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Legitimate reasons police can conduct a vehicle search

People who are pulled over by the police often wonder exactly what rights they have. One thing that many people wonder is exactly when police officers can search a vehicle after a stop. The simple answer to this is that they can search your vehicle if they have "probable cause."

Some people mistakenly think that the officers need a warrant to conduct a search on a vehicle, but this isn't true. The police can ask you for your permission to search the car and lawfully conduct that search if you consent, but there are also other circumstances in which they can legally initiate a search.

Your attorney needs to explain the process of a criminal trial

You never thought that you'd be facing charges and heading toward a criminal trial, but that's what could happen thanks to the prosecutor's determination. Now, you just want to know what to expect. Is a trial really like what you see on television? Should you worry about what you look like when you go in?

The reality is that criminal trials aren't usually the way they appear in the media. Instead, there is a simple pattern that all trials follow. Every trial begins with choosing a jury. Then, during the trial, there are opening statements, witness testimonies and cross-examinations and closing arguments. Finally, the jury is given their instructions and left to deliberate. The jury will determine a verdict, and a judge will provide a sentence.

Caught with your friend's drugs? You can fight to defend yourself

You aren't someone who typically uses or carries drugs. In fact, when your friend asked you to hold on to a baggie of a substance you didn't recognize, it didn't even register that it could be a bag of drugs.

You went about your business and forgot all about it. Then, you placed the bag you were carrying on your passenger seat and went for a drive. In an unfortunate chain of events, you ended up getting into a crash and the authorities found the drugs at the scene.

Even a first-offense DWI has significant consequences

Minnesota is notoriously hard on drunk drivers, but many people still choose to drive while intoxicated every day. As someone who tries to wait until you sober up before driving home, you know the risks that come with drinking and driving. You don't want to get a DWI or to face trouble from the police. Your goal is to get from one place to another safely.

Unfortunately, if you've had anything to drink at all, you could face DWI charges even if you're under the legal limit. If you happen to be over .08%, it just means that the police need no further evidence. If you are below that percentage and were perceived as driving recklessly, you could still face charges.

What's the point of entering a guilty plea?

In your case, it may be likely that you'll be convicted. Your attorney may even tell you that the prosecution has a strong case against you.

That doesn't mean that you should give up. One possible solution that can still help you is to turn to plea bargaining. Plea bargaining generally helps people enter a guilty plea in exchange for lesser penalties. For example, if you plead guilty, one or more charges may be dropped or penalties could be significantly reduced.

Homicide, murder charges for drug overdoses becoming more common

As the opioid epidemic continues to surge out of control across the country, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are getting tough on those whose alleged actions contribute to opioid use, addiction and fatalities. In some cases, that has meant homicide and murder charges against those accused of providing drugs to someone who ultimately died from an overdose.

Here in Minnesota, a 21-year-old woman was charged with third-degree murder last month for providing the drugs that led to a 23-year-old man's death. She's also been charged with third-degree drug sales. According to authorities, three people overdosed in an apartment in Mankato this May. Two of them survived.

Here is what you should know about DWI sanctions in Minnesota

In Minnesota, getting a DWI can have an extremely negative effect on your life. The financial impact of a DWI could be up to $20,000, even as a first offender. Costs may include legal fees, increased insurance premiums, court costs and others.

In the past, Minnesota determined that its laws and penalties were not strong enough, so it passed DWI sanctions with ignition interlock systems. The goal was to improve safety on the roads while also giving convicted DWI offenders a chance to drive despite their convictions.

What is a mistrial? Is it good to have a mistrial?

You're accused of a crime, and you want to know that your defense is going to be strong. It's always in your best interest to work with a team that knows the law and how to watch out for violations of your rights. If errors take place during the trial's proceedings, your attorney may ask the judge to declare a mistrial.

A mistrial ends a trial before it concludes with a verdict. A mistrial can happen for one of many reasons such as:

  • Statements that were made by a witness that were not allowed
  • Procedural errors
  • Deadlock by a jury (a hung jury)
  • A prejudiced jury
  • Failing to complete the trial within the set time frame

Driving for a ride share? Be careful about drugs in your vehicle

Throughout the state, drug busts happen often. The authorities take pride in being able to track drugs and finding those who would sell or distribute them.

You were just driving for a ride-sharing service when an officer pulled you over. You knew that your passenger seemed odd, but you knew there would be trouble when the officer said they recognized them. What started out as a traffic stop for speeding has now become a drug investigation.

Mayor pleads guilty to DWI after crashing in snow bank

It's not too often that you hear about the city's mayor getting drunk and driving, but that's what happened in this case out of Minnesota. According to a report from May 7, Minnesota Mayor Mike Maguire admitted that he had been drinking while watching the Vikings place in January. Then, he went on to drive.

The mayor pleaded guilty in his case, stating that he accepted responsibility for the consequences of the errors he had made. On that day in January, he had crashed with a blood-alcohol concentration of approximately 0.19%, which is over twice the state's legal limit. He faced two counts for third-degree driving while impaired.

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