"Petty misdemeanor" means an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $300 or other amount established by statute as the maximum fine for a petty misdemeanor.
A conviction is deemed a petty misdemeanor if the sentence imposed is within petty misdemeanor limits.
The district court may implement and operate violations bureaus. The State Court Administrator may implement and operate the Minnesota Court Payment Center.
(1) Uniform Fine Schedule. The Judicial Council must adopt and, as necessary, revise a uniform fine schedule setting fines for statutory petty misdemeanors and for statutory misdemeanors as it selects. The uniform fine schedule is applicable statewide, and is known as the Statewide Payables List.
(2) County Fine Schedules. Each district court may establish by court rule for each county a fine for any ordinance that may be paid to the violations bureau in lieu of a court appearance by the defendant. When an ordinance offense is substantially the same as an offense included on the uniform fine schedule, the fine established must be the same.
A defendant must be advised in writing before paying a fine to a violations bureau that payment constitutes a plea of guilty to the charge and an admission that the defendant understands and waives the right to:
a. a court or jury trial;
c. be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt;
d. confront and cross-examine all witnesses; and
e. remain silent or testify for the defense.
(Amended effective January 1, 2012; amended effective August 1, 2012.)
Before trial, the prosecutor may certify a misdemeanor offense as a petty misdemeanor if the prosecutor does not seek incarceration, and seeks a fine at or below the statutory maximum for a petty misdemeanor. Subject to the following exception, certification takes effect only on approval of the court and consent of the defendant. Certification does not require the defendant's consent if the offense is included on the Statewide Payables List on the date of the alleged offense.
(Amended effective August 1, 2012.)
No right to a jury trial exists in a misdemeanor charge certified as a petty misdemeanor under Rule 23.04.
Upon certification of a misdemeanor as a petty misdemeanor, the defendant is not entitled to representation by the public defender. In cases that require the defendant's consent to certification, and the prosecutor moves for certification, the judge must advise an unrepresented defendant of the right to apply for a public defender.
A defendant charged with a petty misdemeanor violation is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Except as otherwise provided in Rule 23, the procedure in petty misdemeanor cases must be the same as for misdemeanors punishable by incarceration.
If a defendant charged with a petty misdemeanor, or a misdemeanor on the Statewide Payables List that is certified as a petty misdemeanor, fails to appear or respond as directed on the citation or complaint, a guilty plea and conviction may be entered, the payable fine amount no greater than the maximum fine for a petty misdemeanor, and any applicable fees and surcharges, may be imposed, and the matter referred to collections. Conviction must not be entered until 10 days after the failure to appear.
(Amended effective August 1, 2012; amended effective February 1, 2013.)
A petty misdemeanor is not considered a crime.