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What are the Penalties for Vehicle Theft in Minnesota Theft

What are the Penalties for Vehicle Theft in Minnesota

3 years ago by Brian
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Theft crimes are taken seriously in Minnesota, especially when they involve the theft of a vehicle. If you are accused of any type of vehicle theft, your very first call should be to an experienced Woodbury, MN theft crimes lawyer. 

Minnesota takes vehicle theft seriously. Theft, joyriding, and car hijacking are all covered under the law that also covers general theft under the Minnesota statutes. Under that law, Minnesota imposes penalties for theft based on the value of the item stolen. The higher the value, the higher the penalty.  As you may suspect, because most vehicles carry a high value, if you are facing charges for vehicle theft, you are facing the possibility of stiff penalties as well. You want a Woodbury, MN theft crimes lawyer defending you. 

Acts that Constitute Theft

Minnesota law is broad regarding the acts that constitute vehicle theft. In addition to the unlawful taking, using, or concealing of another person’s vehicle with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of possession, vehicle theft can include such things as: 

  1. Promising to deliver a car and failing to do so (a promise made with intent not to perform), 
  2. A taking with an intent to exercise temporary control (joyriding), 
  3. Holding the vehicle for ransom, 
  4. Finding a lost vehicle and not making a reasonable attempt to return it to the rightful owner, and 
  5. Swindling a person of their vehicle, whether by artifice or another mechanism. 

The theft statute covers many types and instances of theft. You could take a vehicle with the intent to sell it, keep it, abandon it, hide it, or sell it to a chop shop. These are all actionable offenses under Minnesota law. Even the removal of the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is considered to be theft. 

Penalties For Vehicle Theft

Under Minnesota law, all vehicular theft is considered to be a felony.  Minnesota law carries a penalty of a maximum of up to five years in jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Minnesota uses sentencing guidelines to determine what punishment should be ordered. If the theft involves a significant risk of physical harm to another person, the sentence can be increased by up to 50% or another two and a half years. If the theft is joyriding, the sentence may be reduced. However, the crime is still considered a felony. 

Felony convictions can impact your life for years, even after your sentence is served. You can lose your job, your apartment, the ability to obtain student loans, and your ability to carry or own any firearms. If you or a loved one are facing vehicular theft charges in the Woodbury area, you need a Woodbury MN Theft Crimes attorney to help you. 

Consult with a Woodbury, MN Theft Crimes Attorney

A felony conviction can affect every part of your life for years.  This is not a time to try to go it alone. You want to have a knowledgeable and experienced defense attorney from J.S. Defense on your side. Our firm has many years of experience handling criminal defense matters. We can evaluate your case and help you develop a strategy to help protect your freedom. The initial consultation is free. You can contact us by email at, by phone at 651-362-9414, or by filling out the evaluation form provided.

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