Man accused of Minneapolis fleeing crash could face decades

Hennepin County officials say that a Minnesota State trooper suspected a driver of speeding and impaired driving early Monday morning. The trooper says that the driver pulled over for a traffic stop. But, when the trooper approached the vehicle, law enforcement claims that the driver took off.

The highway patrol officer pursued the driver and his Nissan into downtown Minneapolis, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. During the pursuit, authorities claim that the trooper tried to perform pit maneuvers to stop the fleeing vehicle. The police chase reportedly ended in the area of 4th Street and Central Avenue in Minneapolis when the Nissan crashed with an Oldsmobile Intrigue. The driver of the Olds was killed and a passenger suffered critical injuries, according to authorities.

Hennepin County officials have charged the driver of the Nissan with several criminal offenses related to the alleged chase and car accident. Law enforcement claims that the St. Paul man measured 0.16 percent blood alcohol concentration sometime after the fatal wreck.

We have talked about Minnesota’s law covering criminal vehicular homicide or operation offenses in previous entries. These kinds of charges may arise if law enforcement believes a driver in an accident has acted with gross negligence, or was negligent and driving while impaired in a fatal or injury accident.

In the recent Minneapolis allegations, Hennepin County officials have lodged two felony fleeing police in a motor vehicle charges against the St. Paul man. Generally allegation of fleeing in a car can be brought as a felony. But, the stakes are much higher if a driver accused of fleeing in a car is involved in an accident that caused injury or death to another.

A charge of criminal vehicular homicide carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison. A charge of fleeing police in a motor vehicle resulting in death carries a maximum statutory term of 40 years in prison.

Source: WCCO CBS Minnesota, “Man, 34, Charged In Fatal Crash After Traffic Stop,” Sept. 11, 2013

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-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. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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