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Finding the Presumptive Sentence

The presumptive sentence for a felony conviction is found in the appropriate cell on the applicable Grid located at the intersection of the criminal history score and the severity level. (See About the Guidelines for more detailed information.) 

When determining the presumptive sentence it is important to always use the Guidelines in effect when the current offense was committed. If multiple offenses are an element of a single conviction offense or if the offenses are aggregated into a single count, the factfinder must determine the specific date of offense to use. Unless the factfinder determines a different offense, the earliest date should be used.

There are several offenses that have either mandatory minimums provided in statute or are presumptive commitments regardless of criminal history per the Sentencing Guidelines. See the Mandatory Sentences page to learn more about these specific offenses.

Components of a Minnesota Sentence

There are two components of a Minnesota Sentence: the duration and the disposition.

Duration: The duration refers to the length of time the offender is sentenced to serve in prison. The duration is found in the appropriate cell on the applicable Grid. For executed sentences, a range will also be provided. If the sentence is a stay of imposition, no duration will be pronounced at sentencing. If the probation is later revoked, a duration would be pronounced.

Disposition: The disposition refers to the Guidelines recommendation for a probation or prison sentence. For cells in the shaded area of the Grid, the Guidelines recommend probation, and for cells in the non-shaded area of the Grid, the Guidelines recommend commitment to prison.

When a sentence is executed, it is broken into two parts: a minimum term of imprisonment and a maximum period of supervised release. For offenders committed to the Commissioner of Corrections for crimes committed on or after August 1, 1993, the "term of imprisonment" is equal to two-thirds of the executed sentence.

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