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Questions Answered by Thomas C Gallagher
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Q: what are the trog factors a judge considers in minnesota for a defendant requesting a downward dispositional departure?

3rd degree murder charge but defendants score is very low, hardly no criminal history except minor drug possession and a petty theft.

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 31, 2023

Take a look at the grounds for downward dispositional departure (from presumptive sentence) listed in this year's version of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines (available free on their website). These include a requirement that a defendant be “particularly” amenable to probation, to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Civil Rights for Minnesota on
Q: i was pulled over because of an anonymous tip.

the tip said a drug deal would be happening at my place of employment at 2 involving a blue truck and black jeep. i drive a red truck. on my day off at 230 i stop by work and talk to a coworker. upon leaving i get pulled over because he believes i was involved in a drug deal and asked if they can... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 29, 2023

When I represent a client, I obtain as much information I can about all the facts and circumstances related to the case. Then I analyze it all for legal issues that could benefit my client. When first discussing a case with some who is not a client, naturally we have start somewhere, with first a... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Q: Can you have evidence suppressed at the time of trial in Minnesota

The public defender on this case is completely useless, he waived the omnibus hearing and probable cause hearing, jury trial is only a week away now and I need to know if video evidence can be suppressed at the time of trial if the authenticity can't be verified by the prosecution?

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 27, 2023

The defense could challenge the authenticity of a video (is it what the proponent says it is) just before the trial starts, in a "motion in limine" or as an objection to it's admission into evidence during the trial. It would be helpful to have some evidentiary basis for doing so,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Q: Is the prosecution required to provide at trial every person with access to video footage evidence?

My friend is being charged with breaking into a storage facility on camera. Not only did it take 3 weeks for the police to be given this video but there's proof that an individual not listed on the witness list was in control of the video prior to police getting a copy. Is the prosecution... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 27, 2023

In Minnesota courts, the prosecution would not be required to call as a witness for examination at trial every person with access to video footage evidence. However, the defense could potentially subpoena those witnesses, to come testify. (Though that does not mean this would necessarily be a... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Health Care Law and Identity Theft for Minnesota on
Q: Charges for Using Discarded Medical Info for ID Theft

This is a weird one. What charges could someone face for using medical (biohazard) trash/waste to obtain info for Identity Theft?

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 16, 2023

An Identity Theft related crime could be charged regardless of the source of the information. But perhaps there are unusual, more specific criminal statutes relating to invasion of (medical) privacy that could come into play. More info would be needed to sort that out.

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Minnesota on
Q: After a motion to dismiss is denied & an order is entered specifying facts on the wrong date of an offense can I object?

The finding of facts is dated incorrectly for the offense's commission. What can I do as defendant?

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 12, 2023

In general, a typo or inadvertent error won't matter for the ultimate issue of outcome. But sometimes, the defense can find a way to benefit from them. Therefore, it's not always a good idea to draw attention to such errors, which can easily be fixed (unless that is more important to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in DUI / DWI and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Minnesota on
Q: Does State Patrol have training material that states heat bumps on the back of someone's tongue indicate drug use?

If so is this recently recognized by the scientific community as factual information?

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 11, 2023

To my knowledge, the answer is "no." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a federal agency providing support and funding to local law enforcement agencies, as well as funding and collecting scientific research. NHTSA's two similar programs for law... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Immigration Law and Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Q: can someone be deported if they are convicted of shoplifting? the person has no other convictions.

the person was charged with shoplifting about $60 of merchandise at Walmart. they have not been convicted yet but they are worried it will affect their green card.

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 10, 2023

It's important for non-citizens facing any criminal charge to consult with an Immigration Lawyer about their situation and implications on current and future immigration status. Having said that, as a Criminal Defense Lawyer, my understanding that a misdemeanor theft conviction is considered... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Minnesota on
Q: What if the suspect just keeps repeatedly saying they do not understand their rights or the charges against them?

What happens if the defendant continously says they do not understand their rights or the charges throughout an arrest, detainment, interrogation, court appearance? How does the court proceed if the defendant refuses to even acknowledge any understanding of what is happening?

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 10, 2023

As a criminal defense lawyer, I discuss the charges, potential defenses and evidentiary issues with my client, and help them set an outcome goal - within days of being retained. I look at all available information. If my client had told police repeatedly that they did not understand their rights... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Minnesota on
Q: Can the court order a relationship to dissolve if they are unmarried?

Can the court order a relationship between two people to end? I was involved in a domestic assault call at my house where my spouse was arrested and charged. I did not wish for a no contact order to be put in place. The terms are "no unwanted contact" meaning I can rescind my invitation... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 8, 2023

A judge cannot order a relationship to end, at least not in those terms, per se. But courts often order "no contact" in a few contexts, including an "Order for Protection (OFP)" via family court, or a "Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO)" in criminal court. The... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Q: Can drug court do this

Someone in jail gets on drug court for the first time and is being told she must sit in jail for a bed gut the individual in jail never signed up for a bed or anything like that she has been in jail 38 days they are trying to send her to inpatient treatment after her attorney said she should get... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 5, 2023

The description seems to state that there may be two problems preventing someone from getting out of jail: 1) the "home" county judge's order that she be released to inpatient treatment but those arrangements have not yet been made; and 2) a warrant or hold from another county,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets and Car Accidents for Minnesota on
Q: Should I fight my rear end or plea no contest and hope for reduced sentencing?

I rear ended someone while I was looking in the mirrors. I was in stop and go traffic so I wasn't speeding. When the police officer arrived much later in my shock I spouted some nonsense on what happened on my distance. I was cited with "duty to drive with due care" rather than... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Jan 4, 2023

It's personal decision. I would fight every traffic charge in an effort to either avoid a conviction being certified to the driver's license record. And having a clean record for the past 3-5 years will help in that effort. Also, any time a person is involved in a traffic collusion,... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Q: If an individual is in custody for probation violation and has a warrant in another county for a probation violation

If an individual in custody for probation violation and finds that another county was a warrant out for a probation violation what needs to happen for the individual to get released

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Dec 28, 2022

If a person is in jail on body-only holds from two counties, the person will not be released until both are removed. Usually the hold from the "other county" will remain until the hold from the "home county" is released - assuming both are for alleged probation violations.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: Can a cop use a rear radar detector while they are driving in Minnesota?

A cop clocked me while I was driving behind them and I heard somewhere that cops in Minnesota cannot do this.

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Dec 21, 2022

Police can have RADAR speed measuring devices with a rear facing antenna, but not all do. A common issue with RADAR-based speed enforcement is the police officer's basis for identifying which vehicle was being measured by the RADAR machine. That issue tends to be situation specific (e.g.,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for Minnesota on
Q: Can Minnesota residents be fined today, for not wearing a face mask back in the 'Peacetime Emergency' times?

Hello

Even though as of today those various COVID mask requirements and executive orders in Minnesota have expired, can someone be still fined, if for example this person was recorded and identified on video visiting a bar or restaurant without a mask back in 2020, during 'Peacetime... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Dec 16, 2022

Because Minnesota Statutes §609.735 CONCEALING IDENTITY, appears to make wearing a mask "to prevent spread of disease" (as opposed to "medical treatment"), in public, a crime; I would challenge any attempt to enforce an "executive order" to the contrary. I've... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: Can I be pulled over on private property for a traffic stop?

The officer didn't turn his lights or sirens on until we were on private property. The officer located drugs during the stop . If the stop wasn't legal can the charges be dismissed?

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Dec 8, 2022

I would look at the police officer's claimed basis for the traffic stop. Pursuit onto private property, alone, is unlikely to be a defense winning issue, however. You lawyer will look at the basis for the stop, for the roadside investigation, for the searches, and for the arrest, as well as... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: Speed entered into system doesn’t match ticket, what is probable outcome when contesting this?

Officer upped the speed I was doing by 10 miles an hour when he entered the ticket into the state system. It does not match in any way the ticket I received. The ticket reads 70/60, the officer entered 80/60. County attorney wants to talk about it. I want to know if I should just wait and go... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Nov 28, 2022

That alone would not likely result in dismissal of the charge. It could result in amendment of the charge. I'd suggest setting a goal for outcome. Then try to achieve that goal. If that cannot be done via discussion with the prosecutor, then set it for trial and try to win the case before... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: My son got 2 speeding tickets in less than 6 months (10 over the limit). What is the impact on License?

He had gotten another one about year and a half ago

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Nov 28, 2022

Minnesota Rules 7409.2200 HABITUAL VIOLATORS, directs the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to suspend the driver's license for 30 days, if the commissioner has previously sent a violation warning letter to the person and the person is convicted of:

(1) four [petty or worse]...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: My Son got a ticket in MN for 169.20.2. But both parties where traveling the same direction. Wrong statue

He was parked on the side of the 4 lane road. He was making a uturn and Uturns are not illegal on this part of the street. Both parties where traveling East. The statue he put down is for on coming traffic but they where both traveling east.the police put MN 169.20.2. It should have been... Read more »

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Nov 27, 2022

When the government prosecutes a person, it commences an adversarial relationship. And so we on the defense side of their prosecution have no duty to help them. If the prosecution lacks evidence for the violation charged, sooner or later, it should be dismissed. But, the prosecution can fairly... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Q: What is the statute on passing a vehicle in minnesota

I was in a 55mph zone and I passed this vehicle going 77. Ended up being an unmarked cop. He gave me a ticket going 70 in a 55. I looked on line and it said in minnesota you can pass a vehicle going up to 10-15 miles over the speed limit. Is that true?

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
answered on Nov 27, 2022

Minnesota Statutes section 169.14 , Subd. 2a, increases speed limits when passing by ten miles per hour over the posted speed limit when the driver is on a two-lane highway having one lane for each direction of travel, and certain other conditions apply. But exceeding the posted speed limit... Read more »

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