Success Stories: Criminal Defense

The charge: Felony fleeing a peace officer

Success! Not guilty by reason of mental illness

Susan was suffering from an acute mental illness, a psychotic episode that caused delusions.  Edina police initiated a traffic stop because of a minor offense (not signaling a lane change).  But Susan didn’t stop.  In her delusional state, she believed the police were escorting her on a mission from God.  Eventually, the police deployed stop sticks, spun her off the road, and arrested her, charging her with a felony for fleeing.  Even though it is very rarely successful, I decided to pursue a defense of Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness (a/k/a the much-maligned “Insanity Defense”).  It was the right approach: I got Susan a not guilty verdict on her felony charge of Fleeing a Peace Officer.  Instead of going to prison, she received the treatment she needed.

The charge: Criminal trespass

Success! Charges dismissed

Mike was charged with criminal trespass at the State Fair. He maintained that he was caught up unfairly in a broad sweep. I got the criminal charge dismissed.

The charge: Gross misdemeanor DWI

Success! Charges dismissed

Mark was pulled over and charged with gross misdemeanor DWI.  After reviewing the evidence, I determined that the police had pulled him over on a whim.  I challenged the circumstances of the stop, and got all charges dismissed.

The charge: Violation of terms of ignition interlock

Success! Driver’s license reinstated

The Commissioner of Public Safety cancelled Lucy’s driver’s license (not revoked or suspended, but cancelled) for violation of terms of her ignition interlock. She had decided to skip a trip to the ice cream store when the interlock on her car incorrectly signaled alcohol on her breath, rather than waiting and retesting as specified in the (very long and complex) device contract.  Upon our questioning him, the Attorney General representing the CPS admitted that he didn’t think my client drank alcohol. He was specifically acting on her failure to follow the letter of the retesting procedures. Given that, the judge granted our Petition to reinstate Lucy’s driver’s license.