4 Ways a Felony Can Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor in Minnesota

Although facing a felony charge is a daunting experience, it is essential to remember you have rights and legal options. In some cases, felony charges may be eligible to be reduced to a misdemeanor upon completing certain conditions such as probation or a diversion program. However, advocating for these solutions can be legally complex and challenging to do on your own without a deep understanding of Minnesota’s criminal justice system. 

Fortunately, the experienced Mankato criminal defense attorneys from Knutson + Casey are here to help. Our trusted attorneys understand the ins and outs of Minnesota criminal law and are ready to apply our 30 years of experience and skills to your unique case. We have a proven track record of success and can guide you through every step of the legal process as we fight aggressively for your rights. When you retain one of our seasoned attorneys, you can trust us to thoroughly investigate your case and work to build a solid defense on your behalf. 

How to Reduce a Felony to a Misdemeanor in Minnesota

Minnesota takes felonies seriously, and many individuals charged with such an offense incorrectly assume they will be automatically convicted. However, those accused of felonies have several options to reduce or dismiss their charges. A skilled attorney can evaluate the details of your case to determine the best path forward to resolve your case. A few different ways to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor in Minnesota include the following:

Negotiating a Plea Bargain

Depending on the unique circumstances surrounding their case, an individual charged with a felony may be able to reduce their charges by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor-level offense. This process is known as plea bargaining and is how most criminal cases are settled. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a plea bargain that works in your favor and quickly resolves your case without a trial. 

Completing a Diversion Program

Diversion programs are designed to rehabilitate first-time offenders and help them get their charges dropped or reduced. While these programs are typically only available to those charged with non-violent misdemeanors, individuals accused of low-level, non-violent felonies may also be eligible to participate. Diversion programs require you to complete certain requirements in order for a charge to be dropped or reduced. The requirements might include regular check-ins with an officer, random drug testing, remaining law abiding or community service. If you are offered a diversion program and complete it successfully, your charges may be dismissed or reduced.

Stay of Imposition 

If you plead to or are found guilty of your felony charge, you may be eligible for a stay of imposition. If the court grants you a stay of imposition, you will be ordered to complete probation instead of serving a jail sentence. After successfully completing your probation, your charges may be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor level. However, it is essential to note until your probation is complete, you are still convicted of the felony offense. In other words, the felony will stay on your record while your probation is pending, if you successfully complete the terms of your probation the felony may be reduced to a misdemeanor. If you violate the terms of your probation, the judge may impose a sentence for your crime as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. 

Disputing the Prosecution’s Argument

Some offenses are only classified as felonies due to specific facts of the case. If the specific facts of your case might result in a misdemeanor level offense but you are charged with a felony level offense, your attorney can build a strong defense to the felony level charge. 

Speak to a First-Class Criminal Defense Attorney at Knutson + Casey

After being accused of a felony-level offense in Minnesota, contacting an award-winning criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is imperative. At Knutson + Casey, we have more than three decades of experience protecting the rights of the criminally accused and securing favorable outcomes for their cases. We have the knowledge, skills, and tenacity to fight for you. 

To schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with a seasoned attorney, call us today at (507) 344-8888 or complete our contact form.