Minnesota commission votes to cap most probation at 5 years

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Probation sentences for most felony convictions in Minnesota would be capped at five years under a plan approved by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

The change approved 8-3 on Thursday is aimed at providing more consistent sentencing across the state. Exceptions would apply for homicides and sex offenses.

The Star Tribune reports that the new guidelines will automatically take effect Aug. 1 unless the Legislature overrules the decision. Minnesota’s probation terms are among the longest in the nation. They can span decades and vary widely across the state, depending on the judge. The change would not be not retroactive.