County Attorney: Criminal Division
Contact & about information
Criminal division roles and responsibilities
The Criminal Division of the Olmsted County Attorney's office is responsible for prosecuting adults charged with felony crimes (can carry a potential prison sentence), as well as some gross misdemeanors and misdemeanors (maximum of one year in local jail).
The Criminal Division prosecutes crimes that occur outside of Rochester city limits as well as those cities for which the office holds prosecution contracts (Byron, Stewartville, Oronoco, Eyota, Dover and portions of Chatfield and Pine Island). Some gross misdemeanors and all misdemeanors occurring within the City of Rochester are typically prosecuted by the City Attorney
Prosecution can involve reviewing the investigation reports provided by law enforcement, filing criminal complaints, presenting cases before a grand jury, representing the state in court hearings and trial, and making sentencing recommendations. The prosecutorial duties of the county attorney are enumerated in eighty-eight (88) separate Minnesota statutes.
Criminal Division attorneys represent the State of Minnesota, which initiates a criminal charge against a person accused of a crime and can only provide legal advice to law enforcement. Criminal Division attorneys do not represent individuals in a court case, cannot provide legal advice to individual citizens or take reports from individuals.
The Criminal Division does not represent defendants and cannot provide legal advice to a defendant. At the first court appearance, a defendant has the opportunity to apply for the services of a Public Defender, if eligible.
The laws of Minnesota establish four levels of criminal offenses
- Petty Misdemeanors punishable by up to a $300 fine.
- Misdemeanors punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
- Gross Misdemeanors punishable by up to a $3,000 fine and one year in jail, and
- Felony punishable by more than one year in prison.
The Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure establish the procedure used by the Court and attorneys to move a case through the judicial system.
To report a crime, contact your local law enforcement agency where the crime occurred.