Minnesota Shoplifting Laws

As more Americans turn to the internet for their shopping needs, brick and mortar spots lose favor with many shoppers. However, institutions like the Great Mall of America in Bloomington continue to be a popular destination for shoplifters.

If you indulge in shoplifting in Minnesota, you may be subject to costly fines and even time behind bars if you're convicted. Because shoplifting is a form of theft and Minnesota has no shoplifting statute, the actual charges are for "theft." Like many states, theft penalties in Minnesota are based on the property value of the merchandise involved.

Summary of Minnesota Shoplifting Laws

Reading the entire text of a complex statute isn't generally a quick endeavor. However, reading an abridged and readable version of the content provides a useful and efficient way to get acquainted with the law before talking to an attorney. Read on for a synopsis of shoplifting laws in Minnesota.

Statute

Minnesota Statutes:

Possible Penalties and Sentencing

 

The actual penalties depend on the specific facts of the case including factors such as criminal history. The following are general guidelines for shoplifting penalties:

  • Property value of less than $500: Misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • Property value of more than $500, up to $1,000: Gross misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine up to $3,000.
  • Property value of over $1,000, less than $5,000: Felony, punishable by a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • Property value $5,000 up to $35,000: Felony, punishable by a sentence of up to 10 years and/or a fine up to $20,000.
  • Property value of more than $35,000: Felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $100,000.

Civil Penalties

Minnesota recognizes civil liability for theft. The shoplifter is liable to the owner of the property for its value when stolen, plus punitive damages of either $50 or up to 100% of its value when stolen, whichever is greater.

Related Offenses

Minnesota Statutes:

  • Section 609.521 (possession of shoplifting gear)
  • Section 609.53 (receiving stolen property)

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 Shoplifting Laws: Related Resources

Need Help with Shoplifting Charges in Minnesota? Talk to an Attorney

If you or someone you know has been accused of breaking Minnesota's shoplifting laws, then you should seek professional legal help. You don't want to deal with the humiliation, hefty fines, and incarceration that come with a conviction. Talk to a local criminal defense attorney about the possibility of getting your charges reduced or a dismissal of your case altogether.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.