Bail and Other Pretrial Release Issues | Domestic Abuse Issues in Minnesota

Domestic Abuse

Pretrial bail evaluation

The local corrections department, or its designee, must conduct a pretrial bail evaluation of each defendant arrested and detained for committing a crime of violence, a gross misdemeanor fifth-degree assault or domestic assault crime, or a nonfelony violation of an OFP or harassment restraining order or harassment, fourth-degree assault, or fifth-degree criminal sexual assault crime. Minn. Stat. § 629.74.

Pretrial release hearing

If a person who is arrested for domestic abuse, harassment, violation of an OFP, or violation of a no-contact order is not released on citation, the judge is to review the facts surrounding the arrest and detention at a hearing. The prosecutor or some other appropriate person must present relevant information involving the victim’s or the victim’s family’s account of the alleged crime to the judge to be considered in determining the arrested person’s release.

In making a decision concerning pretrial release conditions, the judge shall determine and make findings on the record whether: (1) release of the person poses a threat to the alleged victim, another family or household member, or public safety; or (2) there is a substantial likelihood the person will fail to appear at subsequent proceedings. Minn. Stat. § 629.72.

Pretrial release conditions

If the judge decides release is not advisable the judge may impose any conditions of release or bail to protect the alleged victim or other family or household member and to ensure the appearance of the person at subsequent proceedings. These conditions may include:

  • enjoining the person from threatening to commit or committing acts of domestic abuse or harassment, or from violating an OFP or no-contact order;
  • prohibiting the person from harassing, annoying, contacting, or communicating with the alleged victim;
  • directing the person to vacate or stay away from the alleged victim’s home or place of employment;
  • prohibiting the person from possessing a firearm or other weapon;
  • prohibiting the person from possessing or consuming alcohol or controlled
  • substances; and
  • specifying any other requirement that the court deems necessary.

If conditions of release are imposed, the judge shall state the conditions in a written order. Minn. Stat. § 629.72.

Amount of bail

In setting bail, the maximum cash bail that may be required for a person charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor domestic assault or violation of an OFP is six times the highest cash fine that may be imposed for the offense. Minn. Stat. § 629.471.

No-contact orders

The judge may impose, as a condition of release, a requirement that the person have no contact with the victim of the alleged domestic abuse, harassment, violation of an OFP, or violation of a no-contact order. The court may also, on its own motion or that of the prosecutor or on request of the victim, issue an ex parte temporary OFP or harassment restraining order. The temporary order is effective until the defendant is convicted or acquitted, or the charge is dismissed, provided that, upon request, a defendant is entitled to a full hearing. Minn. Stat. § 629.72.

Arrest for violation of a condition of pretrial release

If the judge who released the arrested person (1) receives an application alleging that the arrested person has violated the conditions of release; and (2) finds that probable cause exists to believe that the conditions of release have been violated, the judge must issue a warrant directing the person to be arrested and taken immediately before the judge for a hearing. Minn. Stat. § 629.72.

This and any related posts have been adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Domestic Abuse Laws in Minnesota – An Overview, written by legislative analyst Judith Zollar.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Domestic Abuse in Minnesota.

Leave a Public Comment

  • Someone Whocares
    July 31, 2015, 3:24 am

    Dude, you need to update this page. Max bail on domestics has been 10x the max fine for a few years now. Not going to even get started on the rest…