Minnesota classifies crimes into felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are the less serious of the two and typically carry no more than 1 year in jail. Felonies, however, carry higher potential sentences and further repercussions.
Minnesota Misdemeanors Offenses
In Minnesota there are three types of misdemeanors. Petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, and gross misdemeanors all have different prescribed potential sentences under Minnesota law.
Petty misdemeanors include most traffic offenses are not considered crimes. The sentence potential for this classification is up to $300 in fines. Jail time is not a sentencing option for this classification
Misdemeanors are considered crimes and carry a potential sentence of up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. Some misdemeanors include driving without a license, DWI (1st offense), and theft valued under $500.
Gross misdemeanors are the most serious classification of misdemeanors and bring a potential penalty of one year in jail and $3,000 in fines. DWI (second o0ffense) and theft valued at $500- $1,000 are some gross misdemeanors.
Minnesota Felony Offenses
Felonies are sentenced according to Minnesota statute. Most of the felony charges have a prescribed sentencing range listed in the law. Some, however, are dictated by the state sentencing guidelines as seen in this chart:
|Offense||Sentencing Range (in months)|
|Sale of simulated controlled substance||12-19|
|Theft (valued $5,000 or less)
Check Forgery ($251- $2,500)
|Theft (valued over $5,000)||12-23|
|3rd degree Controlled Substance Offense||21-57|
2nd degree Controlled Substance Offense
|1st Degree Assault
1st degree Controlled Substance Offense
|2nd (unintentional) and 3rd Degree Murder||150-240|
|2nd Degree Murder (intentional)||306-426|
The judge determines your sentence within the range by looking at your criminal history and the circumstances of your offense.
Minnesota Criminal Sentencing
When your sentencing date arrives you may be ready for closure. The criminal process is lengthy and your sentencing typically marks the end of your interaction with the courts. Knowing what kind of penalty you may be facing can be reassuring.
Although you may be facing small fines or serious prison time, a skilled attorney will keep on working on your behalf until the very end.
When a judge sentences you he will take several things into consideration. One of the greatest sentencing tools used by judges is the pre-sentence report. This report is typically prepared by a probation officer and includes many things to assist the judge in reaching a sentencing decision.
The pre-sentence report may include:
The most important aspect of the report, however, is the sentencing recommendation from the investigating officer. Although the judge does not always follow the recommendation given by the officer, he will give it some attention.
The investigating officer uses her experience as a probation professional to determine if you would be a good candidate for community supervision and then makes a recommendation based on her skills and what she found during the course of the investigation.
Once the judge has looked over the laws, pre-sentence report, and any other details, he will sentence you accordingly.
Your defense attorney can make a big difference, even at sentencing. Even after you have been found guilty, we can make sentencing arguments that may help you get a lesser penalty.
Please contact us for a free consultation on any criminal charge in Minnesota. Find out for yourself how we can help, with no further obligation.