If you are arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI in Minnesota there are certain things you need to know about the court jurisdiction in which you will be required to appear in court. Both the city of Apple Valley and the city of Burnsville are located in the County of Dakota. This county is located in the First Judicial District of the State of Minnesota which comprises several other counties including Carver, Scott, Mcleod, Sibley, Goodhue and LeSueur.
Like every county in the district, Dakota County has a particular set of district court judges assigned to the bench to preside over criminal cases such as DWI. If your DWI offense occurred with in the city of Apple Valley or Burnsville, then all your court appearances will be located at either the district courthouse located in Apple Valley or the main courthouse for Dakota County located in Hastings, Minnesota. Which courthouse you be required to appear depends on your level of DUI charge.
For instance, if your charge is a gross misdemeanor offense or felony, then generally you be assigned to appear in court at the district court located in Hastings. The degree of DWI offense you are charged with will determine the court in which you appear. For instance example, gross misdemeanor DWI offenses include charges of second and third degree driving under the influence of alcohol. A misdemeanor offenses is called a fourth degree DWI. You can read more about the various degrees of driving while intoxicated in Minnesota if you click on the link above. If your offense is a gross misdemeanor level, then the judge will generally address what your conditions of release will be at your first appearance in Hastings. Such conditions could include no use of alcohol monitored by a breath testing device, bail and to obviously remain law abiding and keep in contact with your attorney.
If your offense is a misdemeanor, then your initial court appearance will be located in Apple Valley. The first appearance is referred to as an arraignment. At this appearance, you will usually be required to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you enter a plea of not guilty, you will be given another date to appear for court called a pretrial conference. This will also be located in Apple Valley. Lastly, if you case is not resolved through plea negotiations and is set for jury trial, then your case will be transferred to the main courthouse in Hasting for the trial.
Both Apple Valley and Burnsville have different municipal city attorneys that handle the prosecution of DWI cases that are less than a felony. If the offense is a felony level DUI, the Dakota County Attorney’s Office will be responsible for the prosecution of such offenses. If your offense is a gross misdemeanor level offense and occurred within the city of Apple Valley, then the law firm who currently has the contract and is assigned to handle the prosecution is Dougherty & Molenda PA. If your offense occurred in Burnsville and is a non-felony level DWI, then the prosecutor will be from the firm Campbell Knutson. If you are represented by an attorney and would like to speak with the prosecutor about your case, you should have your attorney contact the specific prosecutor directly as opposed to you attempting the same.