Sets the maximum sentence for gross misdemeanors at 364 days to resolve an inconsistency in federal and state law.
Under Minnesota state law, the maximum sentence for a gross misdemeanor is 365 days. This conflicts with federal immigration law, which defines an offense that carries a sentence of 365 days or more as an aggravated felony. This inconsistency means two people can be convicted of the same gross misdemeanor, with one sentenced to 364 days and the other to 365 days. Yet the person with the 365-day sentence may face virtually automatic deportation if they are a non-citizen because federal immigration law considers the offense a felony. Reducing the sentence by one day ensures the state’s policymaking intent is met, and provides greater clarity in the legal system.