Criminal Division

The Criminal Division of the County Attorney's Office is responsible for prosecuting adults charged with felony crimes, as well as misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors occurring within the townships. Misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors occurring within the cities of Washington County are prosecuted by the city attorney for each city.

The Criminal Division has eight assistant county attorneys, also known as prosecutors, who have primary responsibility for determining whether a person will be charged with a crime. This decision is based upon an investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency. The assistant county attorneys draft complaints and appear at various court hearings. Prosecutors also prepare and provide annual training to law enforcement agencies.

The Criminal Division prosecutors do not represent individuals in court and cannot provide legal advice to individual citizens. Prosecutors cannot take reports of a crime from individuals.

To report a crime, contact the local law enforcement agency where the crime occurred.

The Criminal Division does not represent defendants and cannot provide legal advice to a defendant.

The laws of Minnesota establish four levels of criminal offenses:
  1. Petty Misdemeanors - punishable by up to a $300 fine
  2. Misdemeanors - punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail
  3. Gross Misdemeanors - punishable by up to a $3,000 fine and one year in jail
  4. Felonies - punishable by more than one year in prison