Minnesota

Being accused of a sex offense is an extremely difficult experience no matter where you are. But the laws of Minnesota are particularly harsh. When you are facing charges like these, you need someone on your side who knows the system and someone who is looking out for your best interests. We are here to help.

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Minnesota Sex Crimes

The majority of sex crimes under Minnesota statutes are classified as various divisions of criminal sexual conduct. The penalty you face is dependent on the facts of your case and the evidence against you.

First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

If you have sexual intercourse with another person or sexual contact with a person under the age of 13, and any of the following circumstances exist, you could be charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, fines of up to $40,000, or both.

  1. If the alleged victim is under the age of 13 and you are more than 36 months older than them,
  2. If the alleged victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 and you are more than 48 months older than them,
  3. If the situation causes the alleged victim to have reasonable fear of imminent great bodily harm,
  4. If you are armed with a dangerous weapon and use or threaten the use of the weapon in order to gain submission from the alleged victim,
  5. If you cause injury to the alleged victim,
  6. If you use coercion to accomplish penetration,
  7. If you know or have reason to know that the alleged victim is mentally impaired, incapacitated, or physically helpless,
  8. If you are aided by another person and force is used or one of you are armed, or
  9. If you have a “significant relationship” to the alleged victim and they were under the age of 16 at the time of the penetration act

Ref: Minnesota Statutes 609.342

Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

If you have sexual contact with a person and any of the above conditions are present, you could be charged with sexual conduct in the 2nd degree. A conviction for this offense carries a potential penalty of up to 25 years in prison, fines of up to $35,000, or both.

Ref: Minnesota Statutes 609.343

Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

The circumstances that call for charges of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct are similarly complex. If you are convicted of this offense, you can face up to 15 years in prison and fines reaching $30,000 or both. If you are accused of committing sexual penetration with another person and any of the following circumstances exist, you could be facing this charge.

  1. The alleged victim is under the age of 13 and you are no more than 36 months older than them at the time of the offense,
  2. The alleged victim is between the ages of 13 and 16 and you are more than 24 months older than them,
  3. If you use force or coercion to accomplish the act,
  4. If you know or have reason to know that the alleged victim is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless,
  5. If the alleged victim is at least 16 but not yet 18 and you are more than 48 months older and in a position of authority over the victim,
  6. If you have a significant relationship with the alleged victim and they are between the ages of 16 and 18,
  7. You are a psychotherapist, medical doctor, clergy, etc. and the alleged victim is your patient or other similar relationship

Ref: Minnesota Statutes 609.344

Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

If you engage in sexual contact with another person and any of the above (3rd degree sexual conduct) circumstances are present, you could be charged with this offense. If convicted, you could face up to 10 years in prison, $20,000 in fines, or both.

Ref: Minnesota Statutes 609.345

Fifth Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

You could be facing charges of sexual conduct in the fifth degree if there is evidence that you engaged in nonconsensual sexual contact, or that you engaged in masturbation or “lewd exhibition of the genitals” in the presence of a minor. This offense carries up to one year in jail and fines reaching $3,000.

Ref: Minnesota Statutes 609.3451

Child Pornography

Sharing an explicit image or depicting sexual conduct of an underage person is a felony. Even if that underage person is you. This is not uncommon in cases of “Sexting”, but it can still be charged as a crime in Minnesota.

 

The laws of Minnesota are complex and can be confusing. Discussing your case with a local attorney can help ensure you not only understand the charges against you, but that you know your options and have a greater chance at a positive resolution.

Let us put you in contact with a criminal defense lawyer today.