How Long Can Suspects Be Detained in Jail in Minnesota? [infographic]

Under Minnesota law, any adult suspect that’s arrested without a warrant and taken into custody must be brought before a judicial officer or judge within 36 hours after arrest.

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What is the 36-Hour Rule?

The 36-hour rule states that any adult arrested under suspicion of a crime without a warrant can only be held in custody for 36 hours before seeing a judge. The rule applies to all misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony warrantless arrests in Minnesota. In misdemeanor cases, a suspect must be brought before a judge within 36 hours or released with a written citation.

Under the 36-hour rule, the clock begins at midnight on the day of the arrest, excluding Sundays and legal holidays. If a suspect is arrested with a warrant, weekends and legal holidays are included in the 36-hour time frame. A properly filed complaint must be presented to the judge prior to the court appearance, otherwise, the suspect must be released.

In some cases, the 48-hour rule may apply. It states that any adult or juvenile arrested without a warrant may not be detained longer than 48 hours unless there is probable cause for continued detention. The 48-hour clock starts ticking when the suspect is arrested and runs continuously for the next 48 hours, including the arrest day, weekends, and legal holidays. Both the 36-hour and 48-hour rules must be followed when detaining a suspect.

In Minnesota, a person suspected of committing a crime can be arrested under four conditions:

  • Citation – Law enforcement can issue a citation to a suspect that explains charges and gives a date to appear in court.
  • Complaint or Summons – A complaint is a written document charging a suspect with a criminal offense, typically mailed to suspects for less serious criminal charges and non-violent offenses. A summons is a written notification ordering a court appearance to answer allegations in a complaint.
  • Arrest with a Warrant – If the court determines probable cause that a suspect committed a crime, a judge may sign a warrant for the suspect’s arrest. Warrants are typically issued for felony and violent offenses.
  • Arrest without a WarrantIf police witness a crime or respond to a scene where it’s determined a crime was committed, a suspect may be arrested without a warrant.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

One of the questions people facing a criminal charge ask is: How long does a criminal case take? The timeline of your criminal case in Minnesota will depend on the nature and severity of the alleged crime, the speed of the criminal justice system, the duration of the trial, and whether an appeal will be necessary. Delays at any stage of the criminal justice process may impact how long your criminal case will last. Generally, however, misdemeanor cases may resolve within weeks or months, while felony cases may linger in courts for up to a year.
People accused, arrested, or charged with a crime often ask, “How much does a criminal defense lawyer cost in Minneapolis, MN?” It is difficult to accurately determine how much a criminal defense lawyer will cost. The reason is that numerous factors impact the cost of legal representation in criminal matters. These factors include the type and severity of criminal charges, the lawyer’s experience and reputation, required time and effort, and geographical location.
Social media can have legal implications, particularly when it comes to criminal cases. Since its advent, social media has become a powerful tool for communication and self-expression. As of 2023, an estimated 4.9 billion people worldwide use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to share thoughts, experiences, and moments from their lives. However, in this digital age, social media activity can be used as evidence in criminal cases in Minneapolis and elsewhere.