If you are charged with a crime in the state of Minnesota, you will be given a court date set by a law enforcement agency or by a summons received in the mail. Having an overview of criminal defense in Minnesota will help you decide what you need to do and of course the first thing is to hire a competent criminal attorney.
One of the initial steps in the criminal process is the arraignment. At this time a judge will advise you of your rights and explain the charges against you. He will also determine your bail or deny bail if he considers you to be a flight risk. Bail can be in the form of money or property put up as security to ensure your appearance for any future court proceedings. You will forfeit your bail if you fail to appear or violate any of the conditions that the judge has set for your release. You may wish to settle your case through a plea bargain. The prosecution may consider this but is not required by law to do so. If there is no plea agreement, case will then continue to trial.
You have the right to a speedy trial and you can request that your trial be held within sixty days of your initial court appearance. It’s important to know that a speedy trial may not be to your advantage because you and your attorney will only have sixty days to prepare your case for trial. So it may be in your best interest to waive your rights to a speedy trial. An overview of criminal defense in Minnesota can help you avoid the pitfalls of making the wrong decisions. A trial may be either by jury or you may request a bench trial in which case the judge will perform the duties that are normally performed by the jury. If you are found guilty, a hearing will be held to decide your sentence. This may include jail, some form of restitution for the victim, and various fines. Minnesota statutes set forth the minimum sentences which the court uses as guidelines to determine punishment.
If you are found guilty, you have a right to appeal the verdict. This process varies depending upon the crime, but be aware that there are deadlines for filing an appeal. Minnesota generally allows for an appeal to be filed within 30 days following your trial. An overview of criminal defense in Minnesota is important in understanding your rights and taking action within the necessary time frame.