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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                        CHAPTER 333-H.F.No. 702 
           An act relating to crime; providing that failure to 
          appear for a petty misdemeanor is considered a plea of 
          guilty and waiver of the right to trial; expanding the 
          crime of failure to appear for a criminal court 
          appearance; specifying the attorney with jurisdiction 
          to prosecute the crime; prescribing penalties; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 169.91, 
          subdivision 3; 169.92, as amended; 169.99, 
          subdivisions 1 and 3; and 609.49; proposing coding for 
          new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 609. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
     Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.91, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [NOTICE TO APPEAR.] When a person is arrested for 
any violation of any law or ordinance relating to motor 
vehicles, their registration or their operation, or the use of 
the highways, the arresting officer shall prepare a written 
notice to appear in court.  This place must be before a judge 
within the county in which the offense charged is alleged to 
have been committed who has jurisdiction and is nearest or most 
accessible with reference to the place of arrest.  If the 
offense is a petty misdemeanor, the notice to appear must 
include a statement that a failure to appear will be considered 
a plea of guilty and waiver of the right to trial, unless the 
failure to appear is due to circumstances beyond the person's 
control. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.99, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision 3, 
there shall be a uniform ticket issued throughout the state by 
the police and peace officers or by any other person for 
violations of this chapter and ordinances in conformity 
thereto.  Such uniform traffic ticket shall be in the form and 
have the effect of a summons and complaint.  Except as provided 
in paragraph (b), the uniform ticket shall state that if the 
defendant fails to appear in court in response to the ticket, an 
arrest warrant may be issued.  The uniform traffic ticket shall 
consist of four parts, on paper sensitized so that copies may be 
made without the use of carbon paper, as follows: 
    (1) the complaint, with reverse side for officer's notes 
for testifying in court, driver's past record, and court's 
action, printed on white paper; 
    (2) the abstract of court record for the department of 
public safety, which shall be a copy of the complaint with the 
certificate of conviction on the reverse side, printed on yellow 
paper; 
    (3) the police record, which shall be a copy of the 
complaint and of the reverse side of copy (1), printed on pink 
paper; 
    (4) the summons, with, on the reverse side, such 
information as the court may wish to give concerning the traffic 
violations bureau, and a plea of guilty and waiver, printed on 
off-white tag stock.  
    (b) If the offense is a petty misdemeanor, the uniform 
ticket must state that a failure to appear will be considered a 
plea of guilty and waiver of the right to trial, unless the 
failure to appear is due to circumstances beyond the person's 
control. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.99, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  Any city of the first class, through its 
governing body, may alter by deletion or addition the uniform 
traffic ticket in such manner as it deems advisable for use in 
such city, provided that it includes the notice required by 
subdivision 1, paragraph (b).  In respect to any public 
corporation organized and existing pursuant to sections 473.601 
to 473.679, whose ordinances and regulations for the control of 
traffic are enforced through prosecution in the municipal court 
of one or the other of the cities of the first class included 
within such public corporation, the traffic ticket used in such 
enforcement shall conform to that used by the city of the first 
class in whose municipal court its ordinances and regulations 
are enforced, except as to color and as to information uniquely 
applying to such public corporation and to its ordinances and 
regulations. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 609.49, is 
amended to read: 
    609.49 [RELEASE, FAILURE TO APPEAR.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [FELONY OFFENDERS.] Whoever, being A person 
charged with or convicted of a felony and held in lawful custody 
therefor, is released from custody, with or without bail or 
recognizance, on condition that the releasee personally appear 
when required with respect to such the charge or conviction, and 
who intentionally fails, without lawful excuse, to so appear 
when required or surrender within three days thereafter after 
having been notified that a failure to appear for a court 
appearance is a criminal offense, is guilty of a crime for 
failure to appear and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not 
more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than 
$3,000, or both.  
    Subd. 2.  [GROSS MISDEMEANOR AND MISDEMEANOR OFFENDERS.] A 
person charged with a gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor who 
intentionally fails to appear in court for trial on the charge 
after having been notified that a failure to appear for a court 
appearance is a criminal offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  
    Subd. 3.  [AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE.] If proven by a 
preponderance of the evidence, it is an affirmative defense to a 
violation of subdivision 1 or 2 that the person's failure to 
appear in court as required was due to circumstances beyond the 
person's control.  
    Subd. 4.  [PROSECUTION.] A violation of this section is 
prosecuted by the prosecuting authority who was responsible for 
prosecuting the offense in connection with which the person 
failed to appear in court. 
    Sec. 5.  [609.491] [FAILURE TO APPEAR; PETTY MISDEMEANOR.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [CONSIDERED GUILTY PLEA.] If a person fails 
to appear in court on a charge that is a petty misdemeanor, the 
failure to appear is considered a plea of guilty and waiver of 
the right to trial, unless the person appears in court within 
ten days and shows that the person's failure to appear was due 
to circumstances beyond the person's control. 
    Subd. 2.  [NOTICE.] A complaint charging a person with a 
petty misdemeanor must include a conspicuous notice of the 
provisions of subdivision 1. 
    Sec. 6.  If 1989 Senate File No. 126 is enacted in the 1989 
legislative session, Minnesota Statutes, section 169.92, 
subdivision 4, as amended by 1989 Senate File No. 126, is 
amended to read: 
    Subd. 4.  (a) Upon receiving a report from the court, or 
from the driver licensing authority of a state, district, 
territory, or possession of the United States or a province of a 
foreign country which has an agreement in effect with this state 
pursuant to section 169.91, that a resident of this state or a 
person licensed as a driver in this state did not appear in 
court in compliance with the terms of a citation, the 
commissioner of public safety shall notify the driver that the 
driver's license will be suspended unless the commissioner 
receives notice within 30 days that the driver has appeared in 
the appropriate court or, if the offense is a petty misdemeanor 
for which a guilty plea was entered under section 5, that the 
person has paid any fine imposed by the court.  If the 
commissioner does not receive notice of the appearance in the 
appropriate court or payment of the fine within 30 days of the 
date of the commissioner's notice to the driver, the 
commissioner may suspend the driver's license. 
    (b) The order of suspension shall indicate the reason for 
the order and shall notify the driver that the driver's license 
shall remain suspended until the driver has furnished evidence, 
satisfactory to the commissioner, of compliance with any order 
entered by the court. 
    (c) Suspension shall be ordered under this subdivision only 
when the report clearly identifies the person arrested; 
describes the violation, specifying the section of the traffic 
law, ordinance or rule violated; indicates the location and date 
of the offense; and describes the vehicle involved and its 
registration number. 
    Sec. 7.  If 1989 Senate File No. 126 is enacted in the 1989 
legislative session, Senate File No. 126, section 4, is amended 
to read: 
     Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Section 1 is effective January 1, 1990.  
    Sections 1 to 2 and 3 are effective the day following final 
enactment. 
    Sec. 8.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 3, 5, and 6 are effective January 1, 1990, 
and apply to petty misdemeanors committed on or after that date. 
    Section 4 is effective August 1, 1989, and applies to 
crimes for failure to appear committed on or after that date.  
     Section 7 is effective the day following final enactment. 
    Presented to the governor May 30, 1989 
    Signed by the governor June 1, 1989, 11:15 p.m.