Judicial Branch Home >
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Criminal & Traffic Division >
15 W Kellogg Blvd Room 900
St Paul, MN 55102
Map / Driving Directions
Law Enforcement Center*
425 Grove St
St Paul MN 55101
Map / Driving Directions
*Hearing Officers are no
longer available at this
2050 White Bear Ave
Maplewood MN 55109
Map / Driving Directions
For FAST ANSWERS to most Criminal Court questions, visit our FAQ Page.
Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Hearing Officers are available by appointment only.)
Expungements: $327 ($310 filing fee + $15 Law Library Fee + $2 Technology Fee) (For more information, see Criminal Expungements)
Uncertified Copies: $10.00 per document
Certified Copies: $16.00 per document
Notary Service: No Charge
Notice to Attorneys and Government Agencies:
EFiling and eService in Ramsey District Court (Second Judicial District) will expand to the Criminal and Traffic Division on February 25th, 2013. This change means that documents filed as part of Criminal & Traffic Division cases will be filed electronically with the following exceptions: original complaints and citations, documents filed by individuals representing themselves, and payable offenses not referred to a judge. The Second Judicial District, as part of its mission, is dedicated to making this transition as smooth and efficient as possible. We encourage you to learn more on our web site. The eFile Home Page offers several support options during regular business hours as well as guides and links to other resources around the clock. For more complete information about this change, visit our efile Home Page at http://www.mncourts.gov/district/2/efile.
The Criminal Division handles all criminal charges brought against individuals by the County Attorney or City Prosecutors. It also handles serious traffic offenses that require a court appearance, such as driving while intoxicated.
Getting Information about a Case
Criminal case records are kept on the 9th floor of the City Hall/County Courthouse. If you would like to inquire about the disposition of a criminal case, call (651) 266-8180. You must know either the case number or the defendant's name and the date of the offense.
If you are inquiring about a suburban, non-felony offense, you may wish to call the Maplewood Branch at (651) 266-1999.
If you are calling about several different cases or if you want a complete record of offenses for an individual, you must come to one of the offices listed above and query the computer records on your own. Computers are set up with access to this information and instructions on how to use the computers are available.
If You Must Appear in Court
If you are charged with an offense where a court appearance is mandatory, you will personally receive a Summons or it will be mailed to you. A Summons is an order to go to court. The Summons will include the time and location of your court appearance. If you contact the court for information or assistance, the clerk will need information from that Summons, so have it with you if you call, and bring it when you come to court. In court, you will be asked to plead Guilty or Not Guilty. If you plead Guilty, you may be sentenced and be immediately expected to pay any fine or fees involved. If your case is complex, the judge may order an investigation prior to sentencing you. This is known as a Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI). If this is ordered, you will need to follow the instructions you receive and reappear later for sentencing.
Pleading Not Guilty to a Court-Required Offense
If you plead Not Guilty, a second appearance date will be scheduled. If the next appearance is a Hearing, then you, the judge, the prosecutor, and your attorney (if you have one) will meet to discuss legal issues and the merits of the case. If the matter cannot be resolved at that time, a trial will be scheduled. In some cases, you can skip the Hearing by waiving certain rights you have.
Your Right to an Attorney
If you are not comfortable representing yourself in court, you may want to consider hiring an attorney. An attorney is your representative in court. No one else you will see in the courtroom is rightfully entitled or obligated to protect your rights. If you don't think you can afford an attorney, but feel that you need one, you can ask the Court to appoint an attorney to represent you without cost. This attorney is called a Public Defender. You need to fill out an application to have one appointed to your case. At your first appearance, just before court starts, there is an announcement regarding this. The clerk will ask those people who would like to apply to come forward. If you intend to apply, make sure you are in court on time to hear the announcement. If you are late, you must make this request immediately.
If you don't qualify for a Public Defender, but don't feel you can afford a private attorney, there is a local non-profit organization called Criminal Defense Services, Inc. They provide low-cost legal representation on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay. For more information, call (651) 215-0668 or click on the link above.
Please remember that the role of Administration staff is strictly to keep a record. Clerks and other administrators have no say in the outcome of any case. It is up to judges and juries to rule and up to the prosecutors to decide when to bring charges and when to drop them.
Contesting a Payable Ticket
There are two forums for contesting a ticket that is not court-mandatory. If you choose, you may have a trial, but a trial is only appropriate if you deny committing the offense you are charged with or if you feel that the State cannot prove you committed it.
There is a second, more convenient method available to those people who do not deny the offense outright. If you wish to explain certain circumstances about what happened and feel that this explanation should be taken into consideration when determining the amount of the fine or if there should be a fine, you may speak to a Hearing Officer, who has the authority to reduce a fine. They are available at the St Paul Courthouse or in Maplewood. To speak with a Hearing Officer, call our St. Paul office to set up an appointment. Instructions and phone numbers are available on our FAQ page. Bring your citation and a photo ID with you to your appointment. You should be aware that fine reduction does not assure that the offense will stay off of your driving record. Parking violations, however, never go on your driving record anyway.
In either case, you must speak with a Hearing Officer. If you want to have a trial, the Hearing Officer must determine the nature of your argument and what and when the next hearing should be. If a trial is appropriate, you will receive a notice as to when and where it will be. All trials involve witness testimony and argument by the Plaintiff and Defendant. Unless you qualify for and are appointed a Public Defender (at a separate court appearance), it will be up to you to hire your own attorney or represent yourself at the trial.
Paying a Fine / Inquiring on the Amount Owed
You can pay a fine in several different ways.
- Pay in person any of the three offices.
- Mail your payment in the envelope that comes with the ticket. Don't mail cash.
- Pay by telephone with a credit card. Call (651) 266-9202. An automated attendant will take you through the necessary steps. Make sure you have your ticket and your credit card ready when you are asked to key in (on your telephone) your ticket number and credit card number. (For most serious offenses, there is no ticket number, so paying by telephone would not be an option.) The automated attendant can tell you the amount of your fine, the day it is due, and even give you directions to the office. You can use it anytime you have these questions.
- Pay on-line with a check or credit card.
Pay Fines On-line
By state law, all fines on court-required offenses are due upon sentencing. This means that, as soon as the judge hands down a sentence in your case, you will be expected to pay any fine in full before you leave the courthouse. If you cannot, you will have to speak with a Hearing Officer. You may be asked to sign an agreement to pay the fine at a later date. The agreement will include specific instructions for payment and the consequences of non-payment. If you don''''t follow these directions, you may be re-sentenced by the judge who originally sentenced you, or your debt may be referred to a collection agency. It might even be subtracted from your tax refund.
Remember that paying a fine amounts to a plea of guilty to the charge. After you pay a fine, you cannot return to the court and demand a trial.
Domestic Violence Cases
The Court has established a committee to establish guidelines for the prosecution of such cases. If you would like more information about their conclusions, consult the Guidelines and Procedures for Domestic Abuse-Related Criminal Cases.
The Department of Public Safety offers support and resources for victims of crime on their Crime Victim Support page.