There are four major types of criminal sentences in Minnesota:
• Stay Adjudication
• Stay of Imposition
• Stay of Execution
• Executed Sentence
A stay of adjudication is the most favorable type of sentence in Minnesota following a guilty plea or guilty verdict. With a stay of adjudication, the court does not place a conviction on your record. Instead, adjudication is withheld on certain conditions which oftentimes require probation. Those conditions can include jail or community service, court costs, restitution and programming such as anger management or drug/alcohol treatment. If you meet those conditions, the charge is ultimately dismissed and you do not have a conviction on your criminal record. Additionally, you do not have a conviction on your record while the stay of adjudication is in place. However, if you do not follow the conditions, the court can vacate the stay of adjudication and put the conviction on your record. You can receive a stay of adjudication on misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, and even some felony offenses. A stay of adjudication is an incredibly beneficial result to receive if you are charged with a crime.
A stay of imposition is slightly less favorable than a stay of adjudication, but it is still a positive result. With a stay of imposition, you have the possibility of having the severity of your charge reduced if you successfully complete probation. For example, a stay of imposition in a felony reduces the conviction to a misdemeanor if you successfully complete probation. That is also the case in a gross misdemeanor as well. Conditions of probation can include jail, house arrest or community service, fines, restitution or treatment. If you fail to abide by the conditions of probation, the court can vacate the stay of imposition and change your sentence to a stay of execution or even an executed sentence. While not as beneficial as a stay of adjudication, a stay of imposition is still a good result.
With a stay of execution, the court stays the executed jail or prison sentence over your head on conditions of probation. If you fail to follow those conditions, the Court can execute your sentence, meaning you would have to serve your sentence in jail or prison. Unlike a stay of adjudication or a stay of execution, there is no possibility of a dismissal or reduction in the severity of the charges with a stay of execution. Conditions of probation in a stay of execution can be similar to those in a stay of adjudication such as jail time, fines, restitution and programming.
An executed sentence is the worst possible outcome. With an executed sentence, you do not get an opportunity at probation. Instead, you have to serve your sentence in jail or prison. The maximum executed sentence for a misdemeanor is 90 days and the maximum executed sentence for a gross misdemeanor is 365 days in jail. In Minnesota, you receive a third off of your sentence for “good time.” Therefore, assuming you follow the rules while in jail, you would serve 60 actual days on a misdemeanor and 244 actual days on a gross misdemeanor.
Executed sentences on felonies are far more complicated. They depend on both your prior criminal history score and the severity of the offense. The more serious the offense – the more time in prison you would have to serve. The more extensive your criminal history – the more time in prison you would have to serve. It is difficult to anticipate how much prison time you are facing without an adequate understanding of both the underlying charges and your criminal history score. In Minnesota, you serve two-thirds of a prison sentence in prison and the last third is served on “supervised release” which is like parole. If you violate conditions of supervised release, you can be sent back to prison for all or a portion of the remaining sentence.
Call our criminal defense lawyers, to help you understand the nature of the charges against you and what you can do to put your best foot forward in a criminal defense case. He understands the system and the ramifications of being charged with a crime. He will work aggressively, both in court and behind the scenes, to protect your rights, your reputation, and your freedom.
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