LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Max A. Keller | May 24, 2012

Minnesota Felony DWI or Minnesota Gross Misdemeanor DWI: What Happens at My Bail Hearing?

If you are facing Minnesota felony DWI charges, then if convicted you may be un-employable, and you will lose your right to vote and your gun rights. If you are convicted of a Gross Misdemeanor 2nd Degree DWI or 3rd Degree DWI, you may go to jail for up to a year and/or be on probation for up to 6 years. That's why you need to call a Minnesota Felony DWI Criminal Defense Attorney ASAP. If you've never been charged with a crime before, you may be curious as to what the typical procedures are for going to Court.

Gross Misdemeanor or Felony Cases: A gross misdemeanor is an offense punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine, whereas a felony is punishable by anywhere from one year and one day in prison to life in prison. Common gross misdemeanor offenses include 2nd and 3rd degree DWI, violation of an order for protection or harassment restraining order, 5th degree criminal sexual conduct, domestic assault, etc. Felony and gross misdemeanor cases have varying procedures, but the basic procedures are dictated by the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure. Most cases proceed in the following manner:

Bail Hearing and Rule 5 Hearing: A Rule 5 hearing is your first appearance in Court. If you have been arrested, your Rule 5 hearing will likely occur at the same time as your bail hearing, although this does not occur in all jurisdictions throughout Minnesota. At your bail hearing or Rule 5 hearing, you will be given a copy of a formal complaint, whic will outline the charges against you. The Judge will explain your rights to you and also decide what conditions of release and/or bail to set. The Judge setting bail will have to weigh certain factors and is required by the Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure and the Minnesota Constitution, and case law to set money-only bail without other conditions of release. What this means is that the Judge must set an amount of bail that allows you to be released from custody without complying with any Court-ordered conditions, such as alcohol monitoring. The Judge may also set a lower amount of bail, or release you on your own recognizance, subject to certain conditions of release, such as alcohol monitoring.

There is no maximum amount of bail the Judge may set on felony cases. On gross misdemeanor offenses, the Judge has restrictions similar to those imposed on him or her when setting bail on misdemeanor cases. The maximum bail for a gross misdemeanor DWI is $12,000. If you know someone who needs to get bailed out in Minnesota, call a competent Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today.

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