Minnesota Vandalism Laws

There are a variety of laws across the U.S. that are designed to protect people's property rights. These laws address a variety of criminal acts such as theft, arson, trespass, and vandalism. Property rights are important, and each state has enacted laws to protect such rights.

In Minnesota, although there's only one statute addressing vandalism, which is simply called damage to property, a variety of circumstances separate the crime into four degrees.

Minnesota Vandalism Laws at a Glance

When you have a question about the law, one of the best sources of information is the actual text of the statute. Unfortunately, statutory language is rarely straightforward, which is why it's also helpful to read a summary of the statute. In the following table, you can find a brief overview of vandalism laws in Minnesota as well as links to relevant statutes.

Statute(s)

Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 609. Criminal Code: Section 609.595 (Damage to Property)

Defining the Offense

Criminal damage to property in the first degree: Intentionally causing damage to someone else's property where one of the following circumstances is present:

  • The damage caused a reasonably foreseeable risk of bodily harm;
  • The property damaged was a public safety motor vehicle and the damage caused a substantial interruption or impairment of public safety service or a reasonably foreseeable risk of bodily harm;
  • The damage reduced the property's value by more than $1,000 (measured by the cost of repair and replacement); or
  • The damage reduced the property's value by more than $5000 and the defendant has been convicted of first or second-degree damage to property within 3 years.

Criminal damage to property in the second degree: Intentionally causing damage to property because of the property owner's actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin. The damage must also:

  • Be to a public safety vehicle; or
  • Have reduced the property's value by more than $500 but less than $1,000.

Criminal damage to property in the third degree: Intentionally causing damage to a public safety vehicle, or the damage reduces the property's value by more than $500 but less than $1,000.

Criminal damage to property in the fourth degree: Intentionally causing damage described as third-degree damage to property in circumstances that aren't specifically listed.

Penalties

Criminal damage to property in the first degree: Imprisonment for up to 5 years and/or fines of up to $10,000.

Criminal damage to property in the second degree: Imprisonment for up to 1 year and 1 day and/or fines of up to $3,000.

Criminal damage to property in the third degree: Imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or fines of up to $3,000.

Criminal damage to property in the fourth degree: Imprisonment for up to 90 days and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

Related Statute(s)

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 Vandalism Laws: Related Resources

For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.

Get Legal Help with Your Vandalism Case in Minnesota

The charges and penalties for a vandalism conviction are heavily dependent on the specific circumstances of the crime, and it falls on the prosecution to prove that those circumstances were present. If you've been charged with violating Minnesota vandalism laws, it's a good idea to consult with a criminal defense attorney to find out about your options and to have someone on your side to fight the charges.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.