Fairmont Criminal Defense Lawyer

Each crime has its own set of consequences. It’s critical to understand the gravity of your crime. A charge can have a significant impact on your life. Even minor crimes can have charges that might escalate quickly, and a conviction can have far-reaching consequences. It’s important to be aware of the severity of your crime and use resources to the best of your ability so that you create a strategy that will get you the best possible outcome for your case. When faced with any criminal charge, failing to act immediately can hurt your case. Get reliable legal advice by working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Fairmont, Minnesota.

What Are the Differences between a Felony and Misdemeanor in Fairmont, Minnesota?

Anyone who has been charged with a crime should learn how crimes are classified. Understanding the classification of your crime is an essential step in building your case. Generally, the main distinction between felonies and misdemeanors is the amount of time a person could spend in prison and how much they can be fined. The severity of the crime correlates to the length of the sentence and the fine’s total. Criminal offenses in Minnesota have four levels:

Petty Misdemeanor

These are technically not crimes because incarceration is not an allowable sanction. Petty misdemeanors include most traffic violations and are penalized with a fine of up to $300.


These are usually minor nonviolent offenses penalized with 90 days in jail and an up to $1,000 fine. Misdemeanor crimes include driving without a license, simple assault, a first-time DWI, and theft of property worth less than $500.

Gross Misdemeanor

These crimes are more severe than misdemeanors but not as severe as felonies. Gross misdemeanors are penalized with one year in jail and an up to $3,000 fine. Crimes in this category are usually repeated offenses. Examples of gross misdemeanors include a second DWI within ten years, a second assault within ten years against the same victim, and theft of property worth between $500 and $1,000.


These are serious crimes that carry high penalties. Felonies have an incarceration sentence of more than a year and up to life, as well as high fines. They are also often penalized with the loss of certain freedoms. In Minnesota, felonies include more severe offenses such as sex crimes, murder, and theft of property worth more than $1,000.

Common Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in Fairmont, Minnesota

Hiring ineffective legal counsel or attempting to defend oneself in court is a surefire way to jeopardize your case and could result in a criminal conviction or excessive penalties. The following events could happen to you as a consequence of a criminal conviction:

  • You may not be accepted to certain colleges and universities.
  • You may be ineligible for federal financial aid to help pay for your higher education.
  • You may be at a disadvantage in the job market or excluded from pursuing certain roles.
  • You may lose your right to vote.
  • You may lose your right to carry a firearm.
  • Your criminal record will be publicly available.
  • You will have to pay a lot of money in legal fees and fines.
  • You may be passed over for housing opportunities.
  • Your license may be suspended or revoked.

A criminal conviction can set back your life in many ways that you may never have expected. 

What Legal Rights Do Criminal Defendants Have in Fairmont, Minnesota?

Because of movies and TV shows, most people are aware of their Miranda Rights, and know that authorities must read defendants their Miranda Rights. Still, it may not be common knowledge that authorities must also have probable cause before performing any searches and seizures. If you are a criminal defendant, you have even more rights protecting you that you should know about.

Criminal defendants in Minnesota have rights including the following:

  • A jury trial for any offense punishable by imprisonment
  • Testify at trial
  • Have the prosecution witnesses testify in open court in the defendant’s presence
  • Question prosecution witnesses
  • Require any favorable witnesses to testify for the defense in court
  • Be advised of the right to effective representation

An expert Fairmont criminal defense attorney can help you understand the scope of your constitutional rights under the law and can explain other crucial legal rights that criminal defendants should know.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Fairmont, Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Criminal proceedings are serious matters that can be emotionally draining for anyone involved. If you’ve been charged with a crime in southern Minnesota, don’t jeopardize your case by attempting to handle it on your own. Get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and future.

At Knutson + Casey, our legal team is dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for our clients’ criminal cases. We have highly skilled criminal defense attorneys who will use the skills they’ve developed from years of experience to help your case succeed. We will use our extensive resources to design a successful defense plan. Fill out our contact form or call us at (507) 344-8888 to schedule your free consultation.