Minnesota Gross Misdemeanors and their Punishments

A gross misdemeanor in Minnesota can land a person in jail for up to one year and carry a maximum fine of $3,000. As for what constitute gross misdemeanor charges in Minnesota, they include third degree DUI or DWI, second degree DUI or DWI, repeat violations of an order of protection, repeat assaults, and a number of other offenses as defined by state law.

In many of these cases the city attorney will handle the case, but it may be necessary that the county attorney prosecute in other counties around Minnesota. As for what a gross misdemeanor is, it is an offense that is more severe than a misdemeanor, but not as severe as a felony.

What happens in court?

For those who have been charged with a gross misdemeanor in Minnesota, it is important to understand the court process.

Once arrested, a bail appearance is required. This is where the individual’s bail is set and the judge puts release conditions into place. If the defendant is unable to make bail, he or she may secure a bond through a bondsman or can stay in jail until trial, if a trial is necessary.

After the bail appearance, it is then time for the arraignment hearing that confirms that the defendant understands his or her rights and that the complaint is understood. This leads into the next hearing called the “omnibus” hearing, which involves challenging the evidence and probate cause that has been secured by the state. It is the job of the defense to prove that all evidence was obtained in an unconstitutional way and move for the charges to be dropped.

Once the issues are taken care of at the omnibus hearing, a pre-trial appearance is made. This is where the defense and the prosecution negotiate with one another. A plea deal may be reached and the defendant can plead guilty or not guilty. If a plea of not guilty is given or a plea cannot be reached, the case is then scheduled for trial. If convicted at trial, a sentencing hearing is set so that a jail sentence and/or fines can be imposed upon the convicted individual.

There are situations in a Minnesota gross misdemeanor case where the defendant can prove that they are the perfect candidate for probation rather than jail time.


A gross misdemeanor in Minnesota can have stiff consequences. These consequences involve having difficulty finding a job, finding a place to rent, acquiring insurance, and much more. In other words, having a gross misdemeanor on a record can impact a person for the rest of their life

If an individual wishes to have a gross misdemeanor expunged from their record, it can be quite difficult because one must be able to prove that they are innocent or that the evidence was gathered in an unconstitutional way. There are other windows within the law that a Minnesota criminal defense attorney may be able to use in these cases. It is actually ideal to have an attorney on the case from the beginning in order to reduce charges, reduce sentencing, or have the charges dropped all together.

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Case Results


County: Scott

Type of Charge: 3rd DWI

Priors: 1 prior

Final Deposition: Plead to a 4th degree DWI

Sentence Imposed: No jail


County: Dakota

Type of Charge: Harassment Order

Priors: None

Final Deposition: Dismissed

Sentence Imposed:


County: Hennepin

Type of Charge: Solicitation of Prostitute

Priors: 1 prior

Final Deposition: Stay of imposition vacate and dismiss

Sentence Imposed: No jail

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