If you are suspected of a crime, you will be charged based on the alleged facts of your case. In most instances, this means that police charge an individual with a low-level offense. However, if certain factors are present, the charges can be enhanced or upgraded. That means your misdemeanor can become a gross misdemeanor, and your gross misdemeanor can become a felony. This can lead to much more severe penalties for your crime.
But what types of crimes can be enhanced, and what types of factors would lead to upgraded charges? In today’s blog, we take a closer look at enhanceable factors in Minnesota.
Types Of Enhanceable Crimes In Minnesota
There are a few types of crimes that can be enhanced based on the circumstances here in Minnesota. Some crimes that can be enhanced include:
- Drunk Driving
- Domestic Assault
- Order For Protection Violations
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it does cover the major list of charges that can be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor or felony.
What Triggers An Enhancement?
For the vast majority of the crimes listed above, the most common factor that triggers an enhancement of a current charge is if you have committed a similar offense in the past. For example, if you have a DWI on your record within the last 10 years, your next DWI will result in enhanced charges because of that previous conviction. Similarly, if you have assault or domestic abuse convictions on your record within the last 10 years, any new offense will be enhanced. Basically, if you’ve been convicted of a similar crime within a set amount of time, you’ll face enhanced charges for any new incidents.
DWIs can also lead to enhanced charges if aggravating factors are present. We talk more about those factors in this separate blog, but certain conditions present at the time of your arrest can lead to enhanced charges. For example, if you are caught driving with an extremely high blood alcohol concentration (above 0.16) or you have minors in the vehicle with you when you’re arrested, your criminal charges can be enhanced to a gross misdemeanor, which means the possibility of higher fines and more jail time.
The goal of these enhanceable penalties is to deter individuals from falling back into bad habits. Defendants need to know that if they are again charged with a similar crime, that the penalties will be more severe this time around.
So if you have been charged with an enhanced offense, or you just want help defending yourself against any type of criminal charge, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.