Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to press charges or drop charges. All crimes are considered offenses against the State, not solely against the victim.
The Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office prosecutes criminal complaints on behalf of the State of Minnesota. Only the attorney prosecuting the case can decide to file or dismiss charges, although the victim’s voice is important in that decision. Many factors are considered when deciding whether to honor a victim’s request not to proceed with prosecution, including:
Victims may speak with the Victim Witness Coordinator about their feelings and/or wishes regarding whether or not a case moves forward.
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No. The Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office is prevented by law from answering legal questions or offering legal advice to private citizens. We do offer some resources for where you can obtain legal assistance or learn more about legal matters. Legal information and resources are also available via the Minnesota Judicial Branch Self Help Center and LawHelp Minnesota.
A subpoena is a court order requiring the recipient to testify in court. Witnesses are subpoenaed because they have relevant information regarding an alleged crime, and their testimony is essential to the outcome of a case. Employers and schools must allow persons who have been subpoenaed to respond without penalty.
Because a subpoena is a court order, you are required to appear unless released by the attorney who issued the subpoena. The judge has the authority to issue arrest warrants for witnesses found in contempt of court for failing to respond to a court order. Lack of transportation to court is not an excuse for release from a subpoena; not responding to a court subpoena can result in criminal charges.
Court can be slow and monotonous. Both the time of a witness' appearance and the duration of a particular proceeding can be difficult to predict for a number of reasons. Be prepared to spend time waiting to testify.
The Constitutions of the United States and the State of Minnesota guarantee each defendant the right to face his or her accusers. The Mille Lacs County Victim Witness Coordinator can also answer any further questions regarding testifying in court.
Crime victims and witnesses are not required to go to court unless subpoenaed. However, victims of a crime committed by an adult offender have the right to attend any hearings. Many juvenile hearings are closed to the public. The Victim Witness Coordinator is available to explain the proceedings and/or escort you to the courtroom.
Restitution is the financial responsibility of the defendant to the victim, and is only available if the defendant is convicted of a crime and the judge orders it be paid. It may only be ordered for expenses directly related to the crime, including property losses.
Reparations are financial assistance from the government, and are available to victims of violent crime regardless of whether the case is charged or the offender is convicted; however, reparations are only available for violent crimes reported to law enforcement.
More information is available from the Crime Victims Reparations Board. If a victim is identified in a criminal case, they will receive information by mail from the Victim Witness Coordinator that includes a restitution affidavit. If you need additional information about restitution or an application for reparations, contact the Victim Witness Coordinator.
Bail is a deposit of money to secure a defendant’s release. Bail is held by the court and may be forfeited if the defendant fails to make future court appearances, breaks the law, or violates conditions of release.
Bond, also known as bail bond, is paid by a third party (often a bail bondsman) in a contractual agreement with the defendant when the defendant is unable to afford bail.
Contact the Attorney General’s Office at 800-657-3787. The website contains links to a number of valuable resources and provides information about obtaining publications that explain the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Other publications address issues unique to mobile home parks. Another excellent resource is the Minnesota Courts Self-Help Center.
You will need the name of the defendant; date of birth is helpful, if known. There are a few websites available that can be used to track defendants who may be in custody:
Crime victims may also receive a document from the Mille Lacs County Victim Witness Coordinator, informing a victim of sentencing information related to a defendant’s custody status.
Contact the police agency that created the report to request a copy. Please be aware that strict data practice laws govern the release of information related to an ongoing investigation or information related to minors.
For information regarding jury duty, please visit the Minnesota Judicial Branch's Jury Service.
Information about traffic tickets is available from Mille Lacs County Court Administration at 320-983-8313 or by making a payment on the Minnesota Judicial Branch's Payment Portal.