Guy with a handcuff is writing on a paper with a lawyer pointing on the paper.

What to Expect on Probation in Minnesota

When an offender is placed on probation, the offender must abide by his/her probation requirements which may include fines, electronic house arrest, jail time, community service, and other restrictions.

Guy with a handcuff is writing on a paper with a lawyer pointing on the paper.

What is Probation?

In some cases, the Court has the option of imposing probation instead of a sentence for misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony convictions. Executed sentences require jail or prison time, but probation requirements are more lenient. Conditions of probation often include monetary fines, house arrest, jail time, and community service. Depending on the type and severity of the crime committed, probation may also include:

  • Anger management
  • Domestic violence counseling
  • Drug and/or alcohol treatment
  • Drug and/or alcohol testing
  • Sex offender programs
  • Mental health treatment

When the Court imposes probation as an alternative to incarceration, the offender must abide by his/her probation requirements. The offender must meet with a probation officer as scheduled, submit to random drug and/or alcohol screenings, and obey the law. An offender who is placed on probation is typically required to meet with his/her probation officer on a set schedule. A misdemeanor offender with little or no criminal history may only be required to meet quarterly, while a gross misdemeanor or felony offender may be required to meet weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

Failure to meet all requirements will result in a probation violation, and the Court may then order a sentence for the conviction. For felony and gross misdemeanor offenses, a Minnesota criminal attorney can address the consequences of the probation violation.

How Long is the Probation Period?

The length of the probation period is usually linked to the offender’s criminal history and the severity of the crime. Probation for most misdemeanors is capped at one year, but convictions for misdemeanor DWI, domestic assault, indecent exposure, and obscene or harassing behavior can carry a probation period of up to two years. Probation for gross misdemeanors is generally two years, but convictions for DWI, criminal vehicular operation, or fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct can carry probation periods of up to six years. Felonies carry a minimum probation period of four years, but the statutory maximum time for imprisonment for the crime can be imposed for probation.

Offenders who meet all probation requirements and successfully complete their probationary period are often discharged early. Offenders who violate their probationary requirements or period may face extended probation time or prison sentences.

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

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.