In the State of Minnesota, crimes are classified into three categories: 1) Misdemeanors; 2) Gross Misdemeanors, and; 3) Felonies.


The maximum punishment for a misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The maximum bail for most misdemeanor offenses is $4,000

Typical Misdemeanor offenses include:

a. First time DWI;
b. Fifth Degree Assault;
c. Driving after Revocation;
d. Careless Driving;
e. Possession of a small amount of marijuana in a motor vehicle


The Maximum punishment for a Gross Misdemeanor is 1 year in jail and a $3,000 fine. The maximum bail for most Gross Misdemeanors is $12,000.

Typical Gross Misdemeanor offenses include:

a. A first time refusal to test;
b. A second DWI
c. Driving after Cancellation


There really are no maximum punishments for felony level offenses in the State of Minnesota. Minnesota operates under a Sentencing Guidelines scheme, meaning that a sentence depends on the severity level of the underlying crime, coupled with the criminal history of the offender. Many felony offenses do not require an actual prison sentence. Rather, the sentence is “probationary”, and local jail confinement with work release privileges granted. In addition, there are ways that a plea to a felony offense will result in a Gross Misdemeanor sentence, or no criminal conviction at all.

There is no maximum bail for a felony level offense.

Typical Felony offenses include:

a. Fourth DWI;
b. Narcotics possession/sale;
c. Possession of over 42.5 grams of marijuana
d. Domestic Assault by Strangulation;
e. Terroristic Threats;
f. Sex crimes;
g. Murder/Manslaughter

The attorney’s at Nelson Law have over 30 years combined experience dealing with the complexities of Minnesota’s Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor and Felony laws. Contact us with any questions you may have, or for a free initial consultation

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Nelson Law represents clients within the state of Minnesota, which includes all seven Metro Counties and Greater Minnesota.


Nelson Law
155 South Wabasha St., Suite 110
St. Paul, MN 55107
Phone: (651) 289-5577

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