Monday, July 17, 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The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Mahoney and McCarthy (Decided July 17, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that the presumption of admissibility of a Data Master test result does not prevent the defense from challenging the accuracy or reliability of the test.

In Mahoney and McCarthy, the appeals were consolidated and in their respective cases, each appellant provided two breath samples after being suspected of driving while impaired in 2015. The results were obtained from the DataMaster DMT-G, a breath-testing instrument approved by the commissioner of public safety.,Mahoney's breath samples registered at 0.129 and 0.125, with a final value of 0.12 alcohol concentration. He was charged with second-degree driving while impaired. McCarthy's breath samples registered at 0.106 and 0.100, with a final value of 0.10 alcohol concentration. He was charged with fourth-degree driving while impaired, driving with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

Appellants consolidated their cases and moved to suppress the individual test results, arguing that the results were not scientifically valid or reliable. The district court held a two-day pretrial hearing on the admissibility of the test results.  

The district court found that the individual breath test results were not foundationally reliable under Rule of Evidence 702. But the district court did not suppress the test results, concluding that Minnesota Statutes section 634.16 "moves all issues of reliability from pretrial litigation to the fact-finder at trial," thus creating "blanket admissibility."

After the district court denied appellants' motions to suppress, the parties agreed to stipulate to the state's evidence (including the individual test results) and submit the matter to the district court for a trial under Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 26.01, subdivision 4.  

After being found guilty by the district court, the appellants argued to the Appellate Court that the district court erred by determining, as a matter of law, that Minnesota Statutes section 634.16 requires the results of an approved breath test be admitted into evidence.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals in its ruling affirmed the district court stating:

"According to Minnesota Statutes section 634.16, the results of an approved breath test are admissible in evidence without foundational expert testimony. The statute provides as follows:
In any civil or criminal hearing or trial, the results of a breath test, when performed by a person who has been fully trained in the use of an infrared or other approved breath-testing instrument ... are admissible in evidence without antecedent expert testimony that an infrared or other approved breath-testing instrument provides a trustworthy and reliable measure of the alcohol in the breath."

"We do not interpret this language in a vacuum. Rather, as appellants acknowledge, we are guided by our interpretation of an identical statute, which applies to the admission of blood-analysis test results. State v. Pearson. 633 N.W.2d 81, 85 (Minn. App. 2001)."

In Pearson the court held that the legislature may enact statutes that shift the burden of proof by creating rebuttable presumptions.  "Accordingly, while the statute in Pearson provided that the evidence 'shall be admissible,' Minn. Stat. § 634.15, this court concluded that the statute 'merely establishes a presumption of reliability that the driver may choose to rebut with live testimony.' Id. at 86 (emphasis added). As the court noted: 'A defendant in a criminal case may challenge the accuracy or reliability of the test by subpoenaing the laboratory assistant or BCA analyst to testify.. . allowing the court the opportunity to determine if the admission of the evidence was unfairly prejudicial.'"

"Here, the district court appropriately interpreted the statute consistently with Pearson.  The court found that the commissioner established a prima facie case that the DataMaster DMT-G tests are reliable, a finding unchallenged by appellants. The burden then shifts to petitioners in a license-revocation proceeding to dispute the test's validity and trustworthiness."

"Despite this backdrop, appellants argue that the district court's decision to admit the DataMaster DMT-G test results—after the pretrial determination that the test measurements lacked foundation—makes the test results unassailable and interferes with the judicial function. We disagree. Once a prima facie case of reliability is established, that case may be disputed by producing specific evidence that the test results were invalid. But Pearson does not require that this opportunity to dispute the test results occurs in a pretrial setting, as appellants appear to suggest. Rather, as the district court ruled, the statute 'moves all issues of reliability from pretrial litigation to the fact-finder at trial.'"

"Appellants chose not to challenge the results of the DataMaster DMT-G at trial. Instead, they stipulated to the state's evidence and proceeded to a court trial where they were ultimately found guilty. Because the district court did not err in its interpretation of section 634.16 or in its corresponding decision to admit the individual breath test results at trial, we affirm."

Moral Of The Story:  One should rarely, if ever, waive the right to a jury trial!


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.









Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Miller (Decided June 26, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that a court cannot order a stay of imposition of sentence in a DWI case.  

In Miller, the Defendant pled guilty to felony DWI and the presumptive sentence for this offense was a stay of execution of 42 months in prison.  Before sentencing, Miller filed an informal letter brief, moving the district court to stay imposition of the presumptive sentence. The state opposed Miller's request, arguing that Minn. Stat. § 169A.276, subd. 1(b), prohibited a stay of imposition of a sentence for first-degree DWI offenses.

At the sentencing hearing, the district court stayed imposition of Miller's sentence, ordered him to serve a staggered jail sentence of 300 days, and placed him on probation for seven years. In its order, the district court acknowledged that this sentence was prohibited by Minn. Stat. § 169.276, but stated, "It is not the role of the legislature to mandate sentences to the courts." 

Apparently, the Court of Appeals disagreed as they reversed the stay of imposition, noting:

"The legislature is vested with the power to define criminal conduct and to determine the punishment for such conduct, including providing for mandatory sentences.  This power includes setting 'the limits of discretion vested in the courts in the imposition of the sentence.' The judiciary is vested with the power to impose the final sentence for a criminal violation 'within the limits prescribed by the legislature'."

"Miller argues that Minn Stat. §§609.135 (2014) and 609.11, subd. 8(a) (2014), authorize a district court to stay imposition of a sentence in this case. Section 609.135 provides that except "when a mandatory minimum sentence is required by section 609.11, any court may stay imposition or execution of sentence." Minn. Stat. § 609.135, subd. 1(a). Because a mandatory minimum sentence under section 609.11 is not required here, Miller contends that the statute authorized the district court to stay imposition of his sentence."

"But chapter 169A contains specific provisions regarding mandatory sentencing for DWI offenses. Indeed, a person convicted of first-degree DWI is "subject to the mandatory penalties described in section 169A.276." Minn. Stat. § 169A.24, subd. 2. Section 169A.276 provides that the mandatory minimum sentence for first-degree DWI is imprisonment for not less than three years. Minn. Stat. § 169A.276, subd. 1(a). 'The court may stay execution of this mandatory sentence . . ., but may not stay imposition or adjudication of the sentence or impose a sentence that has a duration of less than three years.'"

"Here, the more specific statute is section 169A.276, subdivision 1(b), because it expressly addresses felony-level DWI sentences. In contrast, section 609.135, subdivision 1(a), which authorizes a stay of imposition of sentence, applies when a mandatory minimum sentence is not required by section 609.11. But section 609.11, subdivision 8(a), states that it applies only to "mandatory minimum sentences established by this section," which are specific to dangerous weapon, firearm, and drug offenses. Minn. Stat. § 609.11, subds. 4-5a (2014). We conclude that section 609.135 does not apply to sentencing for convictions of felony DWI offenses and chapter 169A exclusively governs sentencing of DWI offenses."

"The plain language of section 169A.276 limits a district court's discretion and prohibits a district court from staying imposition of sentence for this offense. Thus, we reject Miller's argument that the district court had discretion to stay imposition of sentence."

Moral Of The Story:  If you manage to get convicted of four dwi's in 10 years, you are going to forever have a felony conviction on your record.

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.

Wednesday, June 21, 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. Hunn (Decided June 19, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Published) which stands for the proposition that there is no "pre-test" right to counsel when the police fail to read to the Defendant the "Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory".

In Hunn, the Defendant was arrested for DWI and was taken to the Mower County police station.  The arresting officer had reason to suspect that the Defendant had consumed drugs so the officer asked the Defendant if he would take a urine test and the Defendant agreed. The officer did not read respondent the implied-consent advisory or advise respondent that he had a limited right to speak to an attorney before testing.1 On April 8, the deputy received respondent's test results, which indicated an alcohol concentration of 0.04 and the presence of methamphetamine and amphetamine.

The State charged the Defendant with second-degree DWI (any amount of schedule I/II drugs), no proof of insurance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Defendant moved to suppress the evidence and dismiss the complaint on a number of grounds, including the officer's failure to read the implied-consent advisory and the invalidity of respondent's consent to testing. The district court suppressed the urine-test results based on the deputy's failure to read respondent the implied-consent advisory, including his failure to advise respondent of, and vindicate, his limited right to counsel prior to submitting to testing.

The State appealed the district court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's decision, stating:

"In granting respondent's suppression motion, the district court relied on language from the implied-consent law, which provides that an individual "must be informed . . . that the person has the right to consult with an attorney, but that this right is limited to the extent that it cannot unreasonably delay administration of the test." Minn. Stat. § 169A.51, subd. 2(a)(4) (2014). The district court also cited Friedman for the following propositions: (1) a driver has a right to consult an attorney before deciding whether to submit to chemical testing under the right-to-counsel clause in article 1, section 6 of the Minnesota Constitution and (2) a driver must be informed of this right and a police officer must assist in its vindication. Based on this reasoning, the district court suppressed the test results, due to the deputy's failure to read the implied-consent advisory, and declined to otherwise determine whether respondent's consent to the test was voluntary."

***
"The state maintains that the district court's conclusion was erroneous, arguing that the limited right to counsel under Friedman is inapplicable here because respondent was not read the implied-consent advisory and, therefore, did not face immediate revocation of his driver's license. We agree and conclude that the district court erred in suppressing the test because respondent never faced a possibility of immediate sanctions under the implied-consent law when deciding whether to consent to the urine test."

***
"Here, as in Nielsen, and unlike the facts presented in Friedman, the deputy did not read respondent the implied-consent advisory or seek chemical testing under the implied-consent law. This distinction from the facts of Friedman is significant. As a result, respondent's decision regarding whether to consent to testing never carried a possibility of immediate license-revocation sanctions or criminal prosecution for test refusal. Instead, respondent only "faces the traditional [criminal] penalties for driving under the influence, and imposition of those penalties only after a jury trial at which he has the right to counsel." Nielsen, 530 N.W.2d at 215. Accordingly, "[t]he process of chemical testing in this case was merely an investigatory stage which necessarily preceded the decision to prosecute." Id. (citing Friedman, 473 N.W.2d at 833 (noting that ticket or tab charge, usually issued after test is performed, is equivalent to formal complaint))."

"Because respondent was not read the implied-consent advisory, and, therefore, never faced immediate sanctions under the implied-consent law for test refusal, we conclude that there was no violation of the Minnesota Constitution's right-to-counsel clause that required the district court to suppress the chemical-test results."

Moral of the Story: If An Officer Asks You To Submit To A Blood Or Urine Test, Tell The Officer To Get A Search Warrant!



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, June 12, 2017

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

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is Johnson v. Commissioner of Public Safety (Decided June 12, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that the Data Master breath tests results are admissible without antecedent expert testimony.  The case also stands for the proposition that if you choose to represent yourself in a DWI case, you have absolutely no chance of winning.

In January 2016, Johnson petitioned the district court for rescission of the revocation of his driver's license. The district court conducted an implied-consent hearing in late March 2016. Johnson appeared pro se. The commissioner called three witnesses: Officer Lasher, Officer Garcia, and Officer Hicks. Johnson testified but did not call any other witnesses. In July 2016, the district court issued an order sustaining the revocation and Mr Johnson appealed claiming the Data Master Breath test result  of .12 was unreliable.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected Mr. Johnson's appeal noting:

"A driver may challenge the revocation of his or her driver's license by raising the following issue: "Was the testing method used valid and reliable and were the test results accurately evaluated?" Minn. Stat. § 169A.53, subd. 3(b)(10) (Supp. 2015). If a breath test is challenged, the commissioner has the initial burden of showing that the test is reliable and that its administration in the particular instance conformed to the procedure necessary to ensure reliability...If the commissioner satisfies the initial burden,[t]he driver must then produce evidence to impeach the credibility of the test results."

"Officer Hicks testified that he is a certified DataMaster operator, that he received training from the bureau of criminal apprehension (BCA), and that the DataMaster performed diagnostic tests within acceptable limits on the day in question. Johnson cross-examined Officer Hicks by asking him whether he is an "international scientist in measurement," a "doctor," or a "forensic scientist." Officer Hicks answered each question in the negative. Johnson concluded by asking Officer Hicks whether he "performed any diagnostic tests that would have recorded bias and uncertainties of your DataMaster machine?" Officer Hicks again answered in the negative."

"The district court noted the evidence that Officer Hicks is a
certified DataMaster operator and that he had received training and certification from the BCA. The district court also found that "nothing out of the ordinary occurred that would skew the reliability of the test results."

"On appeal, Johnson contends that the DataMaster is not accurate or reliable. He makes a few broad assertions in support of that contention, but he does not cite any evidence that was introduced at the implied-consent hearing. His cross-examination of Officer Hicks did not expose any particular reasons why the test results might not be accurate or reliable. Likewise, Johnson did not testify to the assertions that he makes in his appellate brief. His own testimony was very brief and was limited to introducing evidence that he was taking prescription medication on the day of his arrest. Given the scarcity of relevant evidence elicited by Johnson, we conclude that he failed to introduce any evidence that might "impeach the credibility of the test results." See Bielejeski, 351 N.W.2d at 666. Thus, the DataMaster test results are reliable."

Moral Of The Story:  Once again proving that if you choose to represent yourself, you have a fool for a client.




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.



Monday, June 5, 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. Norgaard (Decided June 5, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Published) which stands for the proposition that the State can admit the results of a DataMaster test without expert testimony as to the reliability of the testing machine.

In Norgaard, the Defendant was arrested for DWI and agreed to submit to a breath test at the police station.  The DataMaster breath test result was 0.13.  

Trial took place on January 5, 2016. Norgaard waived his right to a jury trial (never a good idea).  The arresting officer testified that he administered the breath test with a DataMaster breathalyzer, that he is trained to operate the device, and that he is a certified DataMaster operator. He further explained the limitations of the breathalyzer and how he administers the test. The state introduced the results of the breath test. Norgaard objected, arguing that the state failed to produce evidence regarding the reliability of the DataMaster breathalyzer.

The district court took judicial notice of the fact that the commissioner of public safety had approved the DataMaster breathalyzer. Norgaard again objected, arguing that the district court could not take judicial notice in a criminal case.  The district court found Norgaard guilty of driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more and the Defendant appealed but to no avail.

In its opinion, the Court of Appeals notes that, "Judicial notice of adjudicative facts is not appropriate in criminal cases" but "Adjudicative facts are facts about the parties, their activities, properties, motives, and intent."  The Appellate Court then observed, "Courts regularly take notice of legislative facts, such as statutes, caselaw, and regulations, in criminal cases.  Here, the district court took judicial notice that the commissioner of public safety has approved the DataMaster breathalyzer as an "infrared or other approved breath-testing instrument." Minn. Stat. § 169A.03, subd. 11 (2014); see Minn. R. 7502.0425 (2015). Minn. Stat. § 634.16 (2014) permits the admission of any breath test performed by a fully trained individual using an approved breath-testing instrument, "without antecedent expert testimony that [the instrument] provides a trustworthy and reliable measure of the alcohol in the breath." The Court held the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the test results.

Moral Of The Story:  Once again proving that if you choose to represent yourself, you have a fool for a client.



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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is Kokosh v. $4657 U.S. Currency (Decided May 30, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that in any forfeiture challenge (including Minnesota DWI vehicle forfeitures) the opposing party must be personally served or acknowledge in writing that they have received the forfeiture complaint in the mail.

The Kokosh case arises from the seizure and administrative forfeiture of $4,675 and a 2000 Lincoln LS automobile by the Minnesota State Patrol.  The state patrol personally served Mr. Kokosh with a copy of the notice of seizure and intent to forfeit the property.

On August 6, 2015 Mr. Kokosh's attorney filed a complaint for judicial determination of the forfeiture in Washington County District Court and he attempted to electronically serve the County Attorney's office but encountered some technical difficulties.  Mr. Kokosh's attorney was subsequently informed that the complaint was successfully filed and that the county would be served electronically as well. Believing that he had satisfied the requirements for service of process, Kokosh mailed a copy of the complaint to the county and the state patrol, but did not include an acknowledgement of service. The county never acknowledged service of Kokosh's complaint.

On November 19, the county filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction based on Kokosh's failure to timely serve a complaint pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 4.05. The district court agreed and dismissed Kokosh's case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

On Appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court, noting:

"Jurisdiction to hear a demand for judicial determination of forfeiture attaches when an owner of the affected properly makes a timely demand that meets statutory requirements. Strict compliance is required, and if the owner of the affected property fails to properly serve the demand for judicial determination, no forfeiture action is commenced, and the district court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to address the matter."

"The administrative forfeiture statute provides the means by which a claimant may challenge the forfeiture. Specifically, a claimant may file a demand for judicial determination of forfeiture within 60 days following service of the notice of seizure and forfeiture of properly. Minn. Stat. § 609.5314, subd. 3(a). 'The demand must be in the form of a civil complaint,' and must be filed with the court administrator 'together with proof of service' on the county. Id. Service on the county is by 'any means permitted by court rules.' Id. We conclude that, because it is a complaint that must be served on the opposing party in order to commence the civil in rem action, Minn. R. Civ. P. 4 is the only rule that applies. See id., subd. 3(b) ('[A]n action for the return of property seized under this section may not be maintained ... unless [claimant] has complied with this subdivision.')"

"The Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure have a bifurcated system for service with different requirements for service of documents that commence an action and service of documents after an action has already been initiated. See In re Skyline Materials, Ltd., 835 NW.2d 472, 475-76 (Minn. 2013) (explaining difference between rule 4 and rule 5)."

"Service of a complaint when commencing an action must be completed by: (1) personal service under rule 4.03; (2) publication under rule 4.04; or (3) U.S. mail under rule 4.05. When serving a party by mail, service is complete "at the date of acknowledgment of service." Minn. R. Civ. P. 3.01(b). The rules of civil procedure do not allow for electronic service of a complaint 'unless consented to by the defendant either in writing or electronically.'"

"After Kokosh unsuccessfully attempted to electronically serve his complaint, he then attempted service by mail rather than by publication or personal service. As a result, service by mail under rule 4.05 is applicable here. Service by mail requires strict compliance and is not effective if the acknowledgment is not signed and returned. See Coons v. St. Paul Cos., 486 N.W.2d 771, 776 (Minn. App. 1992), review denied (Minn. July 16, 1992). It is uncontested that Kokosh's initial mailing to the county did not include an acknowledgment of service. Therefore, Kokosh's attempted service by mail was ineffective."

"We hold that service of a demand for judicial determination of forfeiture must be completed according to specifically Minnesota Rule of Civil Procedure 4 and not Rule 5, unless electronic service is consented to by the opposing party. Kokosh did not satisfy the service requirements of the rules of civil procedure, and the county did not consent to electronic service. Accordingly, the district court did not err in dismissing this matter due to lack of subject-matter jurisdiction."

This case is important as it makes clear that any Minnesota forfeiture (including any Minnesota DWI vehicle forfeiture) is subject to the strict service requirements of a civil action and the failure to comply with the rules will result in the dismissal of the vehicle forfeiture challenge. 

Moral Of The Story:  If you want to succeed at the game, you have to know the rules!

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.

Monday, May 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. Voss (Decided May 8, 2017, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Unpublished) which stands for the proposition that if you assault someone and then drive away drunk, the two crimes are not a part of the "same behavioral incident".

In Voss, Maple Grove Police Officer J.R. Ohnstad received a report of an assault in the City of Maple Grove. When Officer Ohnstad arrived at the address to investigate the report, he saw that the victim's lip had started to swell and change color. The victim stated that he was driving home when he noticed a driver tailgating him. The victim reported that the tailgating driver displayed his middle finger while continuing to follow him. The victim described the driver as a white male, with a crewcut, and reported that the man was driving a white Chevy Silverado with military plates.  As the victim turned onto a side street to reach his home, the tailgating driver did not follow him, and instead drove past him. The tailgating driver then did a U-turn and drove in the direction of the victim's neighborhood. As the victim parked his car in his driveway and stepped out of his vehicle, the other driver parked the Chevy Silverado behind the victim's car and stepped out of the truck. The driver punched the victim in the face, knocking him to the ground. The driver then raised his fist and approached the victim's mother—who had emerged from the victim's house—as if he intended to hit her, but instead returned to his vehicle and drove away.

Sergeant Steve Sarazin of the Rogers Police Department heard the dispatch report over the police radio. Within four miles of the assault and several minutes after the report, Sergeant Sarazin saw a white male with a crewcut driving a white pickup truck with military plates. Sergeant Sarazin noted the similarities to the dispatch description and stopped the white pickup truck to question the driver, who police later identified as Voss. Sergeant Sarazin noticed several indicia of intoxication, including a strong odor of alcohol, slurred and deliberate speech, and glassy eyes. As he continued to speak to the driver, a Maple Grove police officer arrived on the scene with the victim, and the victim positively identified the driver as the individual who punched him.

The City of Rogers charged Voss with two counts of driving while impaired. In a separate complaint, the City of Maple Grove charged Voss with three counts of misdemeanor assault (counts I-III), one count of disorderly conduct (count IV), and one count of careless driving (count V). Voss pleaded guilty to the City of Rogers' fourth-degree driving-while-impaired charge and sought dismissal of the City of Maple Grove's remaining charges.   At the omnibus hearing, Voss argued that allowing the City of Maple Grove to charge counts I-V would result in serialized prosecution, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.035.

The district court dismissed the remaining charges because the court found that they arose from the same behavioral incident.

On appeal by the State, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the District Court, noting:

"Minnesota Statutes section 609.035 bars multiple punishments for offenses that arise from the same behavioral incident. Minn. Stat. § 609.035, subd. 1 ("[I]f a person's conduct constitutes more than one offense under the laws of this state, the person may be punished for only one of the offenses and a conviction or acquittal of any one of them is a bar to prosecution for any other of them."). When a person is charged with multiple offenses, a district court must examine the offenses charged to determine whether they "resulted from a single behavioral incident." State v. Johnson, 273 Minn. 394, 404, 141 N.W.2d 517, 524 (1966). In these instances, multiple prosecutions are strictly prohibited to 'protect a defendant convicted of multiple offenses against unfair exaggeration of the criminality of his conduct.' State v. Norregaard, 384 N.W.2d 449, 449 (Minn. 1986)."

"Minnesota law provides two separate tests for determining whether multiple offenses arose from the same behavioral incident. State v. Bauer, 792 N.W.2d 825, 827-28 (Minn. 2011) {Bauer II). The first test applies only if the offenses at issue are multiple intentional crimes; the second test applies when the challenged offenses include both intentional and nonintentional crimes. Bauer I, 776 N.W.2d at 478. We agree with both parties that the second test applies. Under the second test, Minnesota courts consider whether the offenses "(1) occurred at substantially the same time and place and (2) arose from a continuing and uninterrupted course of conduct, manifesting an indivisible state of mind or coincident errors of judgment." Id. (quotation and citation omitted)."

"With regard to the first part of this test, the district court correctly found that the two offenses 'occurred at substantially the same time and place.'...With regard to the second portion of the test, the driving-while-impaired offenses and the assault-related offenses did not arise from "a continuing and uninterrupted course of conduct, manifesting an indivisible state of mind or coincident errors of judgment." Bauer I, 776 N.W.2d at 478 (quotation and citation omitted). In this case, Voss engaged in at least two entirely separate offenses. Voss committed the first offense, assault, when he parked his vehicle in the victim's driveway, exited his truck, approached the victim, and punched the victim in the face, knocking the victim to the ground. Voss then stepped back into his truck and drove away. When Sergeant Sarazin stopped Voss to investigate the assault report, he noticed several indicia of intoxication and, after Voss failed the sobriety testing, the City of Rogers charged Voss with driving while impaired, the second offense. The record conclusively shows that Voss engaged in two separate and distinct offenses— driving while impaired and assault. "

"Because the remaining counts did not arise from a single behavioral incident, and because the City of Rogers and the City of Maple Grove were entitled to bring subsequent prosecutions in separate jurisdictions due to the nature of the offenses, we reverse."

Moral Of The Story: There is nothing worse than a mean drunk!

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.