The most common property crime in Minnesota is criminal damage to property. Intentional property damage to private or public property (vandalism) can be a felony or misdeameanor level offense. The crime is divided into 3 classifications based on severity.
1st Degree Criminal Damage to Property
If you intentionally cause damage to someone else’s property without their consent and any of the following apply, you will face charges of criminal damage to property in the 1st degree:
- The damage causes a reasonable risk of bodily harm,
- The property belongs to a common carrier (utility) and impairs the service to the public,
- The damage reduces the value of the property by more than $1,000, or
- The damage reduces the value of the property by more than $500 and you have a prior conviction of this offense.
This charge is a felony and carried a potential sentence of up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Minnesota 2nd Degree Criminal Damage to Property
If you intentionally cause damage to someone else’s property because of someone’s race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin you could face this charge and be sentenced to a potential one year and one day prison sentence and fines reaching $3,000.
This charge is reserved for malicious vandalism relating to so-called hate crimes.
Minnesota 3rd Degree Criminal Damage to Property
This is the most common property destruction offense in Minnesota, for the lowest amount of damage, typically for damage with repair or replacement costs under $1000. If you intentionally cause damage to another person’s property without their consent you could be charged with 3rd degree criminal damage to property.
This misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to one year or a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.
Ref: Minnesota Statutes §609.595
Damage to Property of Critical Public Service Facility, Utility, or Pipeline
This offense applies to utilities and public service facilities that provide large scale service to the public. If you cause damage to the property of one of these bodies with the intent to significantly disrupt the operation of services without authority or consent you could be charged with this felony.
This charge carries a hefty potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $20,000.
Ref: Minnesota Statutes §609.594