Lakeville, MN asked in Criminal Law for Minnesota

Q: If I pay a fine/citation for a criminal misdemeanor after being arrested, do I still have to go to the arraignment?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Luke Neuville
Luke Neuville
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Generally no, when you pay a fine or citation it is considered a guilty plea and you waive your right to a trial. The scheduled arraignment should be automatically canceled. In limited circumstances, you can withdraw your guilty plea after paying a ticket. For more information, contact Neuville Law Office at 612-293-6654 or visit neuvillelawiffice.com.

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: A misdemeanor is a crime. A crime in Minnesota carries a potential jail or prison term, in the event of a conviction. Generally a person charged with a crime must appear in court since a person cannot be sentenced to jail or prison without due process (fair procedures) in a court. But the courts and prosecutors in Minnesota have developed a list of "payable offenses" which include misdemeanors treated as if they were petty misdemeanors. Since petty misdemeanors are punishable by a fine only (no arrest, jail, or prison possible), a person can plead guilty by paying the fine, without going to court. If a person does pay a fine on a "payable" -listed misdemeanor offense, their court record may show a misdemeanor statute charged with the petty misdemeanor sentence, and will not be able to go to court unless they file a motion to re-open.

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