Not a big surprise on this one, but Judge Alton tried to do what’s right in this case, and got shot down by the Court of Appeals. (At least I consider it the right move, even if it wasn’t supported by procedure).
– Long and short of it, Ms. Miller pled guilty to a DUI and then won her implied consent. After Judge Alton discovered that Ms. Miller won her implied consent based on the unconstitutional actions of the officer, she vacated the criminal conviction and ordered the “administrative fees” returned.
The Court of Appeals ruled as below…
A13-1689 State of Minnesota, Appellant, vs. Stacie Ann Miller, Respondent.
Hennepin County District Court, Hon. Judge Ann Leslie Alton.
1. A district court may not sua sponte vacate a defendant’s guilty plea without substantial and compelling reasons or notice and the opportunity for all parties to be heard.
2. Law-of-the-case doctrine does not operate to allow a decision from a civil implied-consent case to govern issues in a criminal matter arising from the same set of circumstances.