Posts Tagged Dakota County Criminal Defense Attorney

St. Paul Criminal Defense Attorney Challenges SANE Exam

Resolving “He said, She said” with Junk Science, the terrifying unchecked testimony of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. Alex DeMarco, a frequent Criminal Defense Attorney in Dakota County, had the opportunity and challenge of handling a criminal sexual conduct case in Dakota County recently.   The matter was charged out in 2014.  Alex DeMarco pushed it to trial three times, each time it being continued by other cases that were older or involved clients in custody.  On the third trial setting, the state dismissed the 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct case, and recharged it as a criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.  This was because, on the day of trial, over a year after his client was arrested, the state suddenly revealed the alleged “victim” had recorded her own sexual assault.   The State’s motion to amend the complaint was denied.   The State dismissed and re-filed, because the law now holds that a prosecutor can do so out of convenience and bad faith.   There is zero constraint on the state’s charging decision thanks to a recent Minnesota Supreme Court Opinion. Despite it being recharged to the highest degree possible, Alex DeMarco pushed it through to trial yet again.   Between the dismissed file and the new file, Alex DeMarco drafted over 400 pages of motions and memorandum and set the case up for trial.  That included overcoming the so-called “rape shield” law  , moving to suppress the statement of the defendant, and, important to this article, challenging the validity and limiting the testimony of a strange breed of State Expert called a “Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.” Ok that seemed like a lot of jargon, and we know the part that leaped out at you.   “But Alex, the victim recorded her own sexual assault.  The victim was heard saying “no, stop” several times.   What would you try that case?”  Answer:   Because who the heck records their own sexual assault?  Think about it.  How consistent is that with being sexually assaulted?   Ultimate result, despite the admission of this video evidence before a jury=  Hung jury.   No conviction, all counts.   The reason?  A Junk Science called a “Sexual Assault Nurse exam”, AKA “SANE” “S.A.N.E” or “SANE exam.”   While this is taken for granted by most lawyers, Alex saw through the fallacy of this science and exposed it to the jury.  The video was dark, grainy, did not show very much of anything regarding the conduct, and the fact the victim recorded a supposedly traumatic experience when she admitted there was no prior abusive or assault conduct by the defendant was weird and contrived.  Frankly, the case might have actually gone a different way if the State’s expert had not testified, but when she did, the jury ultimately could not believe the State’s case beyond a reasonable doubt.  If you’re facing a criminal sexual conduct charge in Minnesota, you need to hire an attorney that understands the latest up and coming junk science the State is… Read more {+}

Just say everything but “no” to implied consent.

“Finally, Petitioner argues Mr. Jones was subjected to an unreasonable warrantless search. Contained within this argument the court finds Petitioner’s more persuasive assertion: Mr. Jones did not refuse to take a blood or urine test because he stated he would take a test once a warrant was obtained.” Recent order in Rice County DWI Implied Consent case (Names changed). So we haven’t blogged DWI in awhile and we’re gonna blow through this like Terry Tate enforcing an office. First of all, for total newbs, we just dropped “implied consent” on you. What’s that? The law that says “hey by virtue of driving in Minnesota, you consent anytime to have yourself tested for booze or drugs whenever we want.” You’d probably remember this from your driver’s license application, if it was on there, which it’s not, but ignorance isn’t a defense, so on we go.  Bottom line, besides the criminal charges, “State vs. you”, there’s the civil case, “You vs. Commissioner of Public Safety”, which you need to file within 30 days of receiving your notice of revocation. If you don’t do that, your license is gone.  Period.  Hard and fast deadline.  That’s the two sides of DWI law, the criminal, the civil.  So this comes from that challenge to the license revocation.  How about the criminal?  It was so good, the test refusal charges, the serious DWI Charge, was dismissed by the prosecutor upon our motion before we even got to a hearing.  The state has now has to prosecute the matter with no field sobriety tests, no alcohol concentration, no evidence.  How did it get so good? Because this guy called an attorney who understood what he needed to know right there, right then. We’ve written previously regarding the bombshell that opened up DWI litigation three years ago in Missouri v. McNeely. If you’re facing a DWI and you haven’t heard of this court case, the one liner states: “In those drunk-driving investigations where police officers can reasonably obtain a warrant before a blood sample can be drawn without significantly undermining the efficacy of the search, the Fourth Amendment mandates that they do so.”  That’s the Supreme Court of the United States; the highest Court in the land.  Blood, breath, and urine tests are all searches for fourth amendment purposes. (Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives Association). Some people thought it didn’t apply to Minnesota because we don’t force a test like Missouri.   Call it Minnesota nice, or laziness, whatever you want, but the bottom line is that a person is given a supposed “choice” on whether to take the test or not.  In other words, we say “we don’t wanna touch you or force you to do anything, but if you don’t subject yourself to this warrantless search, we’re gonna charge you with an even worse crime.”  So initially,some folks thought this didn’t apply to Minnesota.  Oops.  Two urine test cases from Minnesota get reversed by SCOTUS a few weeks later.  It suffices to say a lot of case law has… Read more {+}