Successful Appeals Cases

Court of Appeals Cases


On appeal from the district court’s order sustaining the revocation of his driver’s license, appellant argues that the district court erred by determining that: (1) the arresting officer had a reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity when he seized 2 him; and (2) appellant did not have standing to challenge the officer’s warrantless entry into his friend’s garage. Because we conclude that the district court erred by determining that appellant did not have standing to challenge the officer’s warrantless entry in the garage, and we determine that the officer’s entry violated the Fourth Amendment, we reverse. FACTS At approximately 1:30 a.m.


Appellant challenges the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress the evidence obtained during a search of his residence, arguing that the warrant authorizing the search failed to establish a sufficient nexus between his residence and any suspected criminal activity. We reverse and remand.


Appellant JMD challenges his first-degree controlled substance conviction in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.021, subd. 2(1) (2004). At a pretrial hearing, 2 the district court refused to suppress evidence obtained by a state trooper during a search of appellant‟s vehicle following a traffic stop in Beltrami County; the court also refused to suppress evidence later obtained from appellant‟s home during execution of a search warrant. Appellant claims that the court erred by refusing to suppress this evidence, conceding that the initial stop of his vehicle was lawful, but arguing that the vehicle search exceeded the scope and duration of a lawful traffic stop because the trooper confined him in his squad car during the stop and prolonged the stop after issuing him a warning citation for speeding. We reverse because we conclude that although the trooper could require appellant to sit in the front seat of his squad car during the stop, the trooper had no reason to prolong the traffic stop after issuing appellant a warning citation for speeding; therefore, the searches of appellant‟s vehicle and home were improper, and evidence obtained during those searches should have been suppressed.


The district court denied JJJ’s pretrial motion to suppress methamphetamine found following a traffic stop for crossing over a fog line. JJJ preserved his right to raise the validity of the search on appeal and submitted the case to the district court on stipulated facts. The district court found JJJ guilty of second degree, controlled-substance crime and, on appeal, JJJ argues that the stop was invalid and the search was not voluntary. Because the record does not contain adequate evidence to support a finding of voluntary consent, we reverse


The district court‘s jury instruction for refusal to submit to chemical testing was erroneous because the instruction given to the jury articulated an incorrect, subjective standard of probable cause. 2. The appellant is entitled to a new trial because the erroneous jury instruction in this case was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. 2 3. The appellant waived his argument that the district court committed reversible error by instructing the jury that the court had concluded as a matter of law that appellant had a reasonable amount of time to contact an attorney before deciding whether to submit to chemical testing. Reversed and remanded.


A jury found appellant JLS guilty of one count of controlled-substance crime in the fifth degree for possession of a substance containing methamphetamine. The state charged him with only one count of possession but introduced evidence of two acts to support the conviction. Appellant contends that the trial court's refusal to give a specific unanimity instruction, requiring the jurors to agree that the same underlying criminal act had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, violated his right to a unanimous verdict. Because it is possible that the jury's verdict of guilty was not unanimous, we reverse.

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