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Penalties for Violent Felonies! Manslaughter/Murder, Murder, Violent Crimes

Penalties for Violent Felonies!

3 years ago by Brian
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Minnesota does not divide felony crimes into different classes as many other states do. Instead, the state law provides the maximum penalty, meaning the maximum imprisonment or fine allowed for each specific felony. If a statute defines an offense as a felony but does not specify a sentence for the offense, the maximum penalty defaults to a period of five years’ imprisonment. If you’re involved in a situation that requires expertise on this matter seek legal assistance from JS Defense and a Woodbury, MN. Criminal Defense Lawyers.


Examples of some of the felonies include the following:

  1. First-degree murder. A conviction for first-degree murder in Minnesota carries with it a life sentence. What constitutes first-degree is specifically laid out in the statute, and it is the prosecutor who decides whether to charge someone with first-degree murder or some other criminal offense involving the death of a person.
  2. Second-degree murder. A conviction for second-degree murder in Minnesota carries with it a maximum sentence of 40 years. Second-degree murder is for anyone who either causes the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation, or anyone who causes the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit a drive-by shooting under circumstances specified in the statute.
  3. First and second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota classifies manslaughter into first and second-degree manslaughter. First-degree manslaughter is usually regarded as ‘heat-of-passion’ killing when someone kills another person under the heat of the moment. Second-degree manslaughter charges typically come about when one person’s reckless or grossly negligent behavior results in the death of someone else. 
  4. First-degree assault. First-degree assault is the most serious assault charge in Minnesota. First-degree assault happens when someone causes great bodily harm against a victim. The offense also includes using deadly force against a judge, police officer, correctional employee, or prosecuting attorney while they are working. In addition to serving a 20-year prison term, the convicted person may have to pay a $30,000 fine.
  5. Some criminal sexual conduct offenses can involve violence and can be charged as violent crimes in Minnesota. For example, even though some sex offenses do not involve contact with others, such as possession of child pornography or indecent exposure, and therefore not “violent crimes,” others are inherently violent such that they have heightened consequences for the offender because they are considered to be violent offenses.

How Felony Sentencing Works in Minnesota

As noted above, Minnesota state law provides for maximum penalties for each specified criminal offense. However, to help guide judges and lawyers in the criminal proceedings, including those representing the government (prosecutors), the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission provides each felony offense a severity level ranking and puts the offense on what is referred to as the sentencing grid. The grid provides a recommended sentence length and how the person found guilty should serve their time (either in prison or on probation).

Call a Woodbury, MN Violent Crimes Attorney

If you have been charged with a violent crime in Minnesota, it is critical that you have an experienced Woodbury, MN violent crime attorney from J.S. Defense who can ensure you have the best defense possible under the facts and circumstances of your case. Contact us today.


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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Justin M. Schiks who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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