Minnesota Criminal Records
What Defines a Criminal Record in Minnesota?
Criminal records provide a comprehensive overview of an individual’s criminal history. They contain official data sourced, assembled and compiled from local, county and state jurisdiction, including courts, law enforcement departments, and state correctional facilities. While the standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county, the majority of Minnesota criminal records are organized in online record depositories that are jointly managed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
What’s contained in a Criminal Record?
Criminal records offer information on criminal activities committed by an individual. Most criminal records contain general information such as:
- Individual’s name
- Date of birth
- Disposition of all warrants
- Physical descriptors
- Details of the arrest
- Crime summary
- Details of the conviction (name of a criminal offense)
What is an Arrest Record in Minnesota?
Arrest records provide information about a subject’s arrest history. It documents if a subject has been questioned, taken into custody, apprehended, or arrested or investigation. Arrest records may also detail the charges leading to the arrest. In the state of Minnesota, a person can be arrested once they commit a misdemeanor, a felony or a repeated traffic violation.
What is an Arrest Warrant in Minnesota?
An arrest warrant is an official document that is signed and issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the local and state law enforcement department. It authorizes a police officer to arrest or detain the person or people named in the warranty.
Can Arrests be made without a Warrant in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, police officers are permitted to make warrantless arrests. This often occurs when the officer has reasonable cause to suspect a person has committed a crime or witnessed a person committing a crime.
What is a Misdemeanor in Minnesota?
In the state of Minnesota, misdemeanors refer to offenses that are generally less severe than felonies. The seriousness of the crime is distinguished by factors such as the cash value of the property damage/theft or the seriousness of the personal injury. Unlike most states in the country, Minnesota does not use a class system to divide misdemeanor offenses. Instead, misdemeanors are categorized as petty misdemeanors, misdemeanors, or gross misdemeanors.
- Gross misdemeanors are the most serious kind of misdemeanor crimes in Minnesota. They’re punishable by up to a year in jail and/or $3,000 in fines.
- Misdemeanors are the second most severe type of misdemeanor offenses, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000
- Petty misdemeanors are the least serious type of crimes and carry a fine of up to $300
Examples of misdemeanors in Minnesota include:
- Criminal neglect of a vulnerable adult
- Assault in the fifth degree
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Assault of a peace officer
What is a Felony in Minnesota?
Felony offenses are crimes that carry a minimum sentence of one year to be served in a county jail or state prison. Felony convictions may even be punished by death. Crimes that are not defined as felonies may be charged as a felony if the offender has certain prior convictions. Unlike the legislature in some states, Minnesota laws do not categorize felonies into different classes. Instead, the state’s statute provides penalties and possible sentences for different felonies. Examples of crimes that are considered to be felonies include:
- Domestic Assault
- Criminal sexual assault in the first degree
- Murder in the first degree
- Crimes related to a controlled substance (fifth degree)
What is a Sex Offender Listing in Minnesota?
A sex offender listing is a registry of persons convicted of committing a sex crime. The state maintains and provides public access to an online registrant database managed by the Department of Correction. Members of the public may conduct searches by city, county, or zip code. Residents can also search through registrant by zip code. Under Minnesota law, sexual battery and assault are referred to as “criminal sexual conduct.” The prosecution need not prove that the victim resisted the sexual conduct to convict a person charged with any of the crimes of criminal sexual conduct. Some of the information provided in a search offender listing include:
- Offender’s name
- Physical descriptors
- MNDOC ID
- Release date
- Convicted offense
- Registered address
What is Minnesota Megan’s Law?
Megan's Law is a general term used to describe the state laws that govern the creation, access ad administration of Minnesota’s sex offender registry. It ensures that information on registered sex offenders is available to the public. Registration is required of any person convicted in Minnesota of criminal sexual conduct that involves especially egregious factors (such as death, torture, severe psychological harm, mutilation or great bodily harm, or a prior sex offense). In addition, individuals designated as predatory sexual offenders are required to register as such an offender. Sexual offender registration is accessible by neighbors, employers, landlords, schools, and other members of the public, and restricts where a registered offender may live, work, go to school, and just hang out.
Note: The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government mandated that all states set up sex offender registries and offer the public with information about those registered.
What Constitutes Serious Traffic Violations in Minnesota?
Serious traffic violations refer to moving and non-moving offenses that result in significant bodily injury, damage to property, or death. They’re punishable by up to 90-day imprisonment and a fine of $1,000. There is no points system in Minnesota. However, the MN Department of Public Safety (DPS) may suspend the driver's license of habitual traffic offenders or anyone convicted of a serious traffic violation. Examples of major traffic violations in Minnesota include:
- Driving without adequate car insurance
- Driving under the influence of a stimulant (drug or alcohol)
- Reckless driving
- Fleeing the scene of an accident
Minnesota Conviction Records
A conviction record provides information about the results of a trial. It reveals if the subject pleads guilty, was found guilty or pleaded no contest to criminal charges in a civilian or military court. Conviction records also include information on persons who are judged delinquent and less than honorably discharged or placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law.
What are Minnesota Inmate Records?
Minnesota inmate records provide official information about offenders booked or incarcerated in correctional facilities within the state. Public information on inmates can be accessed in person or online by contacting the overseeing agency or searching through the online offender database maintained by the Minnesota Department of Correction. Some of the details provided in an inmate record include:
- Offender’s name
- Physical descriptors
- Incarceration date
- Date of birth
- Details of the inmate’s offense
- Inmate photo (mugshot)
- Expected date of release
What are Parole Records in Minnesota?
Parole records in Minnesota are an official document that includes information about the release of a prisoner who agreed to certain conditions before completion of their maximum sentence. While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board shall need as a condition of parole that he/she pays a monthly supervision fee of not less than $30, unless the board agrees to accept a lower fee after determining the inability of the prisoner to pay. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it seems right to make sure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Minnesota are served.
What are Probation Records in Minnesota?
Probation records are official documents that provide the details and conditions linked with a person’s probation. It contains general information such as:
- Details of the supervision during probation
- The duration of the probation
- The amount to be repaid
- The frequency of check-ins with a probation officer
Probation records fall under the umbrella of public records, which means they can be accessed by almost any member of the public. There are however exceptions. Probation records for juveniles remain sealed until the offender is an adult. Guardians and parents of minors out on probation may be able to secure these records.
What are Minnesota Juvenile Records?
Juvenile criminal records provide an official record of information about criminal activity committed by minors or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Although cases for this group falls under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Juvenile Justice system, exceptions may be made for some cases, such as when a minor is being accused of a particularly dangerous offense.
Are Juvenile Records Public in Minnesota?
Although juvenile records in Minnesota are protected from most members of the public, they still remain open to inspection by a group of people, some of which may include:
- The youth
- Parents or guardians of the youth
- Judge of court
- Individuals intervening on behalf of the unit during a proceeding
- The DA’s office
- The Juvenile department
- Service providers on the case
Access to juvenile records isn’t as direct as public criminal records. In most cases, individuals or organizations seeking access to juvenile records may be required to obtain court permission. This will involve making a showing of good cause. Juvenile records may also be open to the public in cases where a juvenile is charged with a crime that would be a major felony if committed by an adult.
Minnesota History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
The accuracy of criminal records data largely depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Minnesota criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the early 1970s—which is when different institutions began to compile criminal and arrest data into an organized, centralized database, much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past. However, in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially due to the advent of digital storage options. As a result, the information provided on StateRecords.org will vary from person to person.