Criminal law evolves and adapts based on current trends and social views.
In Minnesota, new changes to the state’s criminal code that
took effect on August 1st highlight some of these trends and some of the new issues confronting
our criminal justice system. These changes include some sweeping revisions
to drug crime laws as well as modifications of laws regarding DWI, distribution
of sexual images, and assaults involving peace officers.
Our legal team has detailed some of the most important new changes to Minnesota
criminal law below:
Updates to Drug Crime Sentencing – In what was the most sweeping state drug law reform in over two
decades, Minnesota has shifted to a tougher approach on drug dealers and
a more lenient, rehabilitation-focused approach for those charged with
minor drug offenses. The move falls in line with
drug crime reform being made across the country, and is intended to provide help
to individuals struggling with drug abuse and to keep low level, non-violent
drug offenders out of jails and prisons. Unfortunately, the new law is
not retroactive, and will only apply to cases involving crimes committed
on or after August 1st.
Revenge Porn – Minnesota now criminalizes revenge porn, or the distribution of
private sexual images without consent. Depending on the circumstances,
accused individuals may be charged with gross misdemeanors or felonies,
and can face serious penalties if convicted, including hefty fines and
fees and terms of imprisonment.
Penalties for DWI Involving Death – The recent passing of legislation known as Drake’s Law creates tougher
penalties for drivers who cause death while driving under the influence
of drugs or alcohol. Specifically, the maximum penalty for repeat offenders
with prior first- or second degree DWI convictions in the past 10 years
who cause fatal
DWI accidents was increased from 10 years to 15 years in prison.
Bodily Fluid Crime Against Peace Officer – Minnesota has clarified a law related to the assault of police
officers through the transmission of body fluid – either by spitting
or throwing other bodily fluids. The new law makes the transmission of
body fluid an assault crime in and of itself, rather than having to occur
when an officer was also physically assaulted.
As experienced Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers who represent clients
facing all types of charges, we stay current with these trends and how
the law responds and adapts in order to provide the most effective representation
possible. If you have questions about the new laws and how they may come
into play in your particular case, we encourage you to
contact us 24/7 for a FREE and confidential consultation.