Laws passed during the 2014 legislative session set to go into effect tomorrow include a ban on weapons for individuals convicted of domestic assault and increased fines for speeding in construction zones, among others.
Below is a quick run through of some of the bigger changes that affect criminal law that will go into effect on August 1.
Ban on Guns for Violent Offenders – Starting tomorrow, any person convicted of domestic violence or stalking will be unable to legally obtain a firearm in Minnesota. The law prohibits any person subject to an order for protection in a child or domestic abuse case from possessing a weapon for the length of the order. Offenders would also have to submit any firearms they previously possessed if the court decides it is necessary.
Additionally, Minnesota added three crimes to the state’s crime of violence statute. Any person convicted of one of the following crimes will be unable to legally possess a firearm in Minnesota for life:
- Fifth Degree Assault
- Felony Domestic Assault
- Felony Domestic Assault by Strangulation
Work Zone Speeding Fine Increase – This cut and dry law is aimed at keeping construction workers safe. Beginning August 1, motorists caught speeding through a work zone will be fined $300. “The law is important because it provides added protection in areas that can be vulnerable to careless drivers,” said Charlie Zelle, Minnesota DoT commissioner. The law would also include drivers who fail to obey directions from work zone flaggers.
Expanded Drug Law – Legislators expanded the statutory definition of a drug in an effort to remove synthetic drugs from Minnesota communities. The new law states that an illegal drug is, “any compound, substance, or derivative that is not approved for human consumption under Minnesota law [when introduced to the body induces an effect similar to that of scheduled drugs.]”
Related source: Wahpeton Daily News