Minnesota defines criminal offenses and penalties in its criminal code and statutes, which include different fines, prison sentences, and penalties than those in other states. Someone unfamiliar with the specific elements of Minnesota law could increase the likelihood of a desirable outcome in a criminal case by hiring a lawyer with experience trying cases in the state. If you are charged with a criminal offense in Hennepin County, let a knowledgeable attorney help your case. A Hennepin County criminal defense lawyer could help you formulate and apply a legal strategy suited to your circumstances.

Penalties for State and Local Offenses

Under the Minnesota Criminal Code, someone who either commits a crime in the state or participates in the commission of an in-state crime while outside the state may face prosecution and punishment under Minnesota law. While maximum penalties for particular offenses differ widely, a local ordinance or petty misdemeanor may impose a fine of up to $1,000. A gross misdemeanor may carry a fine of up to $3,000, and a felony a fine of up to $50,000.

Someone found guilty of a criminal offense may receive a term of imprisonment instead of or in addition to a fine. In some cases, a court may impose consecutive sentences for multiple convictions. Someone in the area facing a criminal charge could speak with a local defense attorney to avoid a guilty verdict or a severe penalty.

Degrees of Offenses

Criminal acts are classified as misdemeanors or felonies under state law. Misdemeanors may result in lighter penalties, while felonies usually lead to more severe and lasting consequences. In addition to longer prison sentences and heftier fines, felony convictions can result in the loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote or possess a firearm.

Several criminal offenses under state law include multiple classifications depending on the seriousness of the crime and its corresponding penalties. For example, first-degree murder carries a sentence of imprisonment for life, while first-degree manslaughter can incur a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $30,000, or both. The less serious classifications carry lighter penalties, such  as imprisonment for up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $20,00, or both, for second-degree manslaughter.

A reduction in the charge that someone faces can make a significant difference in the burden these penalties place on their economic condition and their freedom. A person facing a criminal charge at any level could arrange a consultation with a nearby criminal defense lawyer to discuss strategies for securing a reduced charge, dismissal, not guilty verdict, or other alternative to a conviction for the offense.

Contact an Experienced Attorney in Hennepin County

Criminal prosecutions must follow strict procedural regulations in addition to specific state laws. If you face a charge for a serious criminal offense, you may want to consult a skilled attorney immediately after your arrest.

Enlist a qualified legal professional with experience defending individuals against criminal charges who could help you achieve the best possible outcome. A Hennepin County criminal defense lawyer could safeguard your rights and meet the demands of your case. Call to schedule a consultation and start planning your defense.