Minnesota Attorney on Domestic Violence: Prior to Trial

Pretrial Bail Evaluation Report Concerning the Person Arrested

The jail, or someone selected by the jail, must do a pretrial bail evaluation for each person arrested and detained for committing a crime of violence, a gross misdemeanor fifth-degree assault or domestic assault crime, or a non-felony violation of an Order for Protection or a harassment restraining order or harassment, fourth-degree assault, or fifth-degree criminal sexual assault crime. Minn. Stat. § 629.74.

Pretrial Hearing for Release of the Person Arrested

If a person who is arrested for domestic abuse, harassment, violation of an Order for Protection, 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 on the Person Arrested and Released from Custody

A court may, if release is deemed inappropriate, impose any terms and conditions of release or bail. The court can do this if it deems it appropriate in order to protect any alleged victim(s), any family member(s), or any members living in the house; the court can also do this in order to ensure the person appears in court as ordered for all future court dates. Such terms and conditions can include:

  • enjoining the person from threatening to commit or committing acts of domestic abuse or harassment, or from violating an Order for Protection 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 the court imposes any such terms or condition of release, then the court must also declare such terms or condition in a written order. Minn. Stat. § 629.72.

Bail Amounts set for the Person Arrested

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 Order for Protection is 6 times the highest cash fine that may be imposed for the offense. Minn. Stat. § 629.471.

No-Contact Orders on Person Arrested

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 Order for Protection, 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 Order for Protection 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

The court may issue a warrant for a person’s arrest and require that person to be brought before the court for a hearing immediately upon that person’s arrest if the court that previously released that person on bail has probable cause to believe that the person arrested has violated the terms or conditions of their release or bail. Minn. Stat. § 629.72.

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