Questions Answered by Thomas C Gallagher

Q: Can county services with hold my child from me because I have two Warrents?

3 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Apr 16, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
If you read this question again, it's unclear what it's asking. It sound like a lot going on though. Perhaps a phone call to an attorney could help untangle the knot.

Q: Is that a public park is a "known drug area" sufficient as "reasonable suspicion" for search without any other evidence?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Apr 12, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Whether police have an articulable suspicion of criminal activity, sufficient to justify a Fourth Amendment seizure,depends upon all the facts then known to that police officer. Of course, I don't have access to that information. His defense attorney of record on the case should. If friend has questions, he or she should directly address those questions to his or her lawyer. And request a copy of the discovery from his or her lawyer.

Q: Witnessed my neighbor's dog get hit by a car and die instantly - driver left the scene but lives nearby. Illegal?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Car Accidents for Minnesota on
Answered on Apr 9, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
It may not be a criminal matter, unless there is evidence that it was an intentional act (or at least gross negligent act). But, you could call the police and give them the opportunity to do whatever they can.

Q: I just found out i have warranty on me for probation violation...

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and DUI / DWI for Minnesota on
Answered on Mar 31, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
When a probation officer alleges that a probationer violated a condition of a stayed sentence, he or she can ask a judge to sign an Arrest and Detain Order. This is the functional equivalent to an Arrest Warrant. The main purpose of either is to get the named person into custody. A secondary purpose is to inconvenience that person. Not knowing about an arrest warrant or an A & D, will have little effect on the final outcome, however. As for what to do, you may want to hire a lawyer to...

Q: Would the use of a flashlight by an officer still be considered "plain view"

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Mar 27, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Caselaw is not helpful, but police still must have a lawful reason to be there, looking:

"Nor does Officer Corcoran's use of his flashlight affect this conclusion. "In numerous cases [the supreme court has] upheld against fourth amendment challenge[s] the practice of police officers routinely shining flashlights into automobiles, the only exception being when the officers unlawfully acquire their position vis-a-vis the vehicles, as when they unlawfully stop cars." State v. Alesso, 328...

Q: How would I go about filing a motion to have the statue on an old case changed in the state of MN?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Minnesota on
Answered on Mar 27, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
The best way would be to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help with it. As for which motion, a motion to withdraw a plea could work. Then, at the hearing ask the prosecutor and judge for help getting it changed. In the end, the Court Administrator will need to correct the court's record. After that, check to see if the MN BCA has a record on it. If so, get them a certified copy and ask them to update.

Q: Can I change my speeding ticket 16 over the speed limit to a non moving violation, if so how much would it cost. Thanks

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Answered on Mar 25, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
That question may not be worded just right. Strictly speaking, the answer is "no." But, if you want to prevent a speeding ticket from being certified by the court to MN DPS to go on your driver;s license record -- that may be possible. It depends upon a few things: what happened ("the facts"); your record in the past three to five years; and whether you have a defense attorney. And if it can be done, the cost will vary with those same factors. If you really want to know, call me or another...

Q: Our place that we helped out at and stored some things was raided. Dates on warrant are diff from paperwork filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Mar 10, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Question everything. That's how we identify effective defenses. But don't share details online publicly. Instead call a criminal defense lawyer with significant experience defending drug cases. You are welcome to call me. A stale search warrant can make the search illegal. But we want to get a full picture of each and every fact possible, before settling on the best defense.

Q: can you be charged almost two months after a traffic stop. also the supposed evidence i have no idea what it could be.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Answered on Mar 2, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Yes. The statute of limitations period on Minnesota drug crimes is generally three years. While an arrest is inconvenient, a prosecutor can charge a crime regardless of whether the person was ever arrested. They do need evidence. Sometimes suspected illegal drugs are confirmed by a lab before charging (though not always). Keep looking for defenses though. A defense lawyer can be a big help doing that.

Q: I received a summons by regular mail with no signature required.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Mar 2, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
When a prosecutor charges a person with a crime, they can either request an arrest warrant or send a Summons to appear. When a Summons is sent, if the defendant does not show up in court at the place and time on the Summons, the judge will issue an Arrest Warrant. Then, police will arrest the defendant and book them into jail. The defendant's bail will usually be higher as a result of the "Failure to Appear" on the Summons. That's why it's a good idea to show up as required by the Summons...

Q: can I file or press charges against a 17 year old that rear ended me an left the seen when I reported it

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 23, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
That description sounds like a hit & run accident. You can make a complaint to the police about it. Then police can investigate for evidence. Police then may refer it to a prosecutor for possible criminal charges. You can talk to police and-or the prosecutor before that to check on the status of the investigation. Regardless of what they do, you can also try to retain a personal injury lawyer for help making a claim for injuries from the accident. I am a criminal defense attorney. You...

Q: Can you get a reckless/careless driving ticket if you aren’t caught by police, but a camera is present?

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 20, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Did you? The usual problem with charging a crime against someone with only camera evidence is lack of identification evidence. The police would need to get the suspect or target to talk to them, in order to have a solid case.

Q: Is there any possible way to get a new prosecutor and judge? Is there any way to reopen omnibus or restart a case?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Legal Malpractice for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 20, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Reading that description, it sounds like you may want to replace your lawyer. If you do, your new lawyer may be able to ask for another Contested Omnibus Hearing. That would be an unusual request, and would need to have strong reasons to have a chance. But a new lawyer would have better chance to do it again, or raise similar issues in a different context. The defendant cannot influence who the prosecutor is, but can remove one judge without cause if done soon after learning which judge is...

Q: Felon’s Personal Belongings

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 20, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
I don't know the answer to that question. I imagine you might: 1. Call his lawyer; 2. Call one of his close family members about it. I suppose much may depend on the volume of "his belongings." A truckload? Or just a wallet and watch? My first though would be someone close to him, willing to store it for free. If he's out on supervised release, he could pick it up with police supervision. Police are generally willing to do that, as long as it doesn't take too long.

Q: If pulled over, and vehicle gets towed spent a weekend in jail and day of court you get released with charges dropped

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Normally the tow yard won't release a vehicle with a police hold. So if there is one, the owner will want to get the police to release the hold. If police are demanding proof of insurance and plates, then of course that may be a good idea. If there is some legitimate reason for the vehicle to be released without those, you could try to persuade the police or government they work for, of that. (For example, it's a track car only.) As for avoiding paying the tow and storage charges, I'm...

Q: What does “PROB CAUSE” mean when referring to the severity of charges?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 13, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
That looks like an excerpt from a jail roster. A person held in jail must be there either under a court Order (i.e., an arrest warrant), or a "probable cause hold." The laws give police officer limited authority to check someone into jail with a court order, upon their representation of "probable cause" to believe the person committed a crime. "Probable cause" is a legal term of art that means somewhat different things depending upon context. In this context, it means the police officer...

Q: The snow was on my rear windshield I am unsure as to if the charge is even correct under that statue.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 8, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
You could call a Driver Evaluator at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to ask if it would go on your drivers license record (moving violation). If not, then it's mainly just the fine. You could fight it on the grounds that your car does have the ability to clear the rear windshield and it was not covered in snow, except that caused by heavy snowfall. Or, ask for a reduced fine.

Q: I sold a pistol to a pawn shop last month and today the police came saying it was stolen.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 6, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
A charge is simply an unproven claim. Whether a prosecutor will charge a crime will depend a great deal on whether there is evidence to support the claim. What evidence could there be to support, or destroy the claim. A receipt could be one piece of evidence, among others. I'm sure you'll keep looking for the receipt. If a credit card was used, a duplicate may be available. In the meantime, don't talk to police. Instead consult me or another criminal defense lawyer right away....

Q: Expecting drug possession charge - lawyers i've consulted (& cant afford) advise early action, low-income guy says wait.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Feb 6, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
My private practice is focused on marijuana and drug cases in Minnesota. I talk to a lot people who've recently been searched or arrested. Usually I recommend waiting to hire me or another defense attorney until charges are filed. Why? In some, albeit small, percentage of these situations, the person never gets charged. Is it ever a good idea to hire a lawyer pre-charge? Yes. When? If the person is experiencing ongoing police harassment or contacts, you'll benefit from pre-charge...

Q: After a district courts verdict of first degree premeditated murder was upheld by MN Supreme Court, what is the next ste

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota on
Answered on Jan 31, 2019
Thomas C Gallagher's answer
Consult your appellate lawyer. More appeals may be possible, but there would need to be grounds for appeal depending on the case. Appeal deadlines are short, so consult your lawyer very soon.

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