According to a report from the Mankato Free Press, a local man was arrested after leading police in a chase in a stolen vehicle. An officer from the Mankato Public Safety Center attempted to pull over a vehicle just outside of Erlandson Park after noticing that it had a revoked license plate. The man driving refused to pull the car over and led law enforcement on a chase before colliding with a tree.
The driver, Damarcus Deontay Holloway, got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, before being apprehended a few blocks away from the scene of the accident. He was booked into jail in Blue Earth County on stolen vehicle charges. In this article, our Mankato criminal defense attorney provides an overview of automobile theft charges in Minnesota.
Theft of a Motor Vehicle in Minnesota: Criminal Charges
There is not a specific statute for motor vehicle theft in Minnesota. Instead, automotive theft falls under the state’s general statute for theft. Under Minnesota law (Sec. 609.52 MN Statutes), motor vehicle theft is defined broadly as the taking or using of an automobile without the valid consent of the vehicle’s owner or an authorized agent of the owner. To convict a defendant of motor vehicle theft, a Minnesota prosecutor must show that the defendant knew or should have known that they did not have the authorization to use the automobile.
Motor Vehicle Theft is a Felony Offense in Minnesota
Although stealing an automobile falls under Minnesota’s general theft statute, it would be a big mistake to assume that it is a minor offense. Quite the contrary, automotive theft is a felony offense in Minnesota. It is punishable by maximum criminal penalties of up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. As with other types of criminal charges, the specific circumstances of the case will have an impact on the severity of the penalties.
Related Offense: Robbery (Carjacking)
Carjacking—defined as the violent theft of an occupied vehicle—is a more serious criminal offense than auto theft. Unlike some other states, Minnesota does not have a carjacking statute. However, a person accused of carjacking can be charged with an aggravated robbery offense under Sec. 609.245 MN Statutes. If a deadly weapon or the threat of a deadly weapon is used to commit the carjacking offense, it can be charged as first degree robbery—a serious felony offense carrying maximum penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine in Minnesota.
Call Our Mankato, MN Criminal Defense Lawyer for Legal Help
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota criminal defense lawyers have the skills, experience, and tenacity that you and your family can trust. For a fully confidential initial consultation with a defense lawyer, please give us a call or reach out to us through our online contact form. We provide criminal defense representation throughout South Central Minnesota, including in Mankato, Rochester, St. Peter, Owatonna, and Walnut Grove.