If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor in Minneapolis, MN. You’re also probably feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to seek legal help for your criminal case.
First things first – you’re in the right place. Choosing an experienced Minneapolis misdemeanor lawyer is the first step to getting you out of this jam. The criminal defense lawyers at Martine Law have helped thousands of Minneapolis clients facing criminal charges get their lives back on track. So, whether you’ve been charged or are being investigated, our team has you covered.
Classes of Misdemeanors in Minnesota
When you are facing misdemeanor charges, you need to know what you are up against. In Minneapolis, MN, three types of misdemeanors will determine your penalties.
- One year in jail
- Up to a $3,000 fine
– Second DWI in 10 years
– Theft of property worth between $500 and $1,000
- Up to 90 days in jail
- Up to a $1,000 fine
– First-time DWI offenders
– Theft of property worth less than $500
- $300 fine
- Not considered a crime
– Most traffic violations
Misdemeanor charges are less severe than felony charges but still result in serious consequences. A Minneapolis criminal defense attorney can defend you against a criminal conviction so that you can stay out of jail.
I’ve Been Arrested in Minneapolis. What Kind of Charges Can Criminal Defense Attorneys Help Me Fight?
From traffic offenses to assault or drug charges, misdemeanor charges range in severity and scope.
At Martine Law, our attorneys help Minneapolis residents fight the following criminal charges:
- DWI charges
- Drug charges
- Traffic tickets
- Harassment charges
We also help our clients mitigate the consequences of convictions by tackling driver’s license suspensions, probation violations, and expungements.
Hire an Experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’re facing a first-time misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor charge, you may think it’s not a big deal. It’s just a minor offense, right? How bad could a conviction really be
On the surface level, sure, it can seem like hiring a criminal defense attorney may be more trouble than it’s worth. You may even be tempted to take the easy way out and work with the prosecution to accept a hurried plea bargain so you can get on with your life.
But in reality, a misdemeanor conviction can have serious implications for your future. You may experience collateral consequences like:
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation
- Reduced employment opportunities
- Loss of housing
- Loss of public benefits
- Change of immigration status
Accepting a plea deal without talking to an experienced criminal law specialist is almost always a bad idea. The prosecution is not on your side. A criminal defense lawyer can back you up in court and ensure this charge doesn’t ruin your life.
Minnesota Misdemeanor Criminal Process
The criminal justice system moves fast. To fight your charges, a criminal defense firm will have to move faster, which starts with preparing you for what’s to come. In Minneapolis, MN, there is a five-step criminal process for misdemeanors. Here’s what you can expect.
Criminal Complaint is Filed
Once the prosecution has enough evidence to charge you with a crime, they will issue a criminal complaint. A criminal complaint can be issued while you are already in police custody, by warrant for your arrest or summons to appear in court.
First Appearance in Court (Arraignment)
During the arraignment or first appearance in court, you will be formally read the charges against you and your rights, including the right to hire a criminal defense lawyer. You will also have the option to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges against you.
By pleading guilty or no contest, you can be sentenced on the spot. The judge will also set bail and conditions for your release.
During the pre-trial conference, criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors will work together to resolve the case without going to trial.
Potential resolutions for the case could include:
- You plead guilty as charged
- You plead guilty to an amended charge (a charge that’s different than the original one)
- You agree to participate in a diversion program in exchange for the case being dismissed upon completion
- Your case is dismissed, and you’re free to go
If your case does not settle out of court, you have the right to a jury trial. A jury hears gross misdemeanors of six, but you also reserve the right to have your case heard by a judge rather than a jury.
During the trial, the prosecution is required to prove you committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and the jury must come to a unanimous decision of guilty or not guilty.
At the sentencing hearing, both the prosecutor and criminal defense attorney will present their positions on an appropriate sentence.
Victims of the alleged crime, if any, will be required to enter a victim impact statement regarding how the crime affected them. You will be sentenced according to Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, victim impact statements, the prosecution and defense’s suggestions, and your case information.
Contact Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyers
A misdemeanor charge is no small matter. If you’ve been charged with a crime, we know how scary and isolating this can feel, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At Martine Law, our criminal defense law firm will fight for your freedom and protect your rights by providing aggressive legal representation for your case.
We have years of experience defending clients in criminal defense cases, and we want to do the same for you. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation.