Asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI and Civil Rights for Minnesota

Q: In regards to searching my purse..my purse was in car with the passenger and I was in cop car. For at 10 minutes then

The cop searched my purse and found what appeared to be drugs charged 5th degree possession and 4th degree DUI...2.5 years later the timing is that legal statute of limitations?

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

A: There are two separate issues here. The constitutionality of your encounter with law enforcement. Was the traffic stop legitimate? Was the search of your purse constitutional permissible? Issues along those lines could result in suppression of the evidence against you and dismissal of the charges. The second issue is the one that you raise - the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Minnesota for most felonies and misdemeanors is three years. But that is from the date of the offense to a charging decision. Two and half years seems like a long time to charge something like this, but I wonder if it was on warrant status for a period of time. I'd suggest that you reach out directly to a criminal defense attorney for representation. You should not be fighting this battle alone.

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

A: The shortest Minnesota statute of limitations period is three years, for Minnesota criminal charges. A person facing criminal drug possession and DUI charges would benefit from legal representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney. You lawyer, with your help, should gather all available facts and information about the case, analyze them, and assert defenses that could help win or mitigate your case. Those could be in the form of pretrial motions and then potentially a jury trial. One of the possible pretrial evidentiary issues could be whether a search was illegal. If it was, the judge would normally suppress the evidence, meaning the prosecutor could not use it in their case-in-chief. Sometimes that in turn can result in dismissal of drug crime (and other) charges. Work with your public defender or private criminal defense lawyer.

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