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Are All Sex Crimes Felonies in Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Not all sex crimes are felonies in Minneapolis. While the vast majority of sex-based offenses are treated as felonies under the law, there are some offenses that are misdemeanors.

This distinction is important for many reasons. For starters, the maximum prison term for felony sex offenses is substantially higher than a misdemeanor charge. What’s more, Only one misdemeanor offense has the potential to result in mandatory sex offender registration. Felony sex crimes will typically always require registration as a sex offender.

If you are accused of committing a sex crimes in Minneapolis, your choice of attorney could make the difference between securing your freedom and facing conviction. The attorneys of Gerald Miller know what is at stake, and our team is prepared to work tirelessly while protecting your legal rights. Call today for your free consultation to learn about your defense options.

When is Criminal Sexual Conduct a Misdemeanor?

For the most part, the offense of criminal sexual conduct is not treated as a misdemeanor. This offense covers a wide range of nonconsensual sexual conduct. The offenses are broken up into five different degrees. First through fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct are felony charges. Fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct is treated as a misdemeanor. All of these offenses are considered sex offenses.

  • First-Degree. First-degree criminal sexual conduct is the most serious of these charges. This offense involves nonconsensual sexual penetration with another adult, or sexual contact with a victim under the age of 13. A conviction could lead to up to 30 years in jail and a fine of no more than $40,000.
  • Second-Degree. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct is also a serious felony offense. A conviction could lead to as much as 25 years in prison and a fine of no more than $35,000.
  • Third-Degree. Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is also a felony. This offense can lead to as much at 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
  • Fourth-Degree. Fourth-Degree criminal sexual conduct is the lowest level of felony sex offense. It covers a variety of sexual contact that does not include penetration. Upon conviction, a person could face as much as 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
  • Fifth-Degree. Fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct is the only misdemeanor of the group. A conviction can carry no more than 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Is Indecent Exposure a Sex Crimes in Minneapolis?

Indecent exposure does not meet the standard for criminal sexual conduct, but it is still considered a sex crime under the law. This offense even has the potential to land you on the sex offender registry if certain conditions are met.

Indecent exposure could take the form of a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony depending on the circumstances. As is the case with any criminal offense, the penalties associated with felony indecent exposure are much higher than a misdemeanor offense.

When it comes to making the case for indecent exposure, the prosecutor has three options. They only need to establish that you have violated one of these three elements of the statute in order to secure a conviction. These elements include:

  1. Willfully and lewdly exposing one’s body or private parts; or
  2. Persuading or coercing another person to expose their own private parts; or
  3. Engaging in any open or gross lewdness or lascivious behavior, or any public indecency that does not specifically appear in this rule.

There are circumstances that will make indecent exposure a felony. While each of these offenses could be considered a sex crime, only the felony version of indecent exposure will result in mandatory registration as a sex offender.

Felony indecent exposure occurs when a person meets one of the three elements listed above. To be charged with a felony, a person must meet one of two additional requirements. First, a felony charge is appropriate for anyone with a prior conviction who is accused of exposing themselves to a minor. Second, it is also a felony to commit indecent exposure while confining or restricting the movement of another person.

The Importance of Fighting Sex Crime Charges in Minneapolis

Once you have been required to register as a sex offender, there is very little you can do to remove yourself from that list. The amount of time you will be required to remain on the registry is set at a minimum of 10 years. During that time, your options for removing yourself from the registry are limited outside of a pardon. If you are convicted of a major sex offense or have been found by the court to be a sexual predator, you could face a lifetime on the registry.

Registering as a sex offender is only part of the hardship a conviction could bring you. While on the registry, you are required to constantly update the state on your location and status. You are limited on where you can live and who you can associate with. It also goes without saying that your status as a registered sex offender will make it difficult for you to secure employment or find adequate housing in many cases.

In addition to registering as a sex offender, you are also at risk of over significant consequences following most sex offense convictions. If you are convicted of a felony, you could spend years in prison and face thousands of dollars in fines. Even a misdemeanor conviction could result in months behind bars. The stakes are too high for you to plead guilty without fighting back or seeking the guidance of an attorney.

The attorneys of Gerald Miller are ready to advise you on your rights following a sex offense arrest. If you are under investigation but have not yet been charged, this is the right time to seek legal counsel. In some cases, we could resolve the allegations against you without the state ever filing any charges against you. Contact us today to learn more.

How an Attorney Could Help you Beat the Sex Crimes Charges in Minneapolis

When you work with our firm, we will work tirelessly to help you beat the sex crimes charges you are currently facing. There are numerous ways we could assist you in your case, and some of those begin before you are ever arrested.

If you are under investigation for a sex offense but have not yet been charged, it is vital that you seek legal counsel right away. Our attorneys could negotiate with the police to avoid any criminal charges when possible. In other cases, we could help ensure that the charges brought against you are not unreasonable or overblown.

If charges are filed against you, our firm could assist by thoroughly investigating the allegations against you. Investigating the facts of your case is an important early step in developing a defense strategy. Our team could determine if the allegations against you are based in fact or if there are credibility issue with the reporting witness.

Our team could also work to dismiss the charges against you before they ever go to trial. In many cases, the police will overstep their bounds and violate your constitutional rights. If you are denied an attorney or have your home searched illegally, any evidence seized by the police could be barred from trial. Our team could help you exclude any of the evidence obtained through illegal means.

The most important place for you to have legal representation is during a jury trial. Trying a criminal case is challenging, and attempting to do so on your own could put you at a tremendous disadvantage. Relying on our experience as trial attorneys could give yourself the best opportunity to avoid a conviction.

Discuss Your Case with Gerald Miller Right Away in Minneapolis

If you have been accused of a sex crime in Minneapolis, any delay in hiring an attorney could only make building a winning defense harder. The sooner you seek out legal counsel, the sooner they could begin developing a strategy that could help you obtain a favorable outcome.

The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand the gravity of a sex charge. You deserve an advocate that will fight for your legal rights throughout every step of the process. Our aggressive approach could give you a chance at avoiding a conviction entirely. Call right away to schedule your free consultation with Gerald Miller.

About the author

Brodie Hacken

Brodie is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Minnesota with 15 years of experience. He is passionate about protecting the rights of his clients and ensuring they receive the best possible representation. When he's not in the courtroom, Brodie enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf.

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