While some states have laws addressing different types of theft, Minnesota has a single theft statute. Consequences for theft vary based on value of the stolen goods and other factors.
Before facing theft charges in Minnesota, understand the definition and penalties for these crimes.
State definition of theft
An individual commits theft in Minnesota when he or she purposefully hides, keeps, transfers, uses or takes another person’s property without permission and with intent. The statute also covers keeping lost property without a reasonable effort to find the owner and using deception to access services or property without permission.
Penalties for theft in Minnesota
A theft conviction can result in fines and prison time as follows:
- Theft of property valued at less than $500: Fines of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in prison
- Theft of property valued between $500 and $1,000: Fines of up to $3,000 and up to a year in prison
- Theft of property valued between $1,000 and $5,000: Fines of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison
- Theft of property including a Schedule I or II controlled substance, explosive, trade secret, or asset valued at $5,000 or more: Fines of up to $20,000 and up to 10 years in prison
- Theft of a firearm or property valued at $35,000 or more: Fines of up to $100,000 and up to 20 years in prison
Aggravated theft charges
The state imposes enhanced penalties when the theft crime puts another person at risk of serious bodily harm. In this case, the court upgrades misdemeanor charges to felony charges, which carry fines of up to $5,000 and up to three years in prison. When the individual is already facing a charge of felony theft, the judge can increase the person’s prison sentence by 50% if he or she receives a conviction. In addition, offenders convicted of Minnesota public assistance fraud may not receive state assistance in the future.