Briefs filed in Amy Senser’s vehicular homicide appeal

When we last talked about Amy Senser, she had just been convicted of hitting someone with her car and leaving the scene of the accident. She was sentenced to 3 1/2 years for her two convictions of criminal vehicular homicide, but in December, her attorney filed an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Now, the assistant Hennepin County attorney has filed his brief supporting the Senser’s conviction and Senser’s attorney has 15 days to file his.

In the initial appeal, Senser’s attorney argued that there was evidence that the wife of a former Minnesota Viking had not received a fair trial. Citing many suspected errors, Senser is trying to prove that her convictions should be thrown out. Anyone who is charged with a crime in Minneapolis is guaranteed that he or she will receive a fair trial. This not only means that the jury must be unbiased, but that the judge also remains impartial. Though the judge does not determine guilt, he or she can influence the trial, preclude or admit certain pieces of evidence, or in some other way affect the outcome. If what Senser’s attorney says is true, Senser may have been convicted because she did not receive a fair trial.

The assistant Hennepin County attorney has argued, however, that the judge did not make any mistakes in the trial. Accusing Senser of trying to negatively influence the jury herself, the county attorney supported the trial court’s decision to exclude evidence that the man who was hit had a considerable amount of cocaine in his system at the time of his death. Though many people may consider this to be not only relevant information, but information that could have affected the outcome of the trial, the county attorney says that the cocaine would not have affected the man’s behavior on the night of the accident.

It remains to be seen what Senser’s attorney will argue in response to the county attorney’s lengthy brief, but he must quickly submit his brief before oral arguments will be scheduled.

Source: Star Tribune, “Prosecutor: Senser proof ample,” Abby Simons, Feb. 11, 2013

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

One of the questions people facing a criminal charge ask is: How long does a criminal case take? The timeline of your criminal case in Minnesota will depend on the nature and severity of the alleged crime, the speed of the criminal justice system, the duration of the trial, and whether an appeal will be necessary. Delays at any stage of the criminal justice process may impact how long your criminal case will last. Generally, however, misdemeanor cases may resolve within weeks or months, while felony cases may linger in courts for up to a year.
People accused, arrested, or charged with a crime often ask, “How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost in Minneapolis, MN?” It is difficult to accurately determine how much a criminal defense lawyer will cost. The reason is that numerous factors impact the cost of legal representation in criminal matters. These factors include the type and severity of criminal charges, the lawyer’s experience and reputation, required time and effort, and geographical location.
Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.