In Minnesota, someone can be charged with a crime in a variety of ways. The most common method used by law enforcement is a citation. A citation is issued by a police officer and does not involve an arrest. It will either list a court date, or the person will have to call the court to request a court date. In other cases, a court date will be mailed to the address on the person’s driver’s license.
Minnesota law also allows charging someone with a crime via Summons and Complaint. A summons is a document requiring someone to appear in court on a particular date and at a particular time. A complaint is a formal charging document that lets the person know what crime they are being accused of and the basic facts supporting the charge.
A person can also be charged following an arrest either with or without a warrant. If a person is arrested, the 36 and 48-hour rules come into play to determine the length of police custody. These protocols are enumerated in the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The 36-hour rule states that following an arrest, a person has 36 hours to be brought before a judge, excluding the original day of their arrest. Sundays and legal holidays are also excluded from the time calculation. This means that if someone is arrested at noon on Christmas Eve, December 24th, their 36-hour clock will not begin to run until midnight on December 26th. However, this only applies if the person was arrested without a warrant. If they were arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant, weekends and holidays are still counted, presumably because law enforcement had the choice of when to execute the warrant and effectuate the arrest. If the person was arrested for a misdemeanor and the 36-hour clock expires, the person must be released with a citation pursuant to Rule 6 of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The 48-hour rule states that someone cannot be held in custody for longer than 48 hours from the time of arrest unless the judge has signed a complaint, making an initial determination that there is probable cause for the charge, or unless the judge finds there is probable cause to detain the person for a longer period of time. If neither of these events occurs, the person must be released after 48 hours. This rule differs from the 36-hour rule because each day is included in the calculation. This means that in the example above, a person who is arrested at noon on Christmas Eve will be released at noon on December 26th unless a judge has signed a Complaint or determined that there is probable cause for continued detention.
Many people assume that the violation of either the 36 or 48-hour rules will result in the dismissal of all charges. This is unfortunately not the case. A violation of either rule will more likely result in a judge ordering the arrested party released immediately. However, if the violation is egregious, an attorney may be able to convince the judge to suppress statements that were made while in custody or, in extreme cases, have the charges dismissed.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact the BK Law Group today at 952-314-5101 for a free case consultation. Our knowledgeable attorneys may be able to help you or your loved one be released from jail long before either rule applies.