Man with handcuffs in interrogation room feeling guilty. How long can you be held on a probation violation

How Long Can You Be Held on a Probation Violation in Minnesota?

How long can you be held on a probation violation? This question is common among people charged with a probation violation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Generally, the length of probation depends on the crime and its severity, with most misdemeanors attracting a one-year sentence. Gross misdemeanors are capped at two years, while felony probation is at least four years.

Man with handcuffs in interrogation room feeling guilty. How long can you be held on a probation violation

Your probation will either be unsupervised or supervised, depending on aggravating or mitigating circumstances of your case. Mitigating circumstances can lessen the degree of the criminal offense, while aggravating circumstances increase it. Alternative consequences for detention due to a probation violation include community-based programs, treatment options, and electronic monitoring.

Probation Violation Statistics in Minnesota

As of 2019, the total probation revocation rate in Minnesota was 15.8%, with most offenders having their probation revoked two years after their sentencing. Offenders with personal offense convictions had the highest revocation rates (19.3 %) of all offenders. Those with criminal sexual conduct convictions had 26.0% revocation rates, which were the highest at a group level.

American Indian offenders had the highest revocation rates (25.6%) of all ethnic or racial groups. They also had the highest revocation rate in each Minnesota judicial district and offense type. The Ninth District had the highest rate (25%) of all Minnesota districts.

First Judicial District had the lowest rate (10.6%). Of all the counties, Beltrami County had the highest rate (32.3%), while Rice County had the lowest rate (7.9%). The probation revocation rates were higher for criminal offenders whose sentencing guidelines had initially recommended imprisonment.

Types of Probation Conditions in Minnesota

Common probation conditions judges in Minnesota impose include community service, house arrest, and monetary fines. These conditions usually vary with the seriousness and type of crime committed. Specific probation conditions often include:

  • Zero contact with the witnesses or victims, even if they are part of your family
  • Wearing a GPS device as a way of submitting to electronic monitoring
  • Having no unsupervised visitation or staying away from children under a particular age
  • Paying restitution of a certain amount if necessary
  • Submitting to curfew or home confinement
  •  Avoiding certain geographical locations, including the victim’s business or home
  • Getting pre-approval from your probation officer if you want to travel out of state

Common Reasons for Probation Violation

The Minnesota criminal law obligates you to adhere to your probation conditions. However, you may violate these conditions for various reasons. You may, for instance, change residence without updating the sex offender registration or informing your probation officer.

Forgetting to attend a court hearing, court-mandated treatment, or meeting with your probation officer also amounts to a probation violation. Associating with individuals known to participate in criminal activities, using controlled substances and alcohol, and losing your job after getting fired are other reasons for probation violation.

How Long an Individual Can Be Held on a Probation Violation?

Probation usually applies to misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony sentences that are not executed. As such, it does not require you to serve prison or jail time. You will also not be under court-mandated supervision once you complete the sentence.

For a misdemeanor, expect to serve a minimum of a one-year probation. The probationary period can extend to two years if you get charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure, harassing telephone calls, interference with privacy, domestic assault, and DWI.

A gross misdemeanor usually attracts a two-year probationary period. This period may, however, extend up to six years for fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, criminal vehicular operation, and DWI convictions.

A felony probation lasts four years or up to the statutory maximum imprisonment period the court ordered. You may get an early discharge if you complete your probation conditions. Still, the probationary period may get extended if you fail to comply with the terms or complete the conditions.

But how long do you go to jail for violating probation? The jail time will match the length of the possible sentence for the initial charge. Knowing what to expect on probation in Minnesota can help you follow all the court-ordered conditions and avoid the harsh consequences of non-compliance.

Factors Considered in Holding an Individual

Aggravating and mitigating circumstances are among the factors that can determine the probationary period. Aggravating factors increase the degree of the criminal charge, while mitigating factors lower it. A court may consider the following aggravating factors when putting you on probation:

  • The seriousness of the crime
  • Lack of remorse
  • Violent nature of the offense
  • Whether you committed similar crimes over a certain period
  • Prior criminal convictions

Mitigating circumstances in a criminal case may include when a minor is the offender, the lack of a criminal record, a history of abuse, and the defendant’s mental and physical health. Besides looking at these factors, the judge may choose a sentence that prevent you (and other future offenders) from committing crimes. The judge will also consider the mandatory minimum and maximum sentences and any plea bargaining you entered.

The Severity of the Violation

The common types of probation violations are technical and new law violations. The penalties for each vary with the severity and underlying circumstances. The court can revoke your probation, warn you, or sentence you to prison following a probation violation.

You may have a technical probation violation if you fail to satisfy the conditions of your supervised release by your actions or inaction. The violation may arise if you fail to meet with your probation officer, skip a court date, or fail a drug test. Failing to pay financial restitution or fines promptly can also make you violate your probation terms.

You must agree to refrain from committing crimes in the future when you are on probation. Getting arrested on new criminal charges constitutes a new law probation violation. A felony lawyer can help you put up an aggressive defense against felony probation violations and protect your freedom.

Alternative Consequences to Detention

The alternatives to detention following a probation violation are usually focused on rehabilitation. They help reduce the likelihood of reoffending, prison overcrowding, and cost burdens on the government. Common examples in Minneapolis, Minnesota, include community-based programs, treatment options, and electronic monitoring.

Community-Based Programs

A community-based program can be based on restorative justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment, community service, probation, or pretrial diversion. It can offer the support and services needed to turn your life around and avoid future criminal behavior. Examples of these programs in Minnesota include:

  • Minnesota Department of Corrections Day Reporting Centers – offer job training, education, and substance abuse treatment to offenders on parole or supervised release.
  • The Minnesota Center for Restorative Justice – administers meditation, victim-offender dialogue, and community conferencing as part of its restorative justice programs.
  • The Minnesota Human Services Department’s Behavioral Health Division – offers mental health and substance abuse treatment services.
  • The Minnesota Association of Community Corrections Act Counties – runs community-based corrections programs across Minnesota.
  • The Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs – consists of programs that serve people with mental health and substance use problems at the community level.

Treatment Options

You may be asked to consider various treatment options following a probation violation. These treatments can help reduce reoffending since they focus on criminal behavior, access to employment and education, social functioning, skills, and mental health. They usually get administered in conjunction with other forms of sentencing, including probation.

Outpatient treatment centers or psychiatric hospitals may facilitate treatments. They, however, do not follow a well-defined plan like community-based programs that are alternatives to detention. Instead, the services and interventions depend on the program and address one of the risk factors of criminal behavior. These factors include employment status, education level, substance use, and mental health status.

A drug court program, for instance, may help address substance use issues that are relevant to your offense. Rehabilitation programs combine both vocational training and individual counseling to help you reform. They can be administered in groups or at individual levels.

Group rehabilitation programs are usually structured via psycho-educational content or protocol. In a cognitive behavioral therapy session, you will develop skills for anger management, relapse prevention, and critical thinking. The treatment program tailored for unemployment may offer vocational training, job placement, and work release.

Electronic Monitoring as an Alternative

One of the conditions you must meet when sentenced to house arrest is to wear an electronic monitoring device. The device was initially designed to act as an alternative to incarceration. This way, it helped reduce incarceration costs, recidivism, and prison overcrowding. It also increased face-to-face contact through the parole and probation stipulations.

Though electronic monitoring is more punitive than traditional probation, it is less harsh than imprisonment. Its punitive aspect involves complying with the conditions set by the parole and probation officers. As such, it helps ensure compliance and improves the offender’s ability to learn new noncriminal behaviors. 

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

The criminal defense process in Minnesota constitutes several steps, starting with investigations and culminating with appeals. This process can be long and exhausting. An arrest alone can leave you scared, confused, and overwhelmed with emotions. Making logical decisions in this state can be difficult, especially if it is your first time interacting with the criminal justice system.
The first thing to do after you have been accused of a sex crime in Minneapolis, MN, is to familiarize yourself with the seriousness of the situation. The next thing is to seek legal guidance from a lawyer who has established a practice by successfully defending people facing sex crime accusations. You should also collect and preserve all proof that can help support your defense strategy.