Crimmigration: Protecting our Immigrant Clients

Immigration law is in turmoil, and non-citizens facing criminal charges are at high risk for deportation, denial of green cards or citizenship, and a wide range of other disproportionate consequences. Here's how we help them preserve their lives in the United States and their places on the pathway to citizenship -- as shown in two recent negotiation victories. Read More

Posted on September 07, 2017 by Hayley Steptoe

Minnesota Ignition Interlock Lawsuit Moves Forward

Back in February, we filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Minnesota and the various providers of ignition interlock services, based on violations of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and drivers' Fourth Amendment rights. Here's an update. Read More

Posted on August 22, 2017 by Charles Ramsay

Client Burps, Judge Throws Breath Test Out, We Win (PLUS: practice tip!)

Every breath test involves an observation period to make sure a driver isn't burping, vomiting, or putting anything in their mouth that might interfere with the testing process due to "mouth alcohol." Previous case law reduced the observation period nearly to a formality. We resurrected it -- and we'll show you how! Read More

Posted on August 11, 2017 by Hayley Steptoe

It Is Better To Have "Lived Usefully" Than To Have "Died Rich."

It's one of Ben Franklin's more memorable quotes: "I would rather have it said, 'he lived usefully,' than, 'he died rich.'" It's a sentiment that has been around, in one form or another, since humans started writing things down, and it usually boils down to the old simple cliche "you can't take it with you." So what does this have to do with DWI defense? Read More

Posted on August 09, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

Ramsay Law Firm Wins Case, Defends Minnesotans' Right to Independent Alcohol Testing

A recent win for Ramsay Law Firm! So you don't trust the breath test machine the police want you to take, but they won't let you get your own blood test on your own dime. Good news, friend! Their case against you can fall apart if they don't vindicate your right to an independent test. Read More

Posted on August 03, 2017 by Hayley Steptoe

Can the Prosecution Withhold Evidence of Innocence?

Imagine you're on trial for killing your mother. Only one witness puts you at the scene of the crime at the right time. You're convicted of second degree murder after a harrowing trial. A few days later, one of the prosecutorial team comes forward and says "Hey, actually, there's this note from our key witness, saying that he was on drugs that whole night and might not have any memory of what he saw. Oh, and we've had this note all along, but we didn't tell the defendant's lawyer because we . . Read More

Posted on August 01, 2017 by Hayley Steptoe

DWI Attorney Dan Koewler Selected for Minnesota's 2017 Super Lawyer Rising Star List

Ramsay Law Firm is pleased to announce that, once again, Dan Koewler has been selected to Minnesota's "Rising Star" list maintained by Super Lawyers. This is his fourth straight year winning this recognition. Read More

Posted on July 28, 2017 by Gina Rice

Minnesota's DWI Forfeiture Law Ruled Unconstitutional

It's an argument that is picking up steam: whether Minnesota's practice of seizing vehicles involved in DWI cases for forfeiture is constitutional. We recently convinced a district court judge to return our client's forfeited vehicle, based on the argument that the whole statute violates the Due Process clause of our Constitution. Because it does. Read More

Posted on July 06, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

Michael Floyd's Kombucha Defense: Is It Scientific?

Michael Floyd, an NFL wide receiver who may-or-may-not be on the Vikings roster for the 2017 season, is facing criminal consequences for failing several breath alcohol tests while on probation for DWI. His defense is that the failed tests were the result of fermented Kombucha Tea, not intentionally consuming alcohol. Does such a defense make sense? Read More

Posted on June 26, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

Massive Changes To Minnesota's DWI Laws in 2017: Part II

So, we promised part two of our analysis of the new DWI law changes that in coming into effect in Minnesota on July 1 . . . two weeks ago. Sorry about that, things got busy. But "busy" means "way more blog material" so hopefully we'll have some more fun stuff for you in the upcoming weeks. But for now, here's part 2! Read More

Posted on June 06, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

Massive Changes To Minnesota's DWI Laws in 2017

Governor Mark Dayton just signed into law some long-awaited changes to Minnesota's DWI laws. The changes are rather sweeping -- some of them are designed to correct the portions of the law that were struck down as unconstitutional in 2016, while others add some additional protections and procedural safeguards to some outdated portions of the law. We'll break down these changes for you and explain what they mean for the future. Read More

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

Aging Attorney General Seeks New Career As Folk Singer

We've just received disturbing news: One member of the Minnesota Attorney General's Office has decided to try and jump-start a new career as a folk singer. His first performance will be on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Lake Monster Brewing Company, and this spectacle is rapidly shaping up to be the "must attend" event of the year. Read More

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

BREAKING NEWS: Critical Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling to be Delayed Due to Defendant’s Demise.

A very important case before the Minnesota Supreme Court has just taken an unusual turn. The case we're talking about is State v. Phillips; the important issue in the case is the effect of Minnesota's unconstitutional Implied Consent Advisory on cases where drivers submitted to warrantless blood and urine tests. The unusual turn? Ms. Phillips, the person who appealed her conviction, just passed away. Read More

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

Waiting to Exhale: Marijuana Breath Testing On The Horizon

It might not be too much longer before we start to see a new type of DWI testing being used across Minnesota -- the "Marijuana Breathalyzer." One company claims to have developed a sensitive, portable breath testing device that can determine if someone is under the influence of marijuana while driving. Will such a device make the roads safer . . . or just cause more problems? Read More

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Daniel Koewler

Going to Prison For Misdemeanor DWI

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a troubling decision that transformed what appeared, on its face, to be a fourth degree, misdemeanor DWI into a felony-level offense. The result was that one man will spend 48 months in prison instead of (perhaps) one weekend in jail. That's an expensive lesson that can largely be blamed on our Legislature. Read More

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Charles Ramsay

Minnesota's DWI Forfeiture Laws To Become A Little More Fair

DWI Forfeiture laws -- laws that allow the State to seize private property for profit -- cause a lot of financial and emotional distress for those who not only have to deal with the process of being arrested, but who then have to deal with the consequences of losing their vehicle as well. Coming soon, it will be a little harder for the State to seize vehicles used during DWI offenses . . . and that's a good thing. Read More

Posted on April 18, 2017 by Charles Ramsay

Ending Accountability: U.S. Government Kills Efforts To Raise Forensic Science Standards

It seems like every day brings a new variety of troubling news, and yesterday was no exception. Yesterday was when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was ending the National Commission on Forensic Science, an advisory panel that was built to "enhance the practice and improve the reliability of forensic science." This is a huge step back for the criminal justice system. Read More

Posted on April 12, 2017 by Charles Ramsay

Drop Legal Limit To 0.05: Tell Me Why ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

Utah has just lowered their DWI legal limit to 0.05 and other states, including Minnesota are considering making a similar change. Currently Minnesota utilizes the national standard 0.08 legal limit. Read More

Posted on April 04, 2017 by Jay Adkins

Defending Ignition Interlock Violations Part Deux: More False Positive Tests

Just this past week, Ramsay Law Firm’s Jay Adkins successfully defeated a Ignition Interlock violation case. This case was based on false positive tests from the interlock device that the state wanted to use to cancel our client’s license. Jay showed the judge that the failed tests could not have been the result of alcohol consumption. The Court agreed and gave our client his license back! Read More

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Charles Ramsay

MSCJ Annual DWI Seminar Announced

The Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice has announced that its annual DWI seminar will take place on Friday June 16, 2017 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. As always, this seminar is only for defense attorneys and cannot be attended by prosecutors or Assistant Attorney Generals. Read More

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Jay Adkins
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