The severity of the penalty for a theft offense in Minnesota generally depends on the value of the goods allegedly taken. As noted by the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes, an individual convicted of theft may spend up to 90 days in jail when the goods taken have a value of $500 or less.
If the goods have a worth substantially greater than $500, a charged individual may face several years of incarceration. To avoid a long-term sentence, however, a defendant has a legal right to counter a prosecutor’s evidence or persuade the court to order a lesser penalty, such as probation.
Probation may include court-ordered requirements
Individuals facing a long-term jail sentence for a theft of expensive goods, such as jewelry or a vehicle, may decide to work with the court to reduce their punishment. When a charged individual agrees to a plea bargain and admits to the offense, a prosecutor may accept probation as an alternative to imprisonment. A sentence without incarceration, however, may require performing community service and paying restitution.
As reported by KIMT News, a 39-year-old Mower County man avoided incarceration by pleading guilty to taking a roofing truck and received a five-year probation sentence. While the court did not order him to jail, it required him to perform 50 hours of community service and pay more than $4,000 in restitution.
Certain cases may require a plea-bargain to obtain a reduced sentence
Every charge has its own particular details and weight of evidence. In certain cases, such as when the worth of the goods taken is high or the prosecutor’s evidence is overwhelming, a plea bargain may reflect an optimal path toward a reduced sentence.