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MINNEAPOLIS CRIMINAL & VETERANS DEFENSE

What Is Minnesota's Shoplifting Law?

Generally, shoplifting is when someone takes an item from a store without paying for it. But it also includes instances of people using tricks or deception to leave the retailer without paying full price for the merchandise. For example, say Jerry wants some high-end headphones. They're a little out of his price range, but a set of razors isn't. Jerry swaps the barcode on the razors with the one on the headphones. Thus, when he checks out at the register, the headphones ring up for a lot less than their actual value. Jerry's actions may be considered shoplifting.

Can You Go to Jail for Shoplifting in MN?

Minnesota does not have a specific shoplifting statute. However, that does not mean a person who commits the offense cannot face penalties.

Minnesota's theft laws prohibit conduct considered shoplifting. The statute provides that if a person intentionally takes another's property without consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of it, they're committing a crime. Thus, walking into a store, taking merchandise, and leaving without paying falls under the law. Several other clauses to the theft law exist, such as obtaining property by artifice or device, but the one related to shoplifting is the first clause.

Anybody convicted of theft can be incarcerated and/or fined, which means if a person shoplifts, they can be facing jail or prison time.

The term of incarceration for a shoplifting offense depends on the value of the item stolen:

  • Property valued at over $35,000 is penalized by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000
  • Property valued at over $5,000 is penalized by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000
  • Property valued at over $1,000 but not more than $5,000 is penalized by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
  • Property valued at over $500 but not more than $1,000 is penalized by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000
  • Merchandise valued at $500 or less is penalized by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000

Under Minnesota law, if a person commits a shoplifting offense (or any other theft crimes) within six months, the value of the stolen property will be aggregated. This means that if Jerry from the earlier example took, between March and August, 10 pairs of headphones worth $100 each, the court will add together the cost of each set. He would be accused of theft of property of $1,000 (10 x $100). Thus, instead of the court sentencing him to a jail term of up to 90 days, it may incarcerate him for up to 1 year.

If you've been charged with a theft crime in Minneapolis, call Brockton D. Hunter P.A. at (612) 979-1112 or submit an online contact form today. We'll provide the defense you need.

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