The new laws include changes to DWI laws, firearms and texting.
On August 1, 2015, dozens of new laws went into effect in Minnesota. Here is a summary of the key changes that will affect civil liberties, law enforcement and the prosecution of crimes.
1. Change in BAC in DWI cases. One of the other big changes is that the blood-alcohol concentration in DWI cases is going from 0.20 to 0.16 in the definition of aggravating factors. This means that it will be much easier to for the state to find aggravating factors and increase the charges and penalties for DWI criminal provisions.
2. Electronic Home Monitoring. It is now a law that one cannot be released from custody to electronic monitoring when electronic monitoring is imposed as a condition of release until the monitoring is activated. This may be a complication for some as activation requires a home phone or landline for some counties and that is often not set up ahead of time. So if you or someone you know is anticipating EHM or some other type of electronic monitoring be sure to check out the requirements ahead of time and plan in advance.
3. Bad news for those who like to text and drive. There will be a fine increase to $225 for second and subsequent texting while driving convictions. As you may or may not know, ”No person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic.” Minn. Stat. Section 169.475
4. Firearms. It will now be a gross misdemeanor to purchase or obtain a firearm on behalf of a person ineligible to purchase or possess one.
5. There is now a “Blue Alert” system. This was created by law to disseminate urgent information to the public to help locate an individual suspected of killing or injuring a law enforcement officer.
6. Putting body fluids into people’s food is now a crime. Remember the man who ejaculated into his co-worker’s coffee and there wasn’t really a crime for that? Now there is. Adulteration by bodily fluid has been made into law, and the crime is considered more severe if the person ingests the fluid.
If you have any questions about these or any other criminal offenses be sure to contact Casanova Criminal Defense, LLC at 612-968-1278.