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Glossary of Sentencing Terms - MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges

Glossary of Sentencing Terms

From MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges

Imposition of Sentence

A judge imposes a sentence when he or she informs a defendant, who has pled guilty or has been convicted of a crime, what the “sentencing exposure” will be. The judge decides what portion of the maximum allowable sentence he or she will use and apply to the defendant.

Example, a person pleads guilty to misdemeanor theft. The statutory maximum statutory sentence is 90 days and or a $1,000 fine. The judge imposes a 30 day jail sentence. The judge has limited the maximum jail exposure that the defendant is subject to at 30 days. The person can then serve no more than 30 days for this conviction.

Execution of a Sentence

A judge executes all or a portion of a previously imposed sentence when the judge orders the actual carrying out of all or a portion of a previously imposed sentence.

For example, a person pleads guilty to misdemeanor theft, the statutory maximum sentence is 90 days and or a $1,000 fine. The judge imposes a 30 day jail sentence, then orders execution of 10 of the 30 imposed days (the person serves a jail sentence of 10 days – less good time-, the remaining 20 days are “stayed”)

“Stayed" & Suspended Sentence

This is how a defendant is placed on probation. A jail sentence or a fine is stated (imposed) by the judge but all or a portion of the imposed sentence is not “executed.” Execution of all or a portion the imposed sentence is stayed (hennepin county) suspended (ramsey county). The judge declares what conditions the defendant must follow (positive and negative) to avoid serving the portion of the sentence that has been stayed. The defendant does not have to serve the stayed or suspended part of the imposed jail sentence or pay stayed part of the imposed fine unless the defendant violates any of the terms of probation, for example no new charges of the same nature.

609.135 for Vacation of Plea & Dismissal of the Charge

This can not be given by a judge without the approval of the prosecutor A defendant who receives this disposition:

  1. Pleads guilty and the guilty plea is accepted by the judge,
  2. Is subject to the sentencing authority of the judge
  3. The judge does not impose any sentence, the judge stays imposition of a sentence, (by doing so the judge retains the ability to impose the maximum sentence for the offense level that the defendant pled guilty to if the defendant violates the conditions of probation)
  4. Is required to comply with a variety of conditions, typically; no new similar charges, payment of a fine or costs, restitution, participation in a counseling program,
  5. At the end of the probation period the case comes back on the court calendar, if the terms of probation have been complied with the judge orders the guilty plea withdrawn and the charge dismissed,
  6. During the period of probation the defendant is deemed to be convicted of the offense pled to,
  7. If the person violates the terms of probation they can be sentenced up to the maximum jail term or amount of fine authorized for the offense that they pled guilty to (for example if a person pleads guilty to misdemeanor theft, is sentenced pursuant to 609.135 for vacation and dismissal and violates the terms of probation they can receive up to a 90 jail sentence and or a $1,000 fine),
  8. After vacation of the plea and dismissal of the charge the defendant is no longer deemed to be convicted of the pled to offense. However there is a record of the plea of guilty and subsequent dismissal,
  9. After a 609.135 dismissal the person is not statutorily entitled to an expungement.(this is one of the most difficult sentencing provisions to explain to a client)

Stay of Adjudication

  1. A person pleads guilty to a charge but the judge does not formally accept the guilty plea (the judge stays adjudication of guilt).
  2. The judge takes the guilty plea under advisement and typically sets conditions that the person must comply with to avoid having the judge accept the guilty plea.
  3. The judge can reject or accept the guilty plea during the period of time (determined by the judge) when the plea is under advisement by the judge (one year for misdemeanors multiples of years for a felony).
  4. During the period that the plea is under advisement the person is on informal probation and if the set conditions are not complied with the judge can schedule a hearing and accept the guilty plea, adjudicate the person guilty and sentence the person up to the maximum allowable sentence for the crime they pled guilty to.
  5. If the conditions are complied with, the judge at the end of the stated period rejects the guilty plea and dismisses the charge(s).
  6. A person is not deemed to be convicted of an offense when a tendered plea is under advisement. (stay of adjudication)
  7. See MSA 152.18 for a statutorily authorized stay of adjudication
  8. Unlike a 609.135 for vacation of plea and dismissal a judge is clearly empowered to utilize a stay of adjudication over the objection of a prosecutor. However, the judge must determine that special circumstances exist such as “over reaching” by the prosecutor.

This is a very complicated disposition that is very difficult to explain to clients.

Continued for Dismissal

  1. The charge or charges are left as a pending charge against the person for a stated period of time, usually one year.
  2. The charge is continued for dismissal.
  3. The defendant does not plead guilty.
  4. The state requires that the defendant comply with a variety of conditions during the continuance, typically paying prosecution costs, not be charged with a similar offense or participation in a counseling program.
  5. Note that here the state, not the judge, determines what the “conditions” must be.
  6. If the defendant successfully complies with the conditions the charge is dismissed at the end of the period of the continuance.
  7. The defendant retains the right to go to trial during the period of the continuance, if the conditions are violated.
  8. The one right the defendant gives up is the speedy part of the right to a speedy trial.
  9. After a dismissal a person is statutorily entitled to an expungement of the court record.
  10. A defendant who’s charge is continued for dismissal is not on probation, as the judge has no sentencing authority over the person.


A person on probation is subject to the sentencing authority of the court. The person is either subject to an imposed but not yet executed (stayed) sentence or on probation because of a 609 for discharge or for vacation of the plea and dismissal of the charge. . A violation of the terms of probation can result in the sentencing judge ordering execution of all or a part of the stayed sentence (serving the previously imposed jail sentence and or payment of a fine). If the court’s sentencing jurisdiction was pursuant to 609.135 for discharge or vacation of plea, the judge imposes a sentence and can then execute all or part of the just imposed sentence. The court obtains sentencing jurisdiction over the person when a person pleads guilty or the person is convicted of an offense.

Sentence to Serve (STS)

Sentence to service is a form of community service. It consists of one or more 8 hour days of work for the county, typically cleaning up parks or roads, washing ambulances at Hennepin County Medical Center or removing graffiti. Courts frequently allow convicted defendants to fulfill an executed jail sentence by doing one day of STS for each day of the executed jail sentence. There is a fee of approximately 29.00 for participation in this program. The defendant is billed separately for this fee. Failure to pay the fee is not a violation of probation.


Pride is a counseling and support program for women involved in prostitution.

Good Time

Minn. Stat. 631.425, Subd. 6, states that there is a 1 day reduction in an executed sentence for 2 days served without rule violation

Jail Credit

A defendant is entitled to credit for all time spent in custody following arrest, including time spent in custody on other charges, beginning on the date that the prosecution acquires probable cause to charge the defendant with the offense for which he or she is currently being sentenced. State v. Fritzke, 521 N.W.2d 859, 862 (Minn.App.1994)

Work Release

631.425. Releasing offenders for employment at their customary work

Subd. 3. Continuation of employment. If the person committed under this section has been regularly employed, the sheriff shall arrange for a continuation of the employment insofar as possible without interruption. If the person is not employed, the court may designate a suitable person or agency to make reasonable efforts to secure some suitable employment for that person. An inmate employed under this section must be paid a fair and reasonable wage for work performed and must work at fair and reasonable hours per day and per week.

Hennepin County Adult Correction Facility (Workhouse)Information

Location The Adult Corrections Facility is approximately 12 miles west of downtown Minneapolis and is located in Plymouth. The facility is located in the southeast comer of Vicksburg and County Road 6 intersection (see map below). For directions, visiting hours, etc. call 612-596-0000. Temporary/short term parking for personal vehicles is available at all three buildings. However, it is recommended that you have someone bring you and pick you up. The Adult Corrections Facility is not responsible for vehicles or contents. Parking at the Men's Section is limited to the North Lot only. Work/Study Release and Women's Section parking is on the east (lake side) side of the building. Men's Section -612-596-0002 / 1145 Shenandoah Lane, Plymouth, MN 55447

Women's Section -612-596-0150 / 1355 Shenandoah Lane, Plymouth, MN 55447

Work Release -612-596-0048 / 1345 Shenandoah Lane, Plymouth,: MN 55447

Electronic Home Monitoring -612-596-0132 / 1345 Shenandoah Lane, Plymouth, MN 55447

Hennepin County Web Site www.co.hennepin.mn.us

ACF Automated Phone Information - 612-596-0000

Admissions and Release
When you are sentenced to serve time, you may be instructed to report to the Adult Corrections Facility (ACF) on your own at a specific time, or you may be instructed to report to the Public Safety Facility for transport to ACF, or to the suburban court where you were sentenced. You must report on the date and time as ordered by the court.

  • When reporting bring PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION such as a driver's license, and the PINK COPY of your commitment. All items brought to the facility are subject to inspection/approval. If you report to the facility on your own, you MUST arrange your own transportation upon discharge.
  • It is important that you CONSUME NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES/NON-PRESCRIPTION DRUGS prior to your reporting time. Urinalysis and alco-sensor tests may be utilized. If any of these tests were to have a positive result you may be ineligible for Work/Study Release, Home Electronic Monitoring and furloughs; it may also result in disciplinary action at the facility. These reports may be forwarded to your sentencing judge.
  • Medical care is available at the Men's and Women's Sections. Work/Study Release residents are responsible for maintaining their health care through their own provider. Bring Prescription Medications with you in their original containers when you report in. While at the ACF, if you become ill, see the nurse at sick call or contact the nearest staff member. There will be a small fee for medical services.

Searches and Contraband
Upon admission you will be asked to undergo a strip search which means removal of all your clothing, including the removal of braids, piercing jewelry, etc.; a visual inspection, and a shower while in the presence of custody staff. You, your room/cell and your property can be searched at any time to prevent the introduction or possession of contraband. Contraband is anything not specifically authorized or issued by the Adult Corrections Facility. If you are suspected of introducing or possessing contraband you will be subject to disciplinary action AND possible criminal prosecution. The penalty for introducing or possessing contraband is, as defined by State Statute, up to five years in prison. Any weapon will be confiscated.

Men's and Women's Straight Time -Including 3 Days or Less

  • Leave valuables such as checkbooks, credit cards, jewelry, keys, belts, and any type of food at home. Canteen service is available for residents that have sentences longer than five (5) days. Each resident will have a personal account. Cash, money orders, cashier's checks, bank drafts, federal, state, county and eligible Social Security checks are acceptable for deposit (Not acceptable: payroll, trust account, and personal checks). Hennepin County Library reading material is available. You may receive books and magazine publications directly from the publisher and only through the mail.
  • In case of an emergency you may call the Booking Office as follows: Men's 612-596-0002; Women's 612-596-0150; Work/Study Release 612-596-0048. For visiting information, call 612-596-0000.
  • Items you may bring to the facility; paper bags only -No backpacks/duffel bags, suitcases, etc.; shoes (tennis style, subject to approval); notebooks (non-spiral bindings); bibles and prayer books; non-Polaroid snapshots (No nudes), medical alert bracelets. Hygiene Kits will be provided to each straight time resident upon admission.
  • You are responsible for your own property. ACF clothing is issued to all straight time intakes upon bookings.
  • If you are committed for Three (3) days or 48 Hours or Less: Personal visits and canteen purchases are not permitted. Books are not allowed, as there is access to Hennepin County Library materials.

Work/Study Release
1345 Shenandoah Lane, Plymouth MN 55447

  • Do not expect to be released for work on the day you report.
  • If you plan to drive and park a vehicle at ACF, you must have a valid driver's license or arrange reliable transportation.
  • Bring proof of employment (example: pay stub). Your employer will be contacted to verify your employment.
  • Lockers are available for your valuables. You are allowed up to $25.00 in cash or change for use in vending machines/washers/dryers.
  • You will be charged a daily room and board fee of$16.00 ($112.00/week) plus a weekly transportation surcharge of$8.00 (for a total of $120.00/week). Fees are payable by money order or cashiers check, no cash or personal checks accepted.
  • You may bring: Four (4) changes of clothing, unopened laundry products, seven (7) personal hygiene items, seven (7) make-up items, radio (no tape player), alarm clock, curling iron, hair blower, razor (electric or disposable).
  • For additional information, call 612-596-0048.

Electronic Home Monitoring
1345 Shenandoah Lane, Plymouth MN 55447

  • Do not expect to be placed on Electronic Home Monitoring the same day you report in, even if your commitment states "immediate." You will be placed on Home Monitoring as soon as program criteria are met and staff resources are available. Do not bring your children with you when you report to ACF. *Individuals placed on Home Monitoring must have a working telephone line in their home (cell phone only is not acceptable).
  • No phone features are permitted on a phone line used for home monitoring. You must have the ability to call long distance (your phone must be able to call a toll free, long distance number for program participation). If you have any features on your phone line, they must be removed before you can be placed on the program. Phone features not allowed include: call forwarding, voicemail, recorders, conference lines, call holding, call waiting, caller ill, answering machines and privacy manager. Removing phones features often takes more than one day, so plan accordingly or your placement on the program may be delayed.
  • There is a one-time placement fee of$100.00 for all individuals placed on the Home Monitoring program. Individuals who are placed on Work Release Home Monitoring also pay a daily fee of$16.00 ($112.00/week). Fees are payable by money order or cashier's check, no cash or personal checks accepted.
  • If you are sentenced to Work Release Home Monitoring, bring documentation which will help staff verify your employment, such as pay stubs, work schedules, tax information, and employer information/phone numbers. If staff is unable to verify your employment with your employer, your placement may be delayed. If you have scheduled appointments (treatment, doctor, court, etc.), bring documentation which will enable staff to verify the appointments.
  • Your own transportation is recommended. If you do not have transportation, your placement may be delayed. You must return all Home Monitoring equipment to the ACF on your discharge date.
  • Placements on both Straight Time Home Monitoring and Work Release Home Monitoring occur Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Placements are not routinely done on holidays or weekends. If you are scheduled to start your sentence outside of normal business hours or on a holiday or weekend, your placement may be delayed. Expect to be at the ACF for three to five hours on the date you report for Home Monitoring placement (if program criteria are met).
  • If you have any questions prior to the start of your Home Monitoring sentence, you may call the Adult Correctional Facility -Work Release Home Monitoring at 612-596-0132.

Fee For Services
You will be charged fees for various services received during your stay at the Adult Corrections Facility, including ascending positive drug tests, Rule 25 Chemical Dependency Assessments, medical care and financial accounting services. Effective February 1,2003, the ACF began imposing and collecting a Booking Fee ($25.00) for straight time residents.

Productive Day
The Adult Corrections Facility supports a Productive Day philosophy which requires residents to participate in work activity. Most opportunities for programming, education and recreation exist in the evenings and on weekends. While serving their sentence, residents are expected to make payments toward any court ordered financial obligations, such as fines, restitution and child support. Participation in Productive Day is required by all residents, as opportunities exist. This philosophy reflects community standards and the principle of restorative justice.

No Smoking
Effective September, 1993, the entire Adult Corrections Facility and grounds were declared smoke free. HC4546 07/2009 (page 2)