Felony Lawyer in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Helping Minnesotans Fight Felonies Since 1997

Hire Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys to Defend Your Freedom

Felonies Are Serious Charges. You Need a Serious Felony Defense Lawyer.

Defendants found guilty of felony charges face serious, life-altering consequences. Consequences of a felony conviction include a minimum prison sentence of one year, as well as hefty fines. In some cases, a felony conviction carries consequences that extend beyond the legal system and bleed into an offender’s life.

When your livelihood is at stake, you need a tenacious felony lawyer to represent you in the court of law. Our attorneys have experience handling felony charges at a state and federal level. We understand the weight of your felony case, and can seamlessly navigate evidentiary and legal issues to protect your rights at trial.

When your freedom is at stake, don’t hesitate. Call a felony defense attorney in Minnesota with Keller law Offices to defend your claim. (952) 913-1421.

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We provide free initial consultations to all clients. To schedule an appointment, contact us Today.

What Types of Cases Does a Felony Lawyer Handle?

The Minnesota felony lawyers with Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys have a long history of representing defendants facing a broad range of violations. These violations of the law can range from violent acts to financial crimes, and anything in between.

At Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys, we handle:

Your freedom is on the line when you face felony charges in Minnesota. The felony defense lawyers at Keller Law Office can help. Call (952) 913-1421.

Contact a Minnesota appellate lawyer at Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys for help challenging your conviction.

How Are Felony Charges Sentenced?

Charges in Minnesota are designated based on the level of sentencing that can be applied to a crime. Felony offenses are those that can be punished by more than one year of imprisonment. Felony charges are not divided into separate classes. Alternatively, Minnesota has three distinctions of misdemeanors: gross misdemeanor, petty misdemeanor, and misdemeanor.

Sentencing for a felony offense in Minnesota involves consideration of the defendant’s criminal history, the circumstances and nature of the crime, the maximum statutory sentence, and the sentencing grid.

Minnesota Felony Offense Sentencing Process

The sentencing process for Minnesota felony offenses generally proceeds as follows:


The defendant is determined to be guilty of a felony offense.

Pre-sentence Investigation

Once a defendant is convicted, his or her case is presented to a probation officer or the Commissioner of Corrections for investigation. When the case is under investigation, the defendant’s criminal history, circumstances, and potentialities are reviewed. Additionally, the harm caused to the community and the conditions of the offense are considered as factors for sentencing.

Sentence Imposed ┃ Stay of Imposition

Following the investigation, the courts must decide whether to impose the defendant’s sentence or enact a stay of imposition. When a sentence is imposed, it means that the sentence is pronounced to be served in prison. This is separate from the execution of the sentence, however.

If the courts grant a stay of imposition, it means that the imposition of a sentence is delayed to a future date. The sentence will not be imposed so long as the defendant complies with the conditions associated with the stay of imposition.

For Imposed Sentences: Sentence Execution ┃ Stay of Execution

When a sentence is imposed, it may either be executed or be placed under a stay of execution. The execution of a sentence involves the enforcement of the defendant’s allotted consequences, often represented as a commitment to the commissioner of corrections.

Similar to a stay of imposition, a stay of execution involves the postponement of the execution of a sentence. The sentence will not be executed unless the defendant violates the conditions set forth by the courts.

For Conditions Applied to a Stay of Imposition or Execution

If a stay of imposition or execution of a sentence is granted, the courts may elect to place the defendant on probation or enforce other stipulations.

If the conditions of the stay of imposition are met, the defendant will only have a record of a misdemeanor offense. If the conditions of a stay of execution are met, the defendant will not have to serve time, but will have a record of a felony charge.

If the defendant violates the conditions granted by the courts for his or her stay of execution or imposition, he or she will face the imposition or execution of a sentence, and therefore may face jail or prison time.

What Happens After You Are Arrested for a Felony?

A felony conviction carries harsher penalties than lesser charges. Consequences a defendant may face include jail or prison time, heavy fines, and restitution. Although a criminal case timeline may vary, felony cases generally follow a similar structure.

Charges are initiated by the prosecuting party and the defendant is placed under arrest or served a notice to appear.
The defendant attends an initial hearing to be presented with charges and other information relevant to the arrest. In Minnesota, this is referred to as an arraignment or “first appearance.”
If a defendant does not plead guilty at his or her arraignment, the next step is an omnibus, or pre-trial, hearing. At this hearing, evidence is presented and witnesses are cross-examined.
The defendant attends his or her criminal trial and associated proceedings.
The defendant is sentenced.

What Is an Arraignment?

An arraignment is the reading of charges and entry of a defendant’s plea. The term is often broadened to refer to a pre-trial hearing that a criminal defendant attends following an arrest. At the arraignment, the defendant is informed of the charges he or she faces and his or her constitutional rights. A defendant may also enter an initial plea at this time, and will make statements regarding his or her election to retain either a public defender or private attorney. The courts will also determine whether the defendant is disabled in communication and present him or her with any relevant documents. Additional issues, such as pre-trial release and conditions, bail, and the scheduling of future hearings are often discussed at an arraignment.

Common Legal Defenses in Criminal Law

After your arrest, your felony criminal defense attorney will review your case and determine which defenses apply to your circumstances. While an attorney may take a variety of approaches to prove your innocence or reduce your charges, there are several common felony defenses available that he or she may choose from. These include:

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  • Establishing your innocence.
  • Demonstrating a violation of your constitutional rights.
  • Presenting evidence that supports your alibi.
  • Proving that your actions were taken in defense of yourself or others.
  • Demonstrating you had a lack of intent to commit a crime, often relating to voluntary or involuntary intoxication or mistakes of facts or laws.
  • Proving that you committed the crime under duress or coercion.
  • Establishing that the crime was committed out of necessity, whether to prevent a more significant crime or harm to others.
  • Proving police entrapped you into committing a crime that you otherwise would not have committed.
  • Establishing that the age of the defendant made him or her incapable of knowingly committing a crime.
  • Demonstrating that the statute of Limitations has run out, and you can no longer be prosecuted.

When the above defenses are unlikely to apply to your case, your attorney may advise you to accept a plea bargain for a lesser charge.

What Is a Plea Bargain in a Felony Case?

A plea bargain, or plea agreement, is an opportunity presented to defendants to plead guilty to a lesser charge in place of a felony conviction. When a plea bargain is accepted by a defendant, he or she will likely sustain misdemeanor charges, which come with lesser consequences. Plea bargains are typically presented by the prosecution when they are unsure of the likelihood of success in a trial. A criminal defense attorney can help a defendant determine whether a plea bargain is the best strategy for reducing his or her felony charges.

How to Get Felony Charges Dropped in Minnesota

Defendants can get felony charges reduced or dropped by using common legal defenses in Minnesota. Though getting a prosecutor to drop your felony charges is often difficult, a felony lawyer can review your case to determine if these strategies are likely to be successful. A prosecutor may drop or reduce felony charges if the defendant can demonstrate:

There was a lack of sufficient evidence to support a probable cause when he or she was arrested, making his or her arrest, and subsequent searches, unlawful.

His or her constitutional rights were violated during search or seizure. Any evidence obtained by the prosecution through a violation of a defendant’s rights is inadmissible in court. A lack of sufficient evidence to support their case will likely cause prosecutors to drop the charges.

In addition to demonstrating sufficient evidence for the above defenses, a defendant may accept a plea bargain, elect to assist prosecutors in another case, or opt for a pretrial diversion program.

Contact a felony defense lawyer in Minnesota at Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys to help fight your legal battle. Call (952) 913-1421.

We provide free initial consultations to all clients. To schedule an appointment, contact us Today.