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

Appeal waiver

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

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

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

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

Methamphetamine Sentence

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

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

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

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

Drugs and guns

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

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

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

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

Odor of marijuana

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

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

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

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

Appeal waiver

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney

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

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Probation Violation Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

Interesting case!

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

In Camera Paradee Motion

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

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

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

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

Criminal Sexual Conduct Attorney

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Juvenile Attorney

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Probation Violation Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Second Amendment Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Firearms Charges Attorney

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Gun Charges Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Felon in possession of firearm

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

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

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

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

 

Second Amendment Attorney

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

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

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

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

Criminal sexual conduct attorney

Whether the four audio clips were properly admitted into evidence?    

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

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

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

The bad, federal, good faith exception

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

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

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

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

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

Domestic Abuse (DANCO)

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

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

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

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

Drug charges

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

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

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

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

Probation Revocation

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

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

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

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

Probation Violation Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Juvenile delinquency

Whether the probation of the juvenile was properly revoked?    

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

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

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

Competency

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

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

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

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

Felon in possession of a firearm

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

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

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

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

Confession

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

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

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

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

Postconviction Relief

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

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

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

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

Second Amendment Rights

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

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

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

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

Public nuisance

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

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

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

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

Right to Speedy Trial

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

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

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

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

Pretrial publicity

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

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

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

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

Drug charges

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

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

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

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

Probation Violation Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Right to a public trial

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

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

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

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

Somali cop murder vacated

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

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

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

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

 

Probation violation

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

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

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

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

Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer

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

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

Manslaughter

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

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

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

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

Child pornography

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

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

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

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

Criminal sexual conduct

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

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

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

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

Interference with privacy

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

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

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

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

Shoplifting charges

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

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

Motion to withdraw plea

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

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

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

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

Murder liability for aiding acquisition of drugs

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

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

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

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

Felon in possession of a firearm

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

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

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

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

Juvenile Delinquency

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

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

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

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

Peremptory Strikes

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer

Minnesota Expungement Attorney Lynne Torgerson wins expungement in Polk County    

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

Certificate of Innocence

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

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

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

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

State breach of plea agreement

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

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

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

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

Child pornography

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

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

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

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

Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

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

Felon in possession of firearm

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

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

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

Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson

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

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

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

Attorney Fees

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Criminal Sexual Conduct Lawyer

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Expungement Lawyer

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

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

Minnesota Probation Violation Lawyer

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

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

State v. Scaife, Hennepin County.

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

Vouching testimony

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

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

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

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

Attorney Fee Award

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Gun Rights Restoration Lawyer

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

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

Human Services Licensing

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

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

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

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

Malicious Punishment of Child

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

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

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

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

Stay of adjudication

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Second Amendment Attorney

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

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

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

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

Revenge porn statute

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

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

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

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

12 Person Jury Requirement

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

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

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

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

Felon in possession of firearm

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

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

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

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

First Amendment speech

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

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

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

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

Marijuana is still illegal

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

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

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

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

Minnesota Gun Rights Attorney

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

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

Drug Sales Charges

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

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

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

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

Postconviction relief

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

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

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

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

Threats of violence

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

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

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

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

Revenge Porn

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

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

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

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

Stalking Defense Lawyer

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

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