What Are The Consequences of Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is the act of taking something from a retail store that you didn’t pay for. Unfortunately, shoplifting comes with consequences in Minnesota, ranging from fines to jail time, depending on the severity of the crime. If you’re caught shoplifting, here’s what you can expect next.

Understanding Minnesota’s Shoplifting Laws & Penalties

In Minnesota, there is no specific shoplifting statute. This means shoplifting falls under traditional theft when it comes to the charges. According to Minnesota statute 609.52, the possible penalties for shoplifting are based on the amount of property stolen:


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

What Happens After Being Caught Shoplifting?

After you’re caught shoplifting, it’s up to the retail establishment to choose whether to press charges. While some retailers will immediately call the police, others will allow you to leave with a warning. 


If the retailer calls the police, you may or may not be arrested, depending on the factors of the situation such as your criminal history and the amount of the theft. Remember, you have every right to remain silent until you seek legal counsel.

Next Steps

If you’re charged with shoplifting, we recommend reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help support you through the coming days. You’ll need to attend a court hearing and your attorney may be able to help you lessen your consequences or, if you’ve been wrongly accused, clear your name.

Caught Shoplifting? Reach Out to Our Attorneys Today.

If you’ve been caught shoplifting, there are consequences in Minnesota. The attorneys at White & Associates can help. To learn more about your next steps or for answers to your questions, give us a call at 763-241-0477 or send us a message.


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