Giancola-Durkin, P.A.

Anoka County Criminal Law Blog

No charges filed in death of rock star Prince

The music world lost one of its most brilliant minds when Prince was found dead in his studio. The official cause of death by an overdose of Vicodin was quidkly suspected, but was later discovered to be an unlicensed knock-off laced with fentanyl. What remained to be learned, however, was whether any persons who supplied Prince with the unprescribed pills could be held liable for criminal conduct. After much waiting and anticipation, the Minnesota prosecutor recently announced that he would not be seeking charges in Prince's death. 


Minnesota Supreme Court sets new DWI rule

Many things have big impacts on individuals who are under suspicion of drunk driving. This includes what specifically police are (and are not) required to do in DWI investigations. What the rules are on this front here in Minnesota are affected by a range of things. This includes what the state’s supreme court decides when questions arise on what specific rights individuals have when they are being investigated for drunk driving.

This week, this court made such a decision. This ruling adds something to the list of things police are not required to do in DWI investigations.

Phone passwords raise new questions regarding police investigations

What police can and can’t do during investigations is a critical issue. It touches on a wide range of things, from the fairness of the justice system to people’s rights. In recent years, new technologies have raised all kinds of new questions when it comes to this issue.

One device that is at the center of many such questions is the cellphone. Modern smartphones can contain all sorts of data on a person’s life and activities. This can put these devices in the crosshairs of police during investigations.

Criminal fees and fines: Are they fair?

Fines and fees are incredibly common penalties in the criminal justice system. They are issued in relation to a wide range of crimes, from DUI, to drug violations, to violent offenses.

These monetary penalties can get very large and can have deep impacts. They can put a heavy financial strain on a person as he or she tries to move forward from a criminal conviction. And when an individual falls behind in paying them, the consequences can be severe. Here in Minnesota, failure to pay such a fine or fee can put a person’s drivers’ license in danger. When people drive with a suspended or revoked license, it could expose them to further citations and fines. So, there can be the potential for hefty fines and fees to throw individuals into a vicious cycle.

What counties made the list for most dangerous for drunk driving?

Recently, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety came out with a list naming 13 counties as the state’s most dangerous for drunk driving. This list was based on DWI accident and citation figures covering 2012 to 2016.

These are the counties included on the list:

The main differences between BWI and DWI

Going out to the local lake and spending an afternoon on the pontoon is one of the classic activities of a Minnesotan summer. While you are out on a hot sunny day, you, your friends and your family may enjoy a few alcoholic beverages. While the consequences of boating while intoxicated can be as severe as drunk driving, there are a few differences regarding the two kinds of charges.

Whether a crime is classified as “violent” matters

What constitutes a “violent” crime is not as straightforward of a matter as one might assume. This is what a recent review of state laws here in the U.S. by the Marshall Project underscores.

The states vary in what they define as a violent crime. The review indicates that, in many states, this definition ends up including a good amount of crimes that many might not think of as being violent.

Why you should challenge the DWI charges you face

After getting pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you may fear the severe penalties to come. Minnesota is tough on drunk drivers and even first-time offenders can face substantial consequences.

In the days following your arrest, you may question your chances of successfully challenging the charges against you. After all, you may have taken chemical tests, field sobriety tests or more that confirmed over-the-limit blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. However, you may have options to contest the charges and seek lesser penalties.

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