There are six primary categories of felonies in the state of Minnesota and the last thing you want is to find yourself being charged with one.
However, every year hundreds are brought up on felony charges for dozens of different reasons. Most of these people probably did not plan on facing felony charges and were likely unprepared.
You don’t want to be brought up on felony charges without an attorney. But, understanding where an attorney can come in for felony defense can be tricky. We’ll cover the six felony categories and discuss at what point you need to consult with an experienced felony defense attorney
The Six Primary Categories of Felony in Minnesota
Unlike other states, which classify felonies into categories such as first degree, second degree, and so on, felonies in Minnesota are not categorized in the same way. Instead, felonies in the state are categorized based on the specific type of crime.
Sentencing for these crimes is based on a chart that has been created by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission. Six examples of the different felony levels include:
This is the most severe felony level in the state. Felony murder charges can include first-degree murder, second-degree murder (intentional), third-degree murder, and second-degree murder (unintentional).
Criminal Sexual Conduct
This includes crimes such as sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual conduct with a minor. The penalty for these felonies include up to 30 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $40,000, or both.
These crimes include actions such as domestic assault, battery, and similar charges. Domestic crimes become a felony if the defendant has two prior convictions within a 10 year period. The penalty for this level of felony is up to 5 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000, or both.
Simple robbery includes crimes such as home invasions. The penalties for these crimes can include up to 10 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $20,000, or both.
Controlled Substance Crimes in the Fifth Degree
These crimes involve the possession or distribution of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, or certain levels of marijuana. The penalties for these crimes are up to 5 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000, or both.
Criminal Vehicular Homicide
This involves crimes where someone has been killed in an auto accident through the negligence of another. It can involve the death of anyone in the vehicle. The penalty for this felony is up to 10 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $20,000, or both.
When Should You Contact a Minnesota Felony Defense Attorney
It is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you have been arrested for a felony crime in Minnesota. The first thing that a felony defense attorney will do is help you to secure bail. An experienced attorney can often secure a better deal than you might be given on your own.
Getting out of jail so that you can properly plan your defense is one of the first steps that an attorney can help you with. Having an attorney from the beginning can also help to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced attorney understands the process of felony arrest and indictment. They will know if proper procedures are being followed and how to proceed in the event that your rights are violated.
What to Look For When Selecting a Felony Defense Attorney
Not all attorneys have the experience or qualifications to handle felony-level cases. It is essential that when you are looking for an attorney to lead your felony defense that you select one with the right qualifications and experience.
One of the first things to look for is someone who has represented people facing similar charges to you. Attorneys who have represented clients facing similar felony charges to you will understand how to properly represent you during your trial.
An attorney experienced with felony-level crimes will also understand the proper procedures that must be followed. They will be able to help you understand each stage of the grand jury process and provide you with effective representation to improve your chances of beating the charges or securing the most favorable outcome.
Felony level charges are highly complex in the state of Minnesota. These charges require an attorney who understands the nuances of each crime and the specifics of the sentencing of each crime. Remember to contact an experienced felony defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are being protected.
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. Keyers 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.