Saint Paul, MN asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota

Q: Somebody I know was recently arrested based on a pending fourth degree charge against an officer despite

The fact that they did nothing illegal. They were accused of pointing a laser pointer at a police officer, but from what we've found so far, pointing a laser pointer at an individual is not recognized as a crime in MN by any means. It is a felony to point one at an aircraft, we know. They are being detained against their will in Hennepin County Jail, and has a pending 4th degree felony against an officer charge.

Does this have any standing? What can they do?

They were unlawfully arrested along with large groups of other individuals when demonstrating in a peaceful protest on I-94 in Minneapolis. The police did NOT give the protesters a clear exist path, a warning or a time to disperse, which they are required to. They began randomly and violently arresting people after blocking them in with their vehicles on the freeway.

It was the Minneapolis Highway Patrols that made the arrest, and Hennepin County Jail is unlawfully holding at least this person, I'm sure there are more here.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rogers, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: So it is difficult to know what the legal basis for holding this individual might be without seeing the police reports. O would presume that if your friend is charged with assault 4 that your friend is accused of doing more than simply pointing a laser pointer at someone. There is not a ton that can be done at this point unless your friend hires an attorney and files a habeas corpus claim alleging that your friend is being unlawfully detained. The legal basis for arrest and detention is "probable cause." "Probable cause" is a relatively low legal threshold to meet. Your friend should look into hiring an attorney immediately.

William Bailey agrees with this answer

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: It sounds like you may be trying to describe a person being held in jail on "Probable Cause (PC) - Felony Assault 4 vs a police officer." A person can be held for only a few days on a "PC Hold" in jail. If a prosecuting attorney does not file a charging document within the deadline for doing so, the jail will release the person at that time. Sometimes a judge will authorize release sooner, with or without conditions. An attorney can be helpful at that stage, in explaining the process, what to expect, things to watch out for. Only sometimes can we expedite release. But it's a good idea to at least consult a criminal defense attorney at this stage.

William Bailey agrees with this answer

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