala De La Rosa, A20-0360, Hennepin County.

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

Identity theft and theft by swindle

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the defendant’s straight plea to identity theft and theft by swindle was valid?    

Defendant entered a straight plea to identity theft and theft by swindle.  Defendant had admitted that he obtained personal information from incarcerated persons and then used that information to apply for welfare benefits.  Two (2) years after sentencing, defendant brought a petition for post conviction relief, asserting his guilty pleas were involuntary because the State Failed to fulfill a purported plea agreement.  The trial court denied the petition, concluding that the record did not support his claim that a plea agreement existed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that the plea colloquy showed that defendant explicitly stated that he understood that he was entering  straight plea.

Shelby v. State, A20-0724, Ramsey County.

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

Minnesota Sex Crimes Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s mistake of age defense in 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct case was valid?    

In 2017, defendant pleaded guilty to 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct with a child.  Defendant later brought a petition for post conviction relief.  In the petition, defendant raised a mistake of age defense to challenge the plea’s validity.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that defendant waived the mistake of age defense by pleading guilty.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals then affirmed the trial court’s summary dismissal of defendant’s petition for post conviction relief.

Miller v. State, A20-0430, Hennepin County.

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

Possession of Methamphetamine

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence established constructive possession of methamphetamine?    

Defendant was convicted of felony fifth degree controlled substance possession and petty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.  Defendant appealed.  He argued that the evidence was insufficient because (1) others regularly used his shop; and (2) he was at home, nine (9) blocks away, and not near the methamphetamine when it was found.  Noting that defendant admitted that there might be drugs on the property, and, that people did drugs at the shop, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that defendant constructively possessed the methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, because when they were found, there was a strong probability that defendant was exercising dominion and control.  Affirmed.

State v. Hamer, A20-0306, Lincoln County.

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

Illegal Firearm Possession

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a person knows they cannot possess a firearm is not an element of the crime?    

Defendant was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm and fifth degree possession of a controlled substance.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, she argued that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the State was not required to prove that defendant knew she was ineligible to possess a firearm, so the absence of such evidence did not undermine the conviction.  Generally, lack of knowledge of the law is not a defense.  Affirmed.

State v. Harris, A19-1965, Dakota County.

Minnesota Firearms and Weapons Charges Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Sex crime charges in Minnesota

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain defendant’s conviction of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct?   

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that his conviction must be reversed because the State failed to provide his guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Defendant argued that the child victim’s testimony was insufficient to sustain his conviction.  Noting that the jury credited the victim’s testimony, and disbelieved evidence to the contrary, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded the evidence was sufficient.

State v. Coe, A19-2086, Hennepin County.

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

2nd degree assault with dangerous weapon

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether 2nd degree assault with a dangerous weapon conviction will be affirmed because the non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence was harmless?   

Defendant was convicted of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon.  The conviction was based upon video evidence that defendant used his motor vehicle to chase a man across a grassy area of a city park and either hit the man with the vehicle, attempt to do so, or cause the man to fear that he would be hit.  Defendant argued that the trial court erred by denying his motion for a new trial on the grounds that the State’s failure to disclose evidence that would have impeached the two officer witnesses with evidence of misconduct in a different case.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because the video showed defendant’s assault, he failed to establish the third requirement of the Brady test, prejudice cause by the non-disclosure.  Affirmed.

State v. Peguse, A19-2026, Ramsey County.

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

Constructive Possession of Firearm

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant was guilty of felon in possession of a firearm because he constructively possessed a firearm?   

Defendant was convicted of aiding and abetting felon in possession of a firearm.  He appealed his conviction.  The evidence showed that defendant constructively possessed a handgun and was in joint constructive possession of three (3) other handguns, and that he knew he was a member of the class prohibited for possessing the weapons.  Therefore, the conviction is affirmed.

United States v. Brooks-Davis, 19-2876.  Loken, J.  Appealed the the United States District Court, District of Minnesota.

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

Minnesota Drug Charges Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence of defendant’s identity in his 3rd degree drug possession case was sufficient?   

Defendant was convicted of 3rd degree drug possession.  He appealed.  On appeal, he argued that the evidence was insufficient to identify him as the perpetrator of the crime of 3rd degree drug possession.  noting that one officer testified that he recognized defendant because he had law enforcement contacts with him many times, and, that another testified that he recognized defendant because he had met him about 10 times in his professional capacity, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that evidence as to identity was sufficient.

State v. Niesen, A20-0291, Hennepin County.

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

Minnesota Probation Violation Lawyer

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

Defendant violated his probation and his probation was revoked.  He was on probation for a conviction of third degree criminal sexual conduct.  He appealed.  He argued that the record does not support the trial court’s finding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that the seriousness of defendant’s probation violations had escalated, and, that probation was therefore not effective.  It further concluded that not revoking probation would unduly depreciate the seriousness of defendant’s violations.  Affirmed.

State v. Potter, A20-0671, Redwood County.

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

Failure to Register

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s conviction for failure to register must be reversed?   

Defendant challenged his conviction for failing to register as a predatory offender.  Based upon controlling precedent, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that defendant did not establish a violation of his procedural due process rights under the stigma plus doctrine.  Affirmed.

State v. Stewart, A20-0488, Otter Tail County.

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

Domestic Assault

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Was the evidence sufficient to support the conviction for domestic assault-fear conviction?   

Defendant was convicted of domestic assault-fear.  The elements of domestic assault fear are doing an act with intent to cause in another of immediate bodily harm or death.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient on the grounds that he intended a contingent threat.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence that defendant made a threat to “get somebody right now to come kill” the victim was sufficient to support the conviction.  Affirmed.

State v. Cregg, A20-0047, Hennepin County.

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

Homicide and Murder Charges

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying $6300 for expert services and only granting $1200?   

Defendant Police Officer Kueng, one of the police officer defendants in the George Floyd murder case, requested $6300 for expert services related to a motion to change venue due to excessive pretrial publicity.  Defendant Kueng evidently has been found indigent.  However, it appears that his counsel is privately retained, and not a public defender.  The trial court granted $1200 for expert services, but denied the $6300.  What is interesting in this case is that in the not too distant past, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that for defendants who retained private counsel, they could never get assistance with expert services.  And, counsel in this case appears to be privately retained.  So, it appears that this issue has been muddied:  whether defendants who have retained private counsel may seek assistance with expert witness fees?

State v. Kueng, A20-1225, Hennepin County.

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

Theft

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court did not err in ordering $4000 in restitution?   

Defendant was convicted of receiving stolen property after stealing his employer’s vehicles.  The trial court ordered him to pay $4,000.00 in restitution.  Defendant challenged that order arguing that (1) the State failed to establish the restitution value by a preponderance of the evidence and (2) the trial court erred because it based its restitution order on an affidavit submitted by the victim and supporting hearsay documents among other errors.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the value was supported by the record and no error.

State v. Krithers, A19-1234, St. Louis County.

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

2nd Degree Felony Assault

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in excluding defendant’s medical opinion expert?   

Defendant was convicted of 2nd degree felony assault.  On appeal, he argued that the trial court prejudicially erred in excluding medical opinion testimony on the cause of defendant’s injury, which he proffered to support his self defense claim.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that defendant violated a discovery rule by failing to disclose the medical opinion testimony before trial.  Further, any error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt on the grounds that even if the medical opinion was admitted, it would not have changed the jury’s verdict.  Affirmed.

State v. Silva, A19-1768, Dakota County.

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

Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s constitutionally required 5th Amendment right to remain silent was violated at his jury trial?   

Defendant was convicted of 2 counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct.  On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erred by failing to grant a mistrial after a detective witness testified that defendant declined, post Miranda, to talk to investigators in violation of defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the detective’s disclosure to the jury that defendant had exercise his right to remain silent constituted an error, but held in was harmless error, claiming it was a lone statement in voluminous proceedings, and, a curative instruction was given.

State v. Rundles, A19-1601, Dakota County.

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

COMMENTARY:  With all due respect, this decision needs to be reversed by the Minnesota Supreme Court.  There cannot be “harmless error” in these circumstances.  What does the 5th Amendment require?  That if you invoke your constitutional right to remain silent, your silence CANNOT be used against you in a court of law.  The 5th Amendment requires that no one, including the judge, prosecutor and witnesses, CANNOT comments on the invocation of a constitutional right.  This case is manifestly unconstitutional, and needs to be reversed.  We cannot allow bad facts to destroy our constitution.

Child Pornography

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

Defendant was convicted of child pornography.  On appeal, he challenged the denial of his motion to suppress.  The defendant’s friend had seized and searched a USB drive found in defendant’s bathroom.  Lacking State action, the friend’s actions were not subject to the Fourth Amendment, the police chief did not violate the Fourth Amendment by seizing the USB drive before obtaining a warrant.  Additionally, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld defendant’s 180 year sentence as substantively reasonable.

United States v. Stephen, 19-1966, Gruender, J. 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.

Minnesota Theft Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain conviction for theft?   

Defendant was convicted of shoplifting theft.  The evidence was that he removed several items from a retail store without paying for them.  Defendant contended that he did not commit a crime by temporarily leaving his cart, which contained unpaid for items, near the customer service area and the exit, while he spoke with customer service employees.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction of shoplifting theft, noting that the inference that defendant intended to purchase the unpaid for items in his cart after putting the items he paid for back in his vehicle was not a reasonable inference in light of the evidence that defendant and another who attempted to  leave the store with the cart coordinated a hand off of the cart.

State v. Quaas, A19-2076, Beltrami County.

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

Accomplice Testimony

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient because the accomplice testimony was corroborated?   

Defendant was convicted of drive by shooting and 1st degree assault.  On appeal, defendant argued that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction on the grounds that the accomplice testimony was uncorroborated; and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by admitting videos of defendant with firearms as Spreigl evidence.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the accomplice testimony was sufficiently corroborated, and, that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the videos as Spreigl evidence.  Conviction affirmed.

State v. Jones, A19-1625, Washington County.

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

Probation Violation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether defendant’s probation violations were intentional or inexcusable?   

Defendant’s probation was revoked.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court failed to find that his probation violations were intentional or inexcusable, and, that the record did not support the Court’s finding that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.  Noting that defendant admitted that his controlled substance violations were either intentional or inexcusable, and the trial court’s express finding that the Austin factors were satisfied, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the violations were intentional or inexcusable thus supporting the probation revocation.

State v. Jackson, A20-0782, Stearns County.

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

Fourth Amendment

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether flipping an officer the middle finger is protected speech?   

Plaintiff flipped off a traffic officer.  Subsequently, he was subjected to a stop.  Later, he sued the officer for alleged 1st and 4th Amendment violations.  The officer raised qualified immunity.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that:   (1) the district court erred in granting qualified immunity on the First Amendment retaliation claim, because flipping the middle finger is protected speech.

Garcia v. City of New Hope, 19-1836, Smith 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.

Child Pornography

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether admission of evidence that defendant posted photos of young female in child pornography case was harmless error?   

Defendant was convicted of possession of child pornography.  On appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in admitting evidence that he posted photos of a young female relative to a website called PrimeJailBait.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that any error was harmless given the ample, properly admitted evidence that defendant knowingly received child pornography.

United States v. Croghan, 18-3709, Smith 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 defendant’s 6th Amendment right of confrontation was violated?  

Defendant was convicted of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct and 5th degree criminal sexual conduct.  On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court deprived him of his 6th Amendment right of confrontation under the United States and Minnesota Constitutions.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that even though defendant was allowed to cross examine the victim before, but not after, the State introduced the victim’s prior statements, his 6th Amendment right of confrontation was not violated.

State v. Leonard, A19-1771, Fillmore County.

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

Carrying a pistol without a permit

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether in this carrying without a permit case the trial court erred in failing to strike a juror sua sponte for bias?  

Defendant was convicted of carrying a pistol without a permit.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal, he argued that he was entitled to a new trial on the grounds that the trial court erred by failing to strike a juror sua sponte for bias.  Because defendant failed to bring a for cause challenge to the juror in the trial court, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the question of whether the trial court erred by failing to strike the juror sua sponte was not properly before it.  Affirmed.

State v. Collins, A19-1277, Hennepin County.

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

Felony Domestic Assault

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the 911 call was admissible as an excited utterance?  

Defendant was convicted of felony domestic assault and 2nd degree assault.  On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court abused its discretion by (1) admitting a 911 call at trial as an excited utterance over hearsay and foundation objections.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that, because the victim’s 911 call statements were cumulative of and corroborated properly admitted evidence, even if were admitted erroneously, their admission had no reasonable possibility of significantly affecting the verdict and therefore would be harmless error.

State v. Northrup, A19-1806, St. Louis County.

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

Probation Revocation

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court erred in revoking defendant’s probation and executing his prison sentence?  

The trial court revoked defendant’s sentence and executed his prison sentence.  Defendant appealed.  Defendant argued that the trial court abused its discretion because it did not find, and the record did not show, that the need for confinement outweighed the policies favoring probation.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded there was no abuse of discretion, noting that the record revealed that the trial court carefully applied Austin, and Modtland in revoking defendant’s probation.  Affirmed.

State v. Anderson-Larscheid, A20-0376, Rice County.

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

Criminal Sexual Conduct

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s convictions of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct?  

On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions of (1) 1st degree criminal sexual conduct on the grounds that defendant used force or coercion to accomplish the penetration; and (2) 1st degree criminal sexual conduct on the grounds that the victim was physically helpless.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that because the infliction of bodily harm is itself force as defined by the statute, the jury was not required to find that infliction of bodily harm caused the victim to submit to penetration, thus affirming the force based conviction.  However, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that the physically helpless conviction had to be vacated on the grounds that the trial court erroneously adjudicated multiple convictions on the basis of the same act or course of conduct.

State v. Bingham, A20-0318, Olmsted County.

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

Identity Theft

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction for identity theft?  

On appeal defendant challenged the sufficient of the evidence for the convictions of identity theft involving more than 3 victims and for possession of a credit card reencoding device.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld defendant convictions noting that:  (1) defendant engaged in multiple fraudulent transactions at or near the airport in the weeks preceding the disputed transaction; (2) defendant had a prior association with the principal who used the 4th victim’s credit card; (3) defendant traveled with the principal and another associate on that same date; (4) the principal used a fraudulent credit card to purchase a laptop for defendant as well as other items for their mail associate; and (5) defendant and his associates agreed to a payment arrangement for online purchases.  Affirmed.

State v. Abdirahman, A20-0070, Hennepin County.

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

Perjury

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether there was sufficient evidence to support defendant’s perjury conviction?  

Defendant was convicted of perjury.  He appealed.  At trial, the notary testified that he did not administer an oath.  His testimony was uncontradicted.  Defendant’s conviction was based on a notarized affidavit he filed in litigation brought against him by a group of tenants.  On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence could not support a finding that he was under oath.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the jury had ample reason to doubt the notary’s testimony, and, that sufficient evidence supported the jury’s determination that defendant was under oath when he knowingly made false material statements in his affidavit.  Affirmed.

State v. Frenz, A20-0385, Hennepin County.

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

1st degree felony assault

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction of 1st degree felony assault?  

Defendant was convicted of 1st degree felony assault and aggravated robbery.  The evidence was that defendant and an accomplice assaulted a pedestrian by stabbing, punching, and kicking him, and stealing his wallet.  The victim suffered extensive injuries with permanent consequence.  The injuries defendant inflicted  actually put the victim’s life in danger.  According, the Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant inflicted great bodily harm upon the victim.  Affirmed.

State v. Easton, A19-1074, Hennepin County.

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

Sentencing

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether the trial court correctly assigned 1/2 criminal history point for prior conviction of 5th degree drug possession where defendant had a prior conviction of petty misdemeanor possession of marijuana?  

Defendant argued that the trial court erred in assigning 1/2 criminal history point for his prior first time conviction of 5th degree possession of cocaine as a gross misdemeanor which followed an earlier conviction of petty misdemeanor possession of marijuana.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that, for purposes of calculating criminal history, a 5th degree controlled substance possession offense is not classified as a gross misdemeanor when the defendant was previously convicted of a petty misdemeanor violation of chapter 152.

State v. Morgan, A19-1902, Hennepin County.

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

Firearms Lawyer

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether a distress flare launcher is not a firearm?  

At issue in this case was whether a distress flare launcher is a “firearm” under Minnesota Statute §624.713, subd. 1.  The trial court held that it was not.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed, concluding that it depended on whether or not defendant intended to use it as a weapon.  The Minnesota Supreme Court held that, for purposes of this statute, a “firearm” is an instrument designed for attack or defense that expels a projectile by the action or force or gunpowder, combustion, or some other explosive force.  Because a distress flare launcher is not such an instrument, it is not a firearm.  Reversed.

State v. Glover, A19-1656, Minnesota Supreme Court.

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

Expungement

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether it was proper to deny victim’s request to reopen expungement?  

Victim’s brother was murdered.  Defendant was charged, but acquitted of the murder.  Defendant subsequently obtained an expungement of the criminal records.  When the expungement was sought, the victim notification statute was violated.  Later, victim requested that the expunged records be re-opened on the grounds that the victim notification statute was violated.  The trial court denied her request to re-open the expunged records.  Victim appealed.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that victim failed to offer legal support for her underlying assumption that a violation of the victim notification statute would provide grounds for her to access the expunged record.  Affirmed.

In re Request for Records by Mohamed, A19-1694, Hennepin County.

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

Corona Virus COVID Update March 25, 2020

Update on Corona Virus

In regard to the corona virus related issues, this office is fully open and fully operational. I have been recognized as an essential worker in the Governor’s Executive Order. My work and cases are not affected, other than the courts appear to be slowing down.

Because my work involves protecting very important liberties and Constitutional Rights, and because I am a Criminal Defense Lawyer in criminal cases, and because citizens have a right to representation in criminal cases, which is guaranteed by the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and because I work to protect citizens’ Second Amendment rights, and, because a lot of work is done remotely, everything can easily proceed.

Areas of Law

Ms. Torgerson can represent you and your loved one, on the following charges:

appeals, assault, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, arson, burglary, carry and conceal, check forgery, child pornography, controlled substance crimes, credit card fraud, criminal sexual conduct, criminal vehicular operation, disorderly conduct, domestic abuse, domestic assault, domestic abuse no contact orders, drug charges, DWI/DUI, criminal sexual conduct, detox release, driving after suspension / revocation / cancellation, drivers license issues, electronic communications with a minor child, embezzlement, expungements, failure to register, false imprisonment, fleeing the police, forfeitures, forgery, fraud, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, gun charges, gun rights restoration, habeas corpus, harassment, harassment restraining order violations, homicide, identity theft, indecent exposure, juvenile crimes, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, obstructing legal process, orders for protection, parole violations, pornography, postconviction relief petitions, probation violations, prostitution, restraining orders, Second Amendment, sexual assault, sex crimes, shoplifting, solicitation of prostitution, terroristic threats, theft, theft by swindle, threats of violence, violation of orders for protection, weapons offenses, white collar crimes, and all other misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and felonies.