Waseca Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a crime can be frightening and even cause stress and loss of sleep. You may not know what to expect, or how you are going to navigate the legal process. Ultimately, crimes have consequences. The consequences of a criminal conviction can be far-reaching, so once you’ve been charged, it’s crucial to act quickly so you have ample time to prepare. 

Criminal convictions can come with steep repercussions. With the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can take comfort knowing that your case is in good hands. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Knutson + Casey have the skills necessary to secure the best outcome for your case.

How a Criminal Conviction Can Affect Your Life in Waseca, Minnesota

Criminal convictions are penalized to deter and punish criminal activity. However, every crime is different, and it’s not always easy to understand each one’s consequences. What’s worse is that a conviction can impact you beyond what the law dictates. There are many social consequences as well. Understandably, most people would focus their worry on incarceration and fines, but a criminal conviction can hurt various aspects of your life.

A criminal conviction can affect you in many ways, including the following:

Ostracization from Social Stigma

There are many social stigmas associated with a criminal conviction. Criminal records are public information, so anyone can discover your criminal history. People may judge you and treat you differently because of your conviction. As a result, you may find it more difficult to create connections with other people or be an active member of your community.

Reduced Access to Opportunities

Certain criminal backgrounds can disqualify you from certain opportunities. Many businesses and organizations perform background checks and having a conviction can make you a less desirable candidate for jobs, housing, schooling, and even volunteering. Convictions can also make you ineligible for federal financial aid that helps students pay for higher education.

Loss of Custody and Parenting Rights

A criminal record could harm your child custody rights. When a person with court-ordered custody of a child or parenting time rights is convicted of certain crimes, the family court might suspend the parent’s parenting time rights or grant temporary custody to someone else. In divorce cases, the court can consider a parent’s criminal history and its impact on their ability to raise a child.

Loss of Civil Rights, Liberties, and Privileges

Depending on the offense for which you were convicted, you will lose certain rights. You may lose your right to vote, carry a firearm, and other rights. The State Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend your license if you have certain convictions.

The Four Levels of Criminal Offenses in Waseca, Minnesota

The classification of crimes will differ to some degree by state. Anyone who has been charged with a crime should be aware of how crimes are categorized in their state. Understanding the classifications of crimes can help you know what to expect and what is considered fair under the law. Understanding how your offense is classified can also help you construct a good defense for your case. 

Minnesota categorizes criminal offenses into four levels.

Petty Misdemeanor

Technically, a petty misdemeanor is not a crime. Petty misdemeanors are not allowed to be penalized with incarceration. Instead, they are punishable with simply a fine of up to $300. Most traffic violations are petty misdemeanors.


Misdemeanors are minor offenses. They are usually nonviolent, though not always. Misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Driving without a license, simple assault, a first-time DWI, and theft of property worth less than $500 are examples of misdemeanor offenses.

Gross Misdemeanor

Gross misdemeanors are a step above regular misdemeanors. They are more serious crimes but not as severe as felonies. Gross misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine up to $3,000, or both. 

The majority of crimes in this category are repeat offenses. When you commit the same criminal offense multiple times within a specific time frame, those offenses build on each other and are not counted individually. A second DWI in ten years, a second assault against the same victim in ten years, and theft of goods worth $500 to $1,000 are all examples of gross misdemeanors.


A felony is the highest-level criminal offense in Minnesota. Felonies are the most severe category of crimes and are punished with worse penalties. Incarceration terms for felonies range from 366 days (more than a year) up to life in prison. Felonies can also be punished by hefty fines that can be up to the maximum fine specified in the law. Felonies in Minnesota include serious offenses like sex crimes, murder, and theft of goods valued at more than $1,000.

Why You Should Hire a Waseca, Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney

Hiring legal representation may sound intimidating, but it is the best thing you can do for your case. As the defendant, it’s in your best interest to seek counsel from an experienced attorney. While you may be uncertain about your odds, a good criminal defense lawyer will be able to use the facts of your case to your advantage to build the best strategy for your defense. 

A case may seem straightforward to ordinary civilians, but criminal defense attorneys can see the nuance in each situation. After spending years practicing and honing their craft, they’ll be able to anticipate the prosecution’s moves and prepare a way to work things in your favor.

Reach Out to a Waseca, Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer

Working through a criminal charge alone can be emotionally draining and lead to less than desirable results. Criminal proceedings require extensive legal knowledge, skill, and experience to navigate successfully. If you’ve been charged with a crime in southern Minnesota, you should consult the legal team at Knutson + Casey about the best strategy for your case.

At Knutson + Casey, our legal staff is committed to helping our clients get the best possible results in their criminal cases. We are a team of highly skilled legal professionals and will effectively protect your rights using the skills we’ve honed through years of practice. To schedule your free consultation, please fill out our contact form or call us at (507) 344-8888.