Max Keller Presents Oral Argument to the Minnesota Supreme Court

Minneapolis attorney, Max Keller of Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys presented oral arguments to the Minnesota Supreme Court on May 7, 2018. The case, State of Minnesota, Respondent vs. Christopher Lee Holloway involved Christopher Holloway, who was charged with third-degree and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident with a 14-year-old.

(Listen to Max Keller’s oral argument)

On appeal to the Supreme Court, Keller presented the following issues:

  1. whether the limitation on who may raise a mistake of age defense in Minnesota violates federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection or substantive due process; and
  2. whether Minn. Stat. §§ 609.344, subd. 1(b), and 609.345, subd. 1(b), are strict liability offenses.

Below is the Summary of Issues prepared by the Supreme Court Commissioner’s Office:

Monday, May 7, 2018

Courtroom 300, Minnesota Judicial Center

State of Minnesota, Respondent vs. Christopher Lee Holloway, Appellant – Case No. A16-1489: Appellant Christopher Holloway was charged with third-degree and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident with a 14-year-old. At the time of the incident, Holloway was 44 years old. For both offenses, the State is required to prove that at the time of the offense, the complainant was at least 13 years old but less than 16 years old and that the defendant was older than the complainant by more than a specified number of months. See Minn. Stat. §§ 609.344, subd. 1(b), 609.345, subd. 1(b) (2016).Mistake of age is a defense, but only if a defendant is no more than 120 months older than the complainant. See Minn. Stat. §§ 609.344, subd. 1(b), 609.345, subd. 1(b). Following a trial, a jury found Holloway guilty of both counts. The court of appeals affirmed his conviction.

On appeal to the supreme court, the following issues are presented: (1) whether the limitation on who may raise a mistake of age defense in Minn. Stat. §§ 609.344, subd. 1(b), and 609.345, subd. 1(b), violates federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection or substantive due process; and (2) whether Minn. Stat. §§ 609.344, subd. 1(b), and 609.345, subd. 1(b), are strict liability offenses. (Olmsted County)

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

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.