What Is a Rule 8 Hearing?

A Rule 8 hearing is a criminal procedure in the court systems of the state of Minnesota. It governs the rules of second appearances in court for felony and gross misdemeanor cases.

The purpose of a Rule 8 hearing is to advise a defendant again of his legal rights. It gives him an opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or to request or waive an omnibus hearing under Rule 11. At a Rule 8 hearing, the court must inform the defendant of the charge against him and his right to counsel. The court also must ensure that the defendant has a copy of the indictment or the complaint against him. The defendant’s bail or other previous conditions of release may be modified or continued at a Rule 8 hearing.

The only plea a defendant may enter at a Rule 8 hearing is a guilty plea. If the defendant does not wish to plead guilty, the arraignment continues until the omnibus hearing. The defendant and the prosecutor must also each choose to waive or demand a hearing. An omnibus hearing must be held no later than 28 days unless the prosecution or defense shows good cause to extend the wait time.