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Marsh Halberg

Marsh Halberg

"Attorney of the Year" (Minnesota Lawyer 2011)

"Top Six Criminal Defense Attorneys" (Mpls/St.Paul Magazine)

"Super Lawyer" (1997-Present)

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Tina Appleby

Tina Appleby

Achieved jury acquittals / case dismissals / successful resolutions in over 2,000 cases

"Top 100 National Trial Lawyer"

"Who's Who in Criminal Law"

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Lucas Dawson

Lucas Dawson

"Super Lawyer Rising Star” – 2017, 2018 and 2019

Requested speaker at Minnesota CLE’s

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Zach Graham

Zach Graham

J.D. St. Thomas School of Law, cum laude

Achieved successful outcomes for clients in district court and on appeal

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Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson

"Rising Star" from 2004-2013

"Super Lawyer" 2014, 2015 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

Named one of the "TOP 40 UNDER 40" by the National Trial Lawyers' Association

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Doug Hazelton

Doug Hazelton

"Best Lawyers in America" (2008-Present)

"Super Lawyer" (2008-Present)

Author Minnesota DWI Handbook (West Publishing)

Author Minnesota DWI Survival Guide

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Debbie Lang

Debbie Lang

2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 "Super Lawyer Rising Star"

"Top 100 National Trial Lawyers" by the National Trial Lawyers' Association

1 of 50 Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice Members

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Dave Risk

Dave Risk

Eight-Time Award Winner of "SuperLawyer - Rising Star"

J.D. William Mitchell College of Law magna cum laude graduate

2014, 2015 and 2016 "Super Lawyer"

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Christina Zauhar

Christina Zauhar

Member of Minnesota Women Lawyers

Member of the Minnesota State Bar Association

Contributing Author to Minnesota DWI Deskbook

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'Revenge Porn' Laws


HomePractice AreasBlogs - 'Revenge Porn'

Minnesota Supreme Court Finds ‘Revenge Porn’ Law Constitutional

The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed a 2019 Minnesota Court of Appeals opinion, reinstating a 2016 state law that criminalized the transmission of private sexual images of another person without their permission.

In State v. Casillas, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the state’s revenge porn law, Minn. Stat. § 617.261, was constitutional under the strict scrutiny test despite language in the statute demonstrating content-based speech restriction.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals had found the statute overbroad and in violation of the First Amendment, finding that the law not only covered situations where a person knowingly posted explicit images of another person without their permission, but also included situations where a person might not know that the other individual did not consent to its publication and “did not cause or intend to cause a specified harm.”

But the Minnesota Supreme Court found that a law containing ‘content-based’ restrictions can nevertheless survive strict scrutiny if the government can prove that the restriction is ‘narrowly tailored’ to serve compelling state interests.

The Court found that the revenge porn law specifically defined types of criminal images, included a mens rea (‘guilty mind’) requirement that a defendant must “intentionally disseminate” the image and the law specifically established protective exemptions for advertisers, booksellers, artists, journalists, law enforcement, scientists and educators.

Moreover, the Court recognized that in order to be prosecuted under the revenge porn law, a defendant must have disseminated the images absent the consent of the victim.

The Minnesota Supreme Court decision reversing the Court of Appeals reinstates a 2017 felony conviction from Dakota Country District Court for Michael Casillas, who was charged and convicted under the revenge porn law after distributing videos of an ex-partner in a sexual act with another person. The District Court found that Casillas used his partner's passwords to access the videos and then sent a text to his ex-partner, noting that he planned to send them out, demonstrating that he knew it was against the person’s wishes.

Other state supreme courts have ruled that revenge porn is not protected under free speech laws.

In recent years, revenge porn laws have been enacted to address the growing trend of people posting explicit sexual images of others without their permission, often after the end of a bad relationship.

Unless the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling is overturned by the United States Supreme Court, it is unlikely that legislators will attempt to re-write the language of the law to pass constitutional muster.

If you find yourself facing serious criminal charges, you need a criminal defense attorney with deep legal knowledge and a willingness to fight on your behalf in any court. At Halberg Criminal Defense, our team approach puts the firm’s collective knowledge and experience in your court. Our attorneys are available 24-7 — Call us at 612-DEFENSE (612-333-3673).

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