All sex crimes in Minnesota are considered serious, but not all sex crimes in Minnesota are considered felonies, either. There are some sex-based offenses that are considered misdemeanors under the law.
This distinction between misdemeanor and felony sex crimes is an important one. The penalties are vastly different between the two levels of crimes, and many misdemeanor offenses will not require registration as a sex offender – but felony offenses will.
If you are accused of a sex crime in Minnesota, it’s vital to get an experienced attorney on your side. After all, any conviction can follow you around for the rest of your life, especially a sex crimes conviction, so it’s important to try to win the case against you.
Here’s what you need to know about sex crimes misdemeanors in the state, since even misdemeanor sex crimes can be quite serious.
Misdemeanor Criminal Sexual Conduct
In Minnesota, criminal sexual conduct covers a wide range of conduct that is not consensual. In many cases, it will be charged as a felony, but in some cases, it may be charged as a misdemeanor. You can see how criminal sexual conduct breaks down by degree of severity.
First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
This is the most serious criminal sexual conduct charge and is a felony. It occurs when there is nonconsensual penetration with an adult or sexual contact with someone under age 13. If convicted of this felony, you can face up to 30 years in prison.
Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
This is also a felony offense. If convicted, you can face up to 25 years behind bars.
Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
Yet another felony charge, can result in up to 15 years in prison.
Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
The final and lowest felony charge can put you in prison for up to 10 years.
Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct
This is the only misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct charge. It’s still serious, however, since a conviction of this level of criminal sexual conduct can still send you to jail for one year and make you responsible for fines for as much as $10,000.
Indecent Exposure in Minnesota
Indecent exposure is a crime that doesn’t meet the threshold of criminal sexual conduct, but it is still considered a sex crime in the state. If certain conditions are met, an indecent exposure conviction can result in a requirement to register as a sex offender.
This crime can be charged as a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances involved in the case. A felony conviction will be a lot more serious than a misdemeanor conviction, as is true with most crimes.
In cases involving indecent exposure, the prosecutor must show that you violated a legal statute in some way in order to secure a conviction. One of these elements must be proven in court to make a case against you:
- You exposed your private parts lewdly and willfully
- You coerced or persuaded another person to expose their private parts
- You engaged in gross or open lewdness or any act of public indecency
A felony for indecent exposure requires the prosecution to prove one of those three elements. It also matters if you have any prior convictions for this type of behavior in the past or if you committed indecent exposure while restricting or confining the movement of the victim. In those cases, you will face felony charges. Outside of that, you may only face a misdemeanor.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.