In Minnesota, theft charges are taken seriously, and the penalties for a conviction can be harsh.
If the State has charged you with theft, you may wonder, What is the punishment for theft in Minnesota?
Theft offenses in Minnesota can be charged as misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors, or as a felony. The specific incident, dollar amount or loss of value, and any prior convictions will dictate the penalty.
If you or someone you love has been accused of a theft offense, you should seek a criminal defense attorney immediately.
What Is the Penalty for Theft in Minnesota?
The penalty for theft and potential sentence will depend on whether the State charges you with a misdemeanor or felony.
Misdemeanor and Gross Misdemeanor Theft
Misdemeanor theft is broken up into two categories based on the value of the property stolen.
If the value of the theft is less than $500, it is considered a standard misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
If the value of the theft is over $500 but up to $1,000, the offense bumps up to a gross misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000, or both.
As a general rule in Minnesota, theft is a felony if the value of the stolen property is over $1,000. Felonies, by definition, are crimes that are punishable by a year or more in state prison.
Theft of property worth between $1,000 and $5,000 is punishable by a five-year prison sentence and up to a $10,000 fine.
You may face 10 to 20 years in prison, a fine between $20,000 and $100,000, or both if the property is valued at between $5,000 and $35,000, or the property is:
- An explosive or trade secret,
- A schedule I or II controlled substance, or
- A firearm.
Furthermore, what would otherwise be a misdemeanor theft charge may rise to that of a felony if the accused has a recent prior history of theft.
The term theft actually encompasses many different crimes. Theft can be shoplifting merchandise from a store.
However, theft also includes:
- Stealing services, money, or personal property,
- Swindling or making a false statement or representation,
- Borrowing property such as a car without permission, and
- Renting property or items without paying for them.
As detailed above, the degree of theft will depend on the amount of money or value of the property you allegedly stole.
What Are the Legal Consequences of Theft?
In addition to jail time and fines, other legal ramifications follow a theft conviction, including a criminal record.
A tarnished criminal record will make it harder to land a job, obtain a loan, get housing, and become a US citizen (for non-citizens), and could even negatively impact your right to vote or own a firearm.
Don’t risk your reputation and freedom; contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The punishment for even petty theft can be harsh. If you have been charged with committing theft of any kind, you need skilled counsel on your side.
Our Minnesota criminal defense attorney has years of experience helping clients fight for their freedom.