Theft is generally defined as taking another person's property without their consent and with the intention to permanently deprive them of the item taken. Each state, however, has its own specific definition of acts that constitute theft -- called larceny in some jurisdictions. While many states have separate statutes addressing specific types of theft, such as shoplifting and auto theft, some states - including Minnesota - have a single statute that encompasses all forms of theft.
Minnesota Theft Laws: The Basics
Statutory language usually isn't written in a clear and straightforward way, which is why reading a summary of the law can be very helpful when looking for the answer to a legal question. In the following chart, you can find an overview of theft laws in Minnesota as well as links to relevant statutes.
Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 609. Criminal Code: Section 609.52 (Theft)
|Sample of Acts Constituting Theft
There are a variety of acts that constitute theft in Minnesota. Here's a sample* of such acts:
- Intentionally (and without the right to do so) taking, using, transferring, hiding or keeping someone else's movable property without the owner's consent and with intent to permanently deprive them of possession of the property.
- Obtaining property or services through the use of deception.
- Finding lost property and, while knowing or having reasonable means to find out the owner, keeping the property or giving it to someone else without first making a reasonable effort to find the owner and give them the property.
*For more acts that constitute theft, please see the statute.
The penalties for theft depend on the character and/or value of the property that was stolen. Here are some samples* of penalties for theft:
- If the value of the property or services is more than $35,000 or if the property stolen is a firearm: Imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or fines up to $100,000.
- If the value of the property or services was more than $5,000 or if the property stolen was a trade secret, explosive, or Schedule I or II controlled substance (not including marijuana): Imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or fines up to $20,000.
- If the value of the property or services is more than $500 but not more than $1,000: Imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or fines up $3,000.
- If the value of the property or services is $500 or less: Imprisonment for up to 90 days and/or fines up to $1,000.
*For the complete penalties, please see the statute.
Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 609. Criminal Code:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Minnesota Theft Laws: Related Resources
For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.
Arrested for Theft in Minnesota? Talk to an Attorney
The charges and penalties for theft depend on the circumstances surrounding the crime, and it's up to the prosecution to prove that those circumstances were present. The best way to defend against theft charges is to hire a local criminal defense attorney who can explain how Minnesota theft laws apply to your case and defend you in plea negotiations and/or court.