What To Know About Sentencing Guidelines In Minnesota

At the time of sentencing, either the defendant plead guilty or was found guilty at trial. The sentencing is when the judge determines what your sentence/outcome will be. Typically whether jail or prison time will served or whether there will be a dispositional or durational departure. At the time of sentencing, a defense attorney should file a sentencing brief outlining the reasons for the departure. A downward dispositional departure means that the judge will consider whether to stay the execution of jail time in a case and instead impose a stayed sentence to avoid a prison sentence. A downward dispositional departure is a request for the judge to consider a sentence below the Minnesota Sentencing guidelines. Contact the sentencing attorneys at Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys to see if there is a presumptive prison sentence in your criminal case. The court must impose the presumptive guideline sentence unless there are substantial and compelling circumstances to warrant a departure. When looking to a dispositional departure the court should focus on the defendant as an individual and whether the presumptive sentence would be best for him and society. The court will look at whether the defendant is amenable to probation.

Factors for amenability to probation are:

  • Age
  • prior criminal record
  • remorse
  • cooperation
  • attitude in court
  • support of friends and family

The Defendant’s personal background, Individual characteristics, Employment history, nature and circumstance of the offense, Acceptance of responsibility, whether the defendant will pose a low likelihood of reoffending and financial circumstances should all be thoroughly outlined in a sentencing brief when asking the judge to consider a downward dispositional or downward durational departure. At the sentencing hearing, the probation agent will give a recommendation after a pre sentence investigation is completed. The county attorney will also make their recommendations. Afterward, the defense attorney will have a  chance to argue for a departure and the defendant can choose to speak on their own behalf. A judge will then announce the sentence as soon as all arguments are completed while on the bench. In some circumstances a judge will take the defendant into custody on the day of sentencing. Make sure your attorney requests a turn in date to avoid going straight into custody from the sentencing hearing. Make sure you are well informed of the possible outcomes before the the trial and sentencing hearing.

Many felonies lead to mandatory prison sentences. Contact Max Keller to represent you in your case.  The Keller Law Office offer free consultations for all potential clients. Call a defense attorney to ensure you do not make statements to investigators before discussing your options with an attorney. Having an experienced attorney who handles complex sentencing issues may be crucial in your case. Having an experienced sentencing attorney may make all the difference in the world when looking at a prison sentence. Make sure to ask your attorney whether they file a sentencing brief prior to sentencing and how many sentencing hearings they have handled in the past. Contact www.kellerlawoffices.com for a free consultation or call 952-913-1421 for questions or concerns about sentencing.

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

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