Criminal Defense Practice

Minnesota Sex Crimes Attorney:
Experienced & Trusted Representation

Understanding The Complexities Of Sex Crimes In Minnesota

Minnesota Sex Crimes Attorney

In Minnesota, a sex crime is any criminal offense involving sexual behavior or conduct and may include sex trafficking and forced labor, child pornography, sexual assault, sexual abuse, exploitation of children and persons with disabilities, and other forms of non-consensual sexual contact.

Sex crimes also involve the handling and distribution of obscene materials. 


The severity of charges varies depending on the jurisdiction, with many serving higher punishments for those charged with coerced sex or sex with minors. Judgments vary from probation to time in prison.

Why Choose Us As Your Minnesota Sex Crimes Attorney For Your Case?

If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is critical to seek experienced legal counsel as early as possible.

A knowledgeable sex crime defense attorney can help defend your rights and prevent significant alterations to your life. 

At Sterle Law Office, we have extensive experience working as Minnesota sex crimes attorney on cases, which have resulted in the dismissal of charges, acquittals, and reduced sentences for many in the state.

Given the sensitive nature of the cases, we handle the cases with compassion, ensuring understanding and support for our clients throughout the legal process.

Through crafting vigorous defense strategies, we have established proven results in combatting charges.

Table of Contents

The Impact Of Sex Crimes

Potential repercussions include considerable jail or prison sentences; hefty fines, restitution, or other expenses; sex offender registration; and the potential loss of professional licenses and opportunities to work in certain industries.

Sex Offender Registration Requirements In Minnesota

Should you be convicted of a sex crime in Minnesota, you must register as a sex offender.

A sex offender registration is required even if you were originally charged, and the sex crime conviction was reduced to a lesser charge. If you do not register, extensions to your registration period or jail time may occur. 

In Minnesota, individuals required to register must do so for a minimum period of 10 years or the duration of their probation, whichever is longer. Some offenders are required to register for life. If an offender is convicted of Failure to Register, an additional five years is added to their registration period for each such conviction. 


There are three levels of sex offenders in Minnesota, which are determined by an offender’s risk level based on the following:

  • History of prior offenses, including components of the offender and victim’s relationship, the number of victims, and antisocial behaviors posing a risk. 

  • The degree of harm – based on factors like the probable age of a victim or physical damage likely to be sustained – posed to others should the offender re-offend. 

  • Evidence the perpetrator will re-offend should they be released into the community. 

  • Physical conditions like chronic health problems, physical disability, or advanced age, which could diminish risk. 

  • History of substance abuse and response to prior treatment programs and efforts. 

  • Availability of support within their community and programs, as well as probability they will take advantage of them.

Levels Of Sex Offenders

Level 1 - Low risk of re-offending

Level 1 offenders typically register for 15 years, and verification is annual. Those who commit non-violent sex crimes against someone 18 or older and are of sound mind and not disabled are considered a low risk, and are thus, classified as Level 1.

Level 2 - Moderate risk of re-offending

Level 2 offenders usually register for 25 years, and verification is bi-annual. For nonviolent crimes committed against those under the age of 18, offenders are deemed to have a low risk of re-offending, resulting in a Level 2 classification.

Level 3 - High risk of re-offending

The highest level of sex offenders, Level 3, tend to be at an increased risk of re-offending, so they must register for the rest of their lives, and verification is required quarterly.

Violent sex crimes and those perpetrated against minors and some adults have a high risk of recidivism, justifying the Level 3 label.


First-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

A first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge for sexual penetration and sexual contact with a victim under 13 years old comes with a maximum 30-year prison sentence and/or a $40,000 fine.

Second-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

A conviction of second-degree criminal sex conduct – sexual contact with another person and other circumstances similar to first-degree criminal sex conduct – results in a prison sentence of 25 years and/or a fine of up to $35,000.

Third-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges involve sexual penetration of another person and other circumstances like those in the first degree, including the offender knowing the victim was mentally impaired or physically helpless.

The sentence for third-degree criminal sexual conduct is up to a $30,000 fine and/or up to 15 years in prison.

Fourth-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct is sexual contact with another individual and other situations similar to those in third-degree criminal sexual conduct. A conviction carries a fine of up to $20,000 and/or a 10-year prison sentence.

Fifth-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct

Non-consensual sexual contact or acts showing the genitals to those under 16 result in a fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.

Convictions result in a one-year prison sentence and/or a $3,000 fine. It may be classified as a felony if it is the same offense in another state or a second offense to someone under 16.

The felony conviction is punishable by a five-year prison sentence and/or a $10,000 fine.

Your Rights And The Legal Process

Traditionally, the legal process follows the following steps during sex crimes cases:

Speaking With Law Enforcement

Law enforcement will question you to gather information for the case.

Prosecutors can purposely misinterpret the defendant’s statements for their benefit; therefore, we tend to recommend exercising your right to remain silent to avoid incriminating yourself.

If communication with law enforcement is necessary, Sterle Law Office will guide you.

Communication Throughout Investigation

Throughout the investigation, we will seek circumstances in which we can challenge accusations, raise questions, seek evidence to disprove the allegations, and negotiate with the prosecution to lessen or drop the charges.

Protecting Your Rights

One of our highest priorities is to ensure your rights, including the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures, are protected throughout the legal process. Violations may result in the reduction or dismissal of your charges or evidence being thrown out of court.

Maneuver The Legal System

Given the complexity of the legal system, Sterle Law Office is there to guide you through the process, determining the ideal defense strategies, how to position yourself should the case go to trial, and more.