Minnesota law makes a distinction between misdemeanors and felonies. The level of punishment will be greatly determined by which type of crime it is labeled as. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you receive a fair trial and mount a strong defense in court, regardless of whether you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor.
In Minnesota, a misdemeanor crime can be one of three types: a gross misdemeanor, a normal misdemeanor, or a petty misdemeanor. This will depend on the severity of the defense and how much prison time one can qualify for in a conviction.
Petty misdemeanors may receive up to a $300 fine and tend to include the majority of traffic violations. The statute of limitations on a misdemeanor is three years.
A normal misdemeanor can bring 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. Examples of normal misdemeanors are driving without a license, assault (striking someone), a first DWI, and stealing property worth less than $500.
A gross misdemeanor is an enhanced misdemeanor that can lead to one year of prison and a $3,000 fine. Examples of gross misdemeanors include incurring a second DUI in ten years, a second assault in ten years against the same person, or stealing property worth between $500 and $1,000.
A number of misdemeanors may also be eligible for expungements, provided they meet certain criteria.
A felony is a violent crime. It is more serious than a misdemeanor and typically receives a prison sentence of over a year. The state of Minnesota abolished the death penalty in 1911, so these crimes are not punishable by death, but the penalties are steep nonetheless.
Felonies include crimes such as murder and manslaughter, most criminal sexual conduct, and theft of property worth more than $1,000. These cases usually have a statute of limitations of three years unless the crime is more serious. A handful of felonies can also be expunged, depending on their severity.
A criminal defense attorney could help organize the details of your case. Misdemeanor cases will have less severe penalties than felonies, and an experienced attorney could fight to ensure you have a fair trial, no matter what level the charge is. We could also help you with your expungement process so that you can move forward without having this incident hanging around your neck as you try to get a job or find a home.
If you are in need of legal counsel and would like a consultation, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here at BK Law Group.