A felony charge in Minnesota is punishable by over one year to life imprisonment and a maximum fine specified by statute. These are the most serious of all criminal charges and are prosecuted very aggressively. Common Minnesota felony charges include murder, the possession of narcotics, rape, assault, criminal sexual conduct, arson and theft. In all felony cases, the county attorney (not the city attorney) will prosecute. In particularly serious matters, the Minnesota Attorney General will get involved.

Felony Court Process

Because of the seriousness of felony offenses, more hearings take place in a felony case as compared to a misdemeanor case. Once arrested, an individual will make their bail appearance. Bail is set and release conditions are imposed. If a defendant cannot post bail on their own, they can secure a bond through a bondsman or remain in jail pending trial. The next step involves an arraignment hearing, during which the court will ensure that a defendant understands their rights and the complaint presented to the court. The next hearing is called an “omnibus” hearing and involves an ability to challenge probable cause and evidence secured by the state in an illegal manner. Once the omnibus issues are resolved, a pre-trial hearing is set. At that hearing, negotiation takes place between the prosecutor and defense lawyer. If a plea is reached, it is placed on the record. If a plea cannot be reached, the matter is set for trial. Following a conviction, the matter is set for sentencing. The state performs a pre-sentence investigation to explore the background of the defendant and make a recommendation concerning the sentence that should be imposed.

Impact of a Felony Conviction

A conviction for felony will impact your ability to secure employment, obtain student loans, serve in the military, vote and possess a firearm, among other things. It is far more difficult to expunge a felony conviction than a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor. These cases are serious and should be handled by a qualified defense attorney.

If you’ve been charged with a felony in Minnesota, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The stakes are high. The earlier you involve an attorney, the sooner we can gather evidence, interview witnesses and address other issues in your case. Call our law firm now for a consultation: (218) 346-4995.