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1999 Minnesota Session Laws

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                            CHAPTER 218-S.F.No. 441 
                  An act relating to crime prevention; modifying the 
                  criminal penalties for certain crimes to provide more 
                  uniformity; creating a pretrial diversion program for 
                  writers of dishonored checks; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1998, sections 332.50, subdivision 2; 609.52, 
                  subdivision 3; 609.535, subdivision 2a; 609.631, 
                  subdivision 4; and 609.821, subdivision 3; proposing 
                  coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 628. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 332.50, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ACTS CONSTITUTING.] Whoever issues any check 
        that is dishonored is liable for the following penalties:  
           (a) A service charge of up to $20, or actual costs of 
        collection not to exceed $30, may be imposed immediately on any 
        dishonored check, regardless of mailing a notice of dishonor, if 
        notice of the service charge was conspicuously displayed on the 
        premises when the check was issued.  If a law enforcement agency 
        obtains payment of a dishonored check, a service charge not to 
        exceed $25 may be imposed if the service charge is retained by 
        the law enforcement agency for its expenses.  Only one service 
        charge may be imposed under this paragraph for each dishonored 
        check. 
           (b) If the amount of the dishonored check is not paid 
        within 30 days after the payee or holder has mailed notice of 
        dishonor pursuant to section 609.535 and a description of the 
        penalties contained in this subdivision, whoever issued the 
        dishonored check is liable to the payee or holder of the check 
        for: 
           (1) the amount of the check, the service charge as provided 
        in paragraph (a), plus a civil penalty of up to $100 or the 
        value of the check, whichever is greater.  The civil penalty may 
        not be imposed until 30 days following the mailing of the notice 
        of dishonor.  A payee or holder of the check may make a written 
        demand for payment of the civil liability by sending a copy of 
        this section and a description of the liability contained in 
        this section to the issuer's last known address.  Notice as 
        provided in paragraph (a) must also include notification that 
        additional civil penalties will be imposed for dishonored checks 
        for nonpayment after 30 days; 
           (2) interest at the rate payable on judgments pursuant to 
        section 549.09 on the face amount of the check from the date of 
        dishonor; and 
           (3) reasonable attorney fees if the aggregate amount of 
        dishonored checks issued by the issuer to all payees within a 
        six-month period is over $1,250. 
           (c) This subdivision prevails over any provision of law 
        limiting, prohibiting, or otherwise regulating service charges 
        authorized by this subdivision, but does not nullify charges for 
        dishonored checks, which do not exceed the charges in paragraph 
        (a) or terms or conditions for imposing the charges which have 
        been agreed to by the parties in an express contract. 
           (d) A sight draft may not be used as a means of collecting 
        the civil penalties provided in this section without prior 
        consent of the issuer. 
           (e) The issuer of a dishonored check is not liable for the 
        penalties described in paragraph (b) if a pretrial diversion 
        program under section 628.69 has been established in the 
        jurisdiction where the dishonored check was issued, the issuer 
        was accepted into the program, and the issuer successfully 
        completes the program. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.52, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [SENTENCE.] Whoever commits theft may be 
        sentenced as follows: 
           (1) to imprisonment for not more than 20 years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $100,000, or both, if the 
        property is a firearm, or the value of the property or services 
        stolen is more than $35,000 and the conviction is for a 
        violation of subdivision 2, clause (3), (4), (15), or (16); or 
           (2) to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both, if the 
        value of the property or services stolen exceeds $2,500, or if 
        the property stolen was an article representing a trade secret, 
        an explosive or incendiary device, or a controlled substance 
        listed in schedule I or II pursuant to section 152.02 with the 
        exception of marijuana; or 
           (3) to imprisonment for not more than five years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if: 
           (a) the value of the property or services stolen is more 
        than $500 but not more than $2,500; or 
           (b) the property stolen was a controlled substance listed 
        in schedule III, IV, or V pursuant to section 152.02; or 
           (c) the value of the property or services stolen is more 
        than $200 $250 but not more than $500 and the person has been 
        convicted within the preceding five years for an offense under 
        this section, section 256.98; 268.182; 609.24; 609.245; 609.53; 
        609.582, subdivision 1, 2, or 3; 609.625; 609.63; 609.631; or 
        609.821, or a statute from another state, the United States, or 
        a foreign jurisdiction, in conformity with any of those 
        sections, and the person received a felony or gross misdemeanor 
        sentence for the offense, or a sentence that was stayed under 
        section 609.135 if the offense to which a plea was entered would 
        allow imposition of a felony or gross misdemeanor sentence; or 
           (d) the value of the property or services stolen is not 
        more than $500, and any of the following circumstances exist: 
           (i) the property is taken from the person of another or 
        from a corpse, or grave or coffin containing a corpse; or 
           (ii) the property is a record of a court or officer, or a 
        writing, instrument or record kept, filed or deposited according 
        to law with or in the keeping of any public officer or office; 
        or 
           (iii) the property is taken from a burning, abandoned, or 
        vacant building or upon its removal therefrom, or from an area 
        of destruction caused by civil disaster, riot, bombing, or the 
        proximity of battle; or 
           (iv) the property consists of public funds belonging to the 
        state or to any political subdivision or agency thereof; or 
           (v) the property stolen is a motor vehicle; or 
           (4) to imprisonment for not more than one year or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both, if the value 
        of the property or services stolen is more than $200 $250 but 
        not more than $500; or 
           (5) in all other cases where the value of the property or 
        services stolen is $200 $250 or less, to imprisonment for not 
        more than 90 days or to payment of a fine of not more than $700, 
        or both, provided, however, in any prosecution under subdivision 
        2, clauses (1), (2), (3), (4), and (13), the value of the money 
        or property or services received by the defendant in violation 
        of any one or more of the above provisions within any six-month 
        period may be aggregated and the defendant charged accordingly 
        in applying the provisions of this subdivision; provided that 
        when two or more offenses are committed by the same person in 
        two or more counties, the accused may be prosecuted in any 
        county in which one of the offenses was committed for all of the 
        offenses aggregated under this paragraph. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.535, 
        subdivision 2a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [PENALTIES.] (a) A person who is convicted of 
        issuing a dishonored check under subdivision 2 may be sentenced 
        as follows: 
           (1) to imprisonment for not more than five years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if the 
        value of the dishonored check, or checks aggregated under 
        paragraph (b), is more than $500; 
           (2) to imprisonment for not more than one year or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both, if the value 
        of the dishonored check, or checks aggregated under paragraph 
        (b), is more than $250 but not more than $500; or 
           (2) (3) to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $700, or both, if the value 
        of the dishonored check, or checks aggregated under paragraph 
        (b), is not more than $250. 
           (b) In a prosecution under this subdivision, the value of 
        dishonored checks issued by the defendant in violation of this 
        subdivision within any six-month period may be aggregated and 
        the defendant charged accordingly in applying this section.  
        When two or more offenses are committed by the same person in 
        two or more counties, the accused may be prosecuted in any 
        county in which one of the dishonored checks was issued for all 
        of the offenses aggregated under this paragraph. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.631, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [SENTENCING.] A person who is convicted under 
        subdivision 2 or 3 may be sentenced as follows: 
           (1) to imprisonment for not more than 20 years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $100,000, or both, if the 
        forged check or checks are used to obtain or in an attempt to 
        obtain, property or services of more than $35,000 or the 
        aggregate amount of the forged check or checks is more than 
        $35,000; 
           (2) to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both, if the 
        forged check or checks are used to obtain or in an attempt to 
        obtain, property or services of more than $2,500 or the 
        aggregate amount of the forged check or checks is more than 
        $2,500; 
           (3) to imprisonment for not more than five years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if: 
           (a) the forged check or checks are used to obtain or in an 
        attempt to obtain, property or services of more than $200 $250 
        but not more than $2,500, or the aggregate face amount of the 
        forged check or checks is more than $200 $250 but not more than 
        $2,500; or 
           (b) the forged check or checks are used to obtain or in an 
        attempt to obtain, property or services of no more 
        than $200 $250, or have an aggregate face value of no more 
        than $200 $250, and the person has been convicted within the 
        preceding five years for an offense under this section, section 
        609.24; 609.245; 609.52; 609.53; 609.582, subdivision 1, 2, or 
        3; 609.625; 609.63; or 609.821, or a statute from another state 
        in conformity with any of those sections, and the person 
        received a felony or gross misdemeanor sentence for the offense, 
        or a sentence that was stayed under section 609.135 if the 
        offense to which a plea was entered would allow imposition of a 
        felony or gross misdemeanor sentence; and 
           (4) to imprisonment for not more than one year or 
        to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both, if the 
        forged check or checks are used to obtain or in an attempt to 
        obtain, property or services of no more than $200 $250, or the 
        aggregate face amount of the forged check or checks is no more 
        than $200 $250. 
           In any prosecution under this subdivision, the value of the 
        checks forged or offered by the defendant in violation of this 
        subdivision within any six-month period may be aggregated and 
        the defendant charged accordingly in applying the provisions of 
        this section.  When two or more offenses are committed by the 
        same person in two or more counties, the accused may be 
        prosecuted in any county in which one of the checks was forged 
        or offered for all of the offenses aggregated under this 
        paragraph. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.821, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [SENTENCE.] (a) A person who commits financial 
        transaction card fraud may be sentenced as follows: 
           (1) for a violation of subdivision 2, clause (1), (2), (5), 
        or (8): 
           (i) to imprisonment for not more than 20 years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $100,000, or both, if the 
        value of the property the person obtained or attempted to obtain 
        was more than $35,000, or the aggregate amount of the 
        transactions under this subdivision was more than $35,000; or 
           (ii) to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both, if the 
        value of the property the person obtained or attempted to obtain 
        was more than $2,500, or the aggregate amount of the 
        transactions under this subdivision was more than $2,500; or 
           (iii) to imprisonment for not more than five years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if the 
        value of the property the person obtained or attempted to obtain 
        was more than $200 $250 but not more than $2,500, or the 
        aggregate amount of the transactions under this subdivision was 
        more than $200 $250 but not more than $2,500; or 
           (iv) to imprisonment for not more than five years or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both, if the 
        value of the property the person obtained or attempted to obtain 
        was not more than $200 $250, or the aggregate amount of the 
        transactions under this subdivision was not more than $200 $250, 
        and the person has previously been convicted within the 
        preceding five years for an offense under this section, section 
        609.24; 609.245; 609.52; 609.53; 609.582, subdivision 1, 2, or 
        3; 609.625; 609.63; or 609.631, or a statute from another state 
        in conformity with any of those sections, and the person 
        received a felony or gross misdemeanor sentence for the offense, 
        or a sentence that was stayed under section 609.135 if the 
        offense to which a plea was entered would allow imposition of a 
        felony or gross misdemeanor sentence; or 
           (v) to imprisonment for not more than one year or to 
        payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both, if the value 
        of the property the person obtained or attempted to obtain was 
        not more than $200 $250, or the aggregate amount of the 
        transactions under this subdivision was not more than $200 $250; 
        and 
           (vi) in any prosecution under clauses (i) to (v), the value 
        of the transactions made or attempted within any six-month 
        period may be aggregated and the defendant charged accordingly 
        in applying the provisions of this section.  When two or more 
        offenses are committed by the same person in two or more 
        counties, the accused may be prosecuted in any county in which 
        one of the card transactions occurred for all of the 
        transactions aggregated under this paragraph; 
           (2) for a violation of subdivision 2, clause (3) or (4), to 
        imprisonment for not more than three years or to payment of a 
        fine of not more than $5,000, or both; or 
           (3) for a violation of subdivision 2, clause (6) or (7): 
           (i) if no property, other than a financial transaction 
        card, has been obtained by the defendant by means of the false 
        statement or false report, to imprisonment for not more than one 
        year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both; 
        or 
           (ii) if property, other than a financial transaction card, 
        is so obtained, in the manner provided in clause (1). 
           (b) In any prosecution under paragraph (a), clause (1), the 
        value of the transactions made or attempted within any six-month 
        period may be aggregated and the defendant charged accordingly 
        in applying the provisions of this section.  When two or more 
        offenses are committed by the same person in two or more 
        counties, the accused may be prosecuted in any county in which 
        one of the card transactions occurred for all of the 
        transactions aggregated under this paragraph. 
           Sec. 6.  [628.69] [PRETRIAL DIVERSION PROGRAM FOR WRITERS 
        OF DISHONORED CHECKS.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] As used in this section: 
           (1) a person is an "offender" if the person is charged 
        with, or probable cause exists to arrest or charge the person 
        with, a violation of section 609.535, but the person has not yet 
        entered a plea in the proceedings; 
           (2) "pretrial diversion" means the decision of a prosecutor 
        to refer an offender to a diversion program on condition that 
        the criminal charges against the offender will be dismissed 
        after a specified period of time, or the case will not be 
        charged, if the offender successfully completes the program; and 
           (3) "prosecutor" means a city or county attorney. 
           Subd. 2.  [ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.] A prosecutor may 
        establish a pretrial diversion program for offenders.  The 
        program may be conducted by the prosecutor or by a private 
        entity under contract with the prosecutor. 
           Subd. 3.  [DIVERSION OF OFFENDER.] In determining whether 
        to accept an offender for pretrial diversion, the prosecutor 
        shall consider: 
           (1) the value of the dishonored check or checks; 
           (2) whether the offender has a criminal record or has 
        previously been diverted under this section or any other 
        diversion program; 
           (3) the number of dishonored check grievances against the 
        offender previously received by the prosecutor; 
           (4) whether there are other dishonored check grievances 
        currently pending against the offender; 
           (5) the strength of the evidence, if any, of intent to 
        defraud the victim; and 
           (6) the wishes of the victim regarding placement in the 
        program. 
           Subd. 4.  [PROGRAM COMPONENTS.] (a) At a minimum, the 
        pretrial diversion program must require offenders to: 
           (1) successfully complete an appropriate educational class 
        or classes at their own expense which includes information on 
        writing checks and managing money; 
           (2) make full restitution to the victim of the offense; and 
           (3) pay appropriate penalties under section 332.50, 
        subdivision 2, paragraph (a). 
           (b) If the prosecutor determines that requiring an offender 
        to pay for the educational class described in paragraph (a), 
        clause (1), would result in an economic hardship to the offender 
        or the offender's family, the prosecutor may waive the 
        requirement. 
           Subd. 5.  [NO CIVIL LIABILITY.] A victim of an offender who 
        successfully completes a pretrial diversion program under this 
        section may not recover the penalties described in section 
        332.50, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), if the penalties relate to 
        the offense resulting in completion of the diversion program. 
           Subd. 6.  [REPORTING OF DATA TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE 
        INFORMATION SYSTEM (CJIS).] Every county attorney who has 
        established a pretrial diversion program under this section 
        shall report the following information to the bureau of criminal 
        apprehension: 
           (1) the name and date of birth of each diversion program 
        participant, and any other identifying information the 
        superintendent considers necessary; 
           (2) the date on which the individual began to participate 
        in the diversion program; 
           (3) the date on which the individual is expected to 
        complete the diversion program; 
           (4) the date on which the individual successfully completed 
        the diversion program, where applicable; and 
           (5) the date on which the individual was removed from the 
        diversion program for failure to successfully complete the 
        individual's goals, where applicable. 
           The superintendent shall cause the information described in 
        this subdivision to be entered into and maintained in the 
        criminal history file of the Minnesota criminal justice 
        information system. 
           Subd. 7.  [REPORTS.] By January 15 of each odd-numbered 
        year, each prosecutor shall report to the supreme court and the 
        chairs of the senate and house committees having jurisdiction 
        over criminal justice policy on the operation of any pretrial 
        diversion program established under this section.  The report 
        must include a description of the program, the number of 
        offenders participating in the program, the number and 
        characteristics of the offenders who successfully complete the 
        program, the number and characteristics of the offenders who 
        fail to complete the program, and an evaluation of the program's 
        effect on the operation of the criminal justice system within 
        the prosecutor's jurisdiction. 
           Sec. 7.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 and 6 are effective August 1, 1999.  Sections 2 
        to 5 are effective August 1, 1999, and apply to crimes committed 
        on or after that date. 
           Presented to the governor May 21, 1999 
           Signed by the governor May 24, 1999, 9:46 a.m.

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