Monday, September 18, 2017

Minnesota DWI Attorney Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Hammers (Decided September 18, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory does not have to inform an individual under arrest for DWI that the police need a warrant to obtain a blood sample.

In Hammers (unfortunate name), the Defendant was stopped for driving over the fog and center lines.  The deputy noticed that Hammers' eyes were watery and bloodshot and after the Defendant failed field-sobriety tests, Mr. Hammers was arrested and taken to the Carver County jail.

Mr. Hammers was read the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory, which informed him that Minnesota law required him to take an alcohol concentration test, that refusal to test was a crime, and that he had the right to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to submit to the test. Hammers stated that he understood the advisory and he declined to speak to an attorney. He took a breath test, which revealed an alcohol concentration of 0.29.

Hammers filed a motion to dismiss the DWI charges arguing that the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory was misleading and, therefore, violated his right to due process.  The District Court denied the motion and on appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed, noting that: "An implied consent advisory that contains no misleading assurances would not violate federal due process"..."Hammers maintains unconvincingly that the implied-consent advisory must also inform drivers that Minnesota law allows officers to seek a search warrant to obtain a chemical test. He cites Birchfield v. North Dakota for the notion that the advisory defined by statute is inadequate because it lacks a warrant advisement. See U.S. , 136 S. Ct. 2160 (2016). The Birchfield Court held that a breath test is a permissible search incident to a person's drunk-driving arrest and that the state may therefore criminally prosecute the person for refusing a warrantless breath test. 136 S. Ct. at 2186. We read nothing in Birchfield to require the state's implied-consent advisory to contain a warrant advisement for breath tests."
***
"Because neither the statute nor any caselaw requires a warrant advisement, the advisory was not misleading and did not violate Hammers's due process rights. The district court did not err by denying Hammers's motion to dismiss."

What is interesting about this case is that the Court also states in its opinion that, "Current Minnesota law would not have permitted police to obtain a warrant to test Hammers if he refused testing after he received the implied-consent advisory. See Minn. Stat. § 169A.52, subd. 1 (2016) ("If a person refuses to permit a test, then a test must not be given."); see also State v. Scott, 473 N.W.2d 375, 377 (Minn. App. 1991) (explaining that police may not compel driver to submit to test after driver refuses test)."

So this case is interesting because some counties (Isanti, Carver, come to mind) are reading the advisory and if the defendant refuses, executing a search warrant to get the blood.  This practice is now clearly illegal.

Moral Of The Story:  You should exercise your right to counsel prior to testing as it may save you from a DWI!!

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, feel free to contact Minnesota DWI Attorney, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.




Monday, September 11, 2017

Minnesota DWI Lawyer Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Clark (Decided September 11, 2017, Minnesota Court Of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that you do not have to be found inside your vehicle to be convicted of a Minnesota DWI.

In Clark, a woman was driving with her husband in the early morning hours of January 7, 2015.  They saw the Defendant, Anthony Clark, walking down the middle of the road straight at her vehicle and waving his hands in the air. They slowed down to speak with the Defendant, who appeared delusional, hurt, and in need of help. The woman called 911 to report the situation and as they continued they also noticed a vehicle in the ditch about 6 feet beyond where Defendant was walking and associated the vehicle with Defendant. It was very cold outside and had recently snowed. The woman and her husband did not see anyone else around.  They were unable to stay at the scene, but others arrived to help.

Another individual allowed the Defendant to sit in his vehicle until help arrived.  Officer Miguel Guadalajara and Officer Patrick Sloan arrived separately at the scene shortly after starting their early morning shifts. Officer Sloan saw the vehicle in the ditch and parked his squad car on the road north of the vehicle.

Officer Guadalajara also observed the vehicle in the ditch and did not see anyone by the vehicle. He parked his squad car on the road south of the vehicle in the ditch. As he approached the vehicles parked on the road ahead, he saw footprints around the vehicle in the ditch. He saw a set of footprints with the same tread outside the driver's side door of the vehicle in the ditch and leading from the driver's side up toward the vehicle occupied by the Defendant.  The officer noticed the Defendant had bloodshot, watery eyes and smelled of an alcoholic beverage.

Officer Guadalajara advised Defendant that they believed he drove the vehicle into the ditch and that he was intoxicated while driving. He gave Defendant a preliminary breath test, which registered an alcohol concentration of 0.183. Defendant was placed under arrest on suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI) and read the implied-consent advisory. When asked to submit to a breath test, the Defendant refused.  The Defendant was then charged with First Degree Refusal to Submit to Testing (Felony refusal due to his prior DWI record).

At trial, Officer Sloan testified that he believed that appellant was the driver of the vehicle in the ditch. He observed footprints in the recently fallen snow around the general vicinity of the driver's side door and testified that it looked like only one person had come from the vehicle. He located the vehicle's keys inside the vehicle, but not in the ignition. He found a backpack in the backseat containing appellant's cell phone and papers and effects with appellant's name on them. He also located 5-Hour Energy drinks in the front passenger seat, the same type that he found on appellant during the pat-down. Officer Guadalajara testified that he found a 5-Hour Energy drink in the back of his squad car after appellant got out of the car at the police department.  

The jury found the Defendant guilty of felony refusal and on appeal, he claimed the evidence was insufficient to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals, however, affirmed the conviction, noting:

"In considering a sufficiency-of-the-evidence challenge, this court's review is limited to a thorough analysis of the record to determine whether the evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to the conviction, is sufficient to allow the jurors to reach the verdict that they did.(citation omitted)".

"Appellant argues on appeal that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that appellant was in physical control of the vehicle in the ditch because appellant was found walking down the road; no one saw him in the vehicle or in the driver's seat; the vehicle was immobile in a snowy ditch; no one saw the vehicle go into the ditch; and the keys were found in the vehicle but not in the ignition."

"In viewing the evidence here in the light most favorable to the conviction, and assuming that the jury believed the state's witnesses, there was sufficient evidence presented at trial that Officers Sloan and Guadalajara observed or had information that: (1) there was an immobile vehicle in a snowy ditch on the side of Barnes road in a rural location; (2) it was a very cold day and had recently snowed; (3) witnesses reported a man in need of help walking in the road in close proximity to the vehicle in the ditch; (4) no one saw the vehicle go into the ditch or saw anyone in the vehicle; (5) no one saw anyone other than appellant near the vehicle; (6) appellant exhibited signs of hypothermia and indicia of intoxication when the officers arrived; (7) there were footprints that looked like they came from the same person in front of the vehicle in the ditch and leading from its driver's side up to M.G.'s vehicle, where appellant was sitting when the officers arrived; (8) the keys were located inside the unlocked vehicle in the ditch but were not in the ignition; (9) a backpack in the backseat of the vehicle contained appellant's cell phone, as well as papers and effects with his name on them; and (10) 5-Hour Energy drinks were found in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, on appellant's person during a pat-down search, and in the back of Officer Guadalajara's squad car after appellant got out of it at the police department."

"The evidence presented at trial supports the conclusion that a reasonable officer in this situation would have entertained an honest and strong suspicion that appellant had the means to initiate the vehicle's movement despite its immobility, and was in a position to exercise dominion or control over the vehicle at any time, so as to establish probable cause that appellant was in physical control. Thus, there was sufficient evidence in the record for the jury to reasonably conclude that the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that appellant was in physical control of the motor vehicle, as required to find appellant guilty of first-degree test refusal."



If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, feel free to contact Minnesota DWI Lawyer, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.





Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Minneapolis DWI Attorney Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Meeks (Decided September 4, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that if you are going to drive while high on drugs, it is probably not a good idea to be carrying your stash of methamphetamine and heroin in your vehicle.

In Meeks, the Defendant was stopped after driving his vehicle at varying speeds, crossing the center and fog lines, and tapping his brakes. The police officer initiated the stop after he radioed dispatch to notify the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed a strong odor of air freshener coming from the vehicle and suspected that it might be masking the smell of drugs or alcohol. The officer also observed multiple toggle switches and testified that from his training and experience he knows toggle switches are sometimes used to access hidden compartments used for drug trafficking.

The deputy had Meeks perform a field sobriety test twice, which Meeks failed both times in a manner indicating that Meeks might be under the influence of a controlled substance. While the deputy was performing the field sobriety tests, a Minnesota state trooper and another Beltrami County sheriff's deputy with a K-9 unit also responded to the stop. The deputy who had performed the field sobriety tests then instructed the K-9 unit to conduct a sniff of Meek's vehicle.

While Meeks was performing further field sobriety tests under direction of the trooper, the K-9 alerted to the presence of controlled substances behind the driver's door. Based on Meeks' driving, confused appearance, and failure to successfully perform field sobriety tests, Meeks was arrested.

After Meeks was arrested, law enforcement obtained a search warrant and searched the vehicle, finding approximately 50 grams of methamphetamine and 4 grams of heroin behind the driver's seat. Meeks was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance and third-degree test refusal. The test refusal charge was later dismissed.

Meeks moved for all evidence gathered at the stop to be suppressed. The district court denied his motion and on appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the district court noting:

"Meeks does not dispute that the police officer had reasonable suspicion for stopping his car when he observed Meeks' vehicle varying its speed, crossing the center and fog lines, and tapping its brakes. Meeks contends that the officers should have taken him at his word that he was having issues with his GPS and did not have reasonable suspicion to conduct field sobriety testing."

"First, it must be noted that "[t]he fact that there might have been an innocent explanation for [appellant's] conduct does not demonstrate that the officers could not reasonably believe that [he] had committed a crime." State v. Hawkins, 622 N.W.2d 576, 580 (Minn. App. 2001). Nevertheless, "[a]n initially valid stop may become invalid if it becomes intolerable in its intensity or scope." Askerooth, 681 N.W.2d at 364 (quotation omitted)."

"Askerooth instructs that we employ a two-part test to determine whether an unreasonable seizure has taken place. Id. First, we must determine "whether the stop was justified at its inception." Id. Second, we must determine "whether the actions of the police during the stop were reasonably related to and justified by the circumstances that gave rise to the stop in the first place." Id. In other words, "each incremental intrusion during a stop must be 'strictly tied to and justified by the circumstances which rendered the initiation of the stop permissible.'" Id. (alteration omitted) (quoting Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 19, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 1878 (1968) (quotation omitted))."

"Therefore, incremental intrusions during a traffic stop must be "tied to and justified by" at least one of the following: "(1) the original legitimate purpose of the stop, (2) independent probable cause, or (3) reasonableness as defined in Terry." Id. at 364 (quotation omitted). Here, the original legitimate purpose of the traffic stop justifies law enforcement's decision to expand the stop to include field sobriety testing."

This resulted in a lawful arrest and the subsequent search of the Defendant's vehicle was, therefore, lawful as well.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, or are facing a DWI forfeiture of your motor vehicle, feel free to contact Minneapolis DWI Attorney, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.







Monday, August 21, 2017

Minneapolis DWI Attorney Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Donarski (Decided August 21, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished), which stands for the proposition that the basis for an initial stop is an objective test and not what the officer subjectively believes. Duh! Otherwise, the police could stop anyone whenever they have a subjective feeling that they should.

In Donarski, the facts are great:  On July 1, 2015, at approximately 12:32 a.m., Officer Kenneth Dionne received a call from dispatch reporting a "suspicious vehicle" that had been "parked in or near the complainant's driveway" for approximately 15 minutes. The vehicle's headlights and taillights were on, but the complainant did not see anybody in the vehicle. The complainant provided a license-plate number, which the dispatcher ran and found that the vehicle was registered to appellant Melissa Ann Donarski.

Officer Dionne knew the complainant's name and the address. As the officer approached the area, a rural and lightly traveled region, he observed the vehicle moving southbound and then turn eastbound onto County Road 23, which goes through Tabor Township. Officer Dionne observed the vehicle moving very slowly, ten or twenty miles an hour. Officer Dionne also saw the vehicle's brake lights come on several times; the vehicle appeared to "slow[] down randomly," and its reverse lights came on one time.

When Officer Dionne reached Tabor, Donarski's vehicle was no longer on the county road; rather, the vehicle was traveling on a dike, a grass-covered area that is 3 or 4 feet high and approximately 15 feet wide. The dike is not for public use, it is not paved, it has no street lights, and it is not marked with any signage.   The dike has some vehicle tracks from moving farming machinery. The purpose of the dike is to keep water out of Tabor, which is on the north end of the dike, a "large ditch that is filled with water during the flooding season" is to the south. Officer Dionne has patrolled through Tabor approximately 500 times and has never seen anyone drive on the dike.

Officer Dionne then stopped Ms. Donarski and subsequently placed her under arrest for DWI. Ms. Donarski moved to suppress the test results and dismiss the charges in the district court, arguing that Officer Dionne lacked a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity to stop her. Following a hearing, the district court denied Donarski's motion, concluding that, while no single factor provided reasonable suspicion, Officer Dionne had reasonable suspicion to stop Donarski based on all of the circumstances.

On appeal, Donarski argued that her seizure was unconstitutional because Officer Dionne failed to state a subjective reasonable suspicion for the seizure.  but the Minnesota Court of Appeals rightly rejected her argument noting:

"Contrary to Donarski's assertion, an officer's suspicion must satisfy an objective test, rather than a subjective test. See State v. Smith, 814 N.W.2d 346, 351 (Minn. 2012) ("To be reasonable, the basis of the officer's suspicion must satisfy an objective, totality -of-the-circumstances test."). This objective test requires consideration of whether '"the facts available to the officer at the moment of the seizure [would] warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that the action taken was appropriate.' State v. Askerooth, 681 N.W.2d 353, 364 (Minn. 2004) (quoting Terry, 392 U.S. at 21-22, 88 S. Ct. 1880)."

***
"The district court determined that no single factor provided reasonable suspicion to conduct a stop. But an officer may have reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop based on a combination of factors even when no single factor alone would justify a stop. Terry, 392 U.S. at 22, 88 S. Ct. at 1880-81. The district court here correctly assessed the totality of the circumstances in concluding that, when combined, the facts sufficiently supported an objective determination of reasonable suspicion."

Moral Of The Story:  If you are going to drive drunk, it might be a good idea to stay on the road.



If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, feel free to contact Minneapolis DWI Attorney, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.



Monday, August 14, 2017

Minneapolis DWI Lawyer Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is McIntyre v. Commissioner of Public Safety (Decided July 14, 2017, Minnesota Court Of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that "close is good enough for government work"!

In McIntyre, the Petitioner was arrested for DWI and taken to the Savage police department for breath testing.  Ms. McIntyre provided two breath samples that were accepted by the testing machine. The first sample reported 0.087 alcohol concentration, and the second sample reported 0.080.   Because under the testing procedure, the lower of the two samples, rounded down, is the final reported value, Mclntyre's testing showed a final result of 0.08.

Ms. McIntyre filed a challenge to the license revocation arguing that the test result was not sufficiently accurate to find that she was over the legal limit.  An employee of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's breath lab testified for the defense that uncertainty ranges may be applied to the average of the two DataMaster testing results. She testified that with Mclntyre's test results, there was an 81.92 percent possibility that her test result was over 0.08.

The district court found that the implied consent statute did not require consideration of the margin of error for breath test results; that Mclntyre had supplied two breath tests, each with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08; and that the test was properly administered on a machine that had passed diagnostic and control tests. 

On appeal, Ms. McIntyre argued that the testing was unreliable because of the uncertainty measurement calculations applied.  Unfortunately, the Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed with her argument stating:

"Mclntyre points out that the BCA expert testified that an uncertainty range was applied to the average of the two testing results, and the average of Mclntyre's two samples was 0.0835, which would mean an actual range of 0.0736 to 0.0934. But Mclntyre's argument based on the uncertainty range of testing is similar to alleging that alcohol concentration must be proved within a certain margin of error. We have held, in assessing the results of an alcohol testing instrument, that '[t]he Commissioner of Public Safety is not required to prove an alcohol concentration . . . within some alleged margin of potential error.' Dixon v. Comm'r of Pub. Safety, 372 NW.2d 785, 786 (Minn. App. 1985).  We agree with the district court that Mclntyre's argument based on the uncertainty range fails. We also note that the BCA expert testified that a probability had been calculated for Mclntyre's test results, and the possibility that her test result was over 0.08 was 81.92%. This is sufficient to meet the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard applicable in implied-consent hearings."

Moral Of The Story: Never have one for the road as it is likely to put you over the legal limit.



If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, or are facing a DWI forfeiture of your motor vehicle, feel free to contact Minneapolis DWI Lawyer, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.






Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Minnesota DWI Attorney Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Jensen (Decided August 7, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that swearing can help justify a seizure by the police.

In Jensen, a Hopkins police officer saw a vehicle stopped in the middle of an intersection.  Both doors of the vehicle were open and he observed the driver, Camille Jensen, kneeling over her friend, who was lying on the ground.  As the officer approached the car, he saw Jensen helping her friend into the passenger seat.  The officer saw vomit on the ground and he heard one of the people say, "Fuck, is that the cops?"  The officer asked both occupants for identification and he detected indicia of intoxication coming from Ms. Jensen, including the strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech and watery eyes.

After failing field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test, Ms. Jensen was placed under arrest and subsequently tested at .20 on the Data Master Machine at the police station.  Jensen moved to suppress the evidence claiming the police had no basis to ask for identification and any subsequent observations/evidence must be suppressed.

The District Court denied the motion to suppress determining that Jensen was not improperly seized because her act of parking in the middle of an intersection was sufficient to justify an investigatory stop. The court further ruled that the car's location, coupled with Jensen's presence with a drunk friend at that time of the morning and the  overheard statement of "Fuck, is that the cops?" also provided the officer with reasonable suspicion that Jensen was engaged in criminal activity.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court noting:

"Not all encounters between the police and citizens constitute seizures: Persons found under suspicious circumstances are not clothed with a right of privacy which prevents law-enforcement officers from inquiring as to their identity and actions. The essential needs of public safety permit police officers to use their faculties of observation and to act thereon within proper limits. It is not only the right but the duty of police officers to investigate suspicious behavior, both to prevent crime and to apprehend offenders."
***
"But if a police officer requests identification and asks the driver to leave a vehicle, the officer must have specific and articulable facts which, together with reasonable inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the intrusion."

In this case, "the totality of circumstances here supported a reasonable basis for Officer Cady to suspect criminal activity. When Officer Cady encountered Jensen's vehicle at 1:41 a.m., it was parked in the middle of an intersection, and both occupants had left the vehicle. The passenger was admittedly intoxicated, had vomited, and needed a ride home. One of the two vehicle occupants uttered an expression of dismay at the presence of police. From these facts, Officer Cady could reasonably suspect the following criminal activity to support his asking Jensen for identification: (1) Jensen may have violated the law by parking her car in the middle of an intersection; (2) the time of night, the choice of location to stop a vehicle, the admitted inebriation of the passenger, and the expletive-filled expression of dismay at realizing they had been noticed by police suggested that Jensen could be under the influence; and (3) the expression of dismay, alone, was suggestive of some sort of nefarious conduct. Based on the totality of these circumstances, we conclude that the district court did not err by denying Jensen's motion to suppress the evidence obtained after she was asked for identification."

Moral Of The Story:  It is never a good idea to swear when the police draw near!



If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, feel free to contact Minnesota DWI Attorney, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.






Monday, July 31, 2017

Minnesota DWI Lawyer Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Prigge (Decided July 31, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Published) which stands for the proposition that a driver, arrested for DWI, is not guilty of carrying a pistol while under the influence of alcohol if the weapon is not, "on or about the person's clothes or person".

In Prigge, the Defendant was arrested in Maple Grove, Minnesota for DWI and during an "inventory search" of Mr. Prigge's vehicle, the police found a a loaded handgun in the bottom of the vehicle's center console compartment.  

The state charged appellant with several offenses, including carrying a pistol while under the influence of alcohol in violation of Minnesota Statutes section 624.7142, subdivision 1, subsection 4. Prigge moved to dismiss the charge for lack of probable cause. The district court granted the motion, reasoning that the facts were insufficient to support probable cause because Prigge was not carrying the pistol on or about his clothes or his person, and the statute's prohibited conduct did not extend to a pistol in the center console compartment of a vehicle.

The State appealed the District Court's ruling but the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court noting:

"Minnesota Statutes section 624.7142, subdivision 1, subsection 4, provides that '[a] person may not carry a pistol on or about the person's clothes or person in a public place' while under the influence of alcohol. The question presented is whether having a loaded pistol in the center console compartment of a vehicle constitutes 'carrying a pistol on or about the person's clothes or person.'"

"In State v. Larson, this court considered the definition of the term "carry" in the context of the same statute. 895 N.W.2d 655 (Minn. App. 2017). Larson, relying on standard dictionary definitions, held that a plain reading of the word 'carry' includes transporting or conveying a pistol on one's person, even if the pistol is unloaded and in a case. Larson held that section 624.7142, subdivision 1, subsection 4, prohibits carrying a pistol in a public place while under the influence of alcohol when the pistol is unloaded and hand-carried in an enclosed and secure gun case."

"Neither the dictionary definition nor our decision in Larson answers the precise question in this case: whether the term 'carry' includes situations in which there is no physical nexus between a person or the person's clothes and the pistol. We answer this question by reading section 624.7142 in conjunction with its companion statute, Minnesota Statutes section 624.714 (2016)."

Section 624. 714 states:

"A person . . . who carries, holds, or possesses a pistol in a motor vehicle ... or on or about the person's clothes or the person, or otherwise in possession or control in a public place . . . without first having obtained a permit to carry the pistol is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. A person who is convicted a second or subsequent time is guilty of a felony."

"By its plain language, section 624.714 prohibits a person from carrying, holding, or possessing a pistol in a motor vehicle, or on or about the person or the person's clothes, or otherwise possessing or controlling the pistol in a public place. By contrast, section 624.7142 prohibits only carrying a pistol on or about the person's clothes or person, and does not include carrying, holding, or possessing a pistol in a vehicle. Moreover, unlike section 624.714, section 624.7142 does not broadly prohibit other "possession or control."2 Because section 624.7124 uses different language than section 624.714, we must assume that the legislature intended them to apply to different conduct. The plain statutory language of section 624.714 prohibits a much broader range of conduct than section 624.7124. If the legislature intended the prohibition under section 624.7124 to extend to carrying, holding, or possessing a pistol in a motor vehicle or otherwise possessing or controlling the pistol, it could have done so by using the language it selected for section 624.714. It did not. And it is not the prerogative of this court to add language that is not present in the statute or supply what the legislature purposely omits or inadvertently overlooks."

"Given the plain language of the statute, we conclude that the phrase to 'carry a pistol on or about the person's clothes or person' in Minnesota Statutes section 624.7142, subdivision 1, subsection 4, requires a physical nexus between the person or the person's clothes and the pistol. It is undisputed that there was no physical nexus between Prigge's person or clothes and the pistol found in the vehicle's center console.  Accordingly, the district court did not err in dismissing the charge for lack of probable cause.

Moral Of The Story: If you are packing, don't be drinking!

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, feel free to contact Minnesota DWI Lawyer, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.