Minnesota court misdemeanor not guilty form

If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty following a trial, the judge will order a pre-sentence investigation PSI.

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The PSI enables the judge to learn more about the defendant so that he or she is better able to impose the proper sentence. After the PSI has been completed, the defendant comes before the judge for sentencing. The judge can only impose a sentence that falls within the boundaries of state law or the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Keeping those boundaries in mind, and weighing all the facts of the case, the judge then sentences the defendant.

Note : This is the standard process. Additional hearings may be scheduled at the request of either party. Our Firm Attorney Profiles. First Appearance Rule 5 The defendant is formally notified of the charges filed, advised of his or her rights, and bail is set. A court-appointed lawyer is available only if the charge is one for which jail time is possible.


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Plea - Guilty or Not Guilty? The judge asks if you want to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you are admitting that you committed the offense with which you are charged. You are also giving up your right to a trial and your right to remain silent. If you are not sure whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty, you can ask the judge to reschedule your initial appearance for another day so you can talk to a lawyer first.


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You can also plead not guilty, and talk to a lawyer before your next appearance or simply leave it to the prosecution to try to prove its case. If you plead not guilty, the judge asks if you want a court trial or a jury trial. In a court trial, the judge hears the evidence and decides if you are guilty.

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In a jury trial, six members of the community are called to be the jury, and the jury hears the evidence and decides if you are guilty. If you are found guilty after either a court trial or a jury trial, the judge decides the penalty the sentence. A court trial usually takes less than an hour, a jury trial usually takes one full day. If you plead not guilty, the judge asks you for your current mailing address.

The court schedules your trial for another day, and notice of the date and time for your trial is mailed to you at the address you give the court or to your attorney. The judge does not listen to your testimony and decide if you are guilty at your initial appearance. Guilty Plea - Sentencing If you plead guilty, the judge may decide the sentence at that time, or may schedule a sentencing hearing for another day.

At the time you are sentenced, you may make a statement on your own behalf. Fines are due, and jail time starts, at the time you are sentenced, unless you make other arrangements.

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See number 9 below for more information about sentencing. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a parent or guardian with you at all court proceedings. Your case will proceed the same as an adult case.

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Defendants who are under 18, and who are found guilty and sentenced to serve time in jail, serve their time in a juvenile detention facility. If you were served with a petition, instead of a citation or complaint, then your case was brought under the Juvenile Corrections Act and will proceed according to the Idaho Juvenile Rules, and the information in this pamphlet does not apply. The court schedules a pretrial conference and trial, and notice of the date and time for your case is mailed to you or your attorney. If you do not receive the notice within a week or two after your initial appearance, call your attorney or the court to find out when your next appearance will be.

If your case is set for a jury trial, the court usually schedules a pretrial conference two to four weeks before the trial.

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If your case is set for a court trial, the court usually does not schedule a separate pretrial conference for another day prior to trial; instead, the pretrial conference happens immediately before the trial. At the pretrial conference, both parties must come prepared with the following information: a list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses they intend to call at trial, and a list of any exhibits they intend to offer at trial.

You are required to attend the pretrial conference, even if you are represented by a lawyer. You will have the opportunity to discuss a plea bargain with the prosecution. The prosecution may agree to dismiss or reduce the charge, or may agree to a particular sentence.

You may decide to change your plea to guilty.

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If an agreement is reached, the parties must present their agreement to the court for the judge's approval. The agreement is usually presented at the pretrial conference, but sometimes this is scheduled for another day. If no agreement is reached, or if the judge rejects the agreement, the case proceeds to trial. In cases where there will be a jury trial, other pretrial issues are also addressed at the pretrial conference.

The judge asks the parties if they will be filing any pretrial motions , and sets a deadline for motions to be filed and heard by the court. An example of a pretrial motion is a motion to suppress evidence, where a party filing the motion asks the court to decide prior to trial if certain evidence can be used at trial.

The judge also asks the parties if there is any discovery that has not been completed, and sets a deadline for completion of discovery. Discovery is a formal procedure for the exchange of information between the parties. The judge also addresses any other issues that need to be resolved before trial. A fundamental principle of our system of justice is that the defendant is presumed to be innocent.

This principle has two important results. First, the prosecution has the burden to prove that the defendant is guilty, and the prosecution has this burden throughout the trial. Second, the prosecution must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


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A reasonable doubt is not a mere possible or imaginary doubt. It is the kind of doubt that would make an ordinary person hesitant to act in the most important affairs of his or her own life. Opening Statement Because the prosecution has the burden of proof, it goes first. The prosecutor may make an opening statement , in which the prosecution summarizes the evidence it is going to present.

The defense may then make an opening statement, in which the defense summarizes the evidence it is going to present. The defense may wait to make its opening statement after the prosecution has finished presenting its evidence. The defense refers to the defendant, and if the defendant is represented by an attorney, to the defendant's attorney. Prosecution Case-in-Chief The prosecution then begins calling witnesses. Each witness is sworn to tell the truth, and takes a seat in the witness stand.

The prosecution asks questions of the witness called direct examination ; the defense may then ask questions of the witness called cross examination ; the prosecution may next ask questions to clarify matters that the witness testified to on cross-examination called redirect examination ; and the defense may then ask questions to clarify matters that the witness testified to on redirect examination called recross examination.

The judge may also ask questions of a witness. After the last prosecution witness testifies, the prosecutor says that the prosecution rests.

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After the prosecution rests, the defense is entitled to present evidence, but is not required to do so. Defense Case If the defense chooses to present evidence, the defense may then make its opening statement, if it did not do so after the prosecution's opening statement. The defense then begins calling its witnesses. The defense asks questions of the witness called direct examination ; the prosecution may then ask questions of the witness called cross examination ; followed by redirect and recross examination.