What are Minnesota Felony “Crimes of Violence?”
Minnesota Felony “Crimes of Violence” statute includes non-violent crimes.
Minnesota Statutes §624.712, subdivision 5 offers the statutory definition. And it lists felony convictions of murder; robbery; assault; false imprisonment; criminal sexual conduct; malicious punishment, neglect or endangerment of a child; prostitution; theft of a firearm or controlled substance; arson; burglary; unlawful possession of firearms; threats; harassment; and controlled substance crimes; or an attempt to commit these.
And, this statute is about civil rights and guns. It strips civil rights for life, if convicted of a listed crime.
But nineteen other Minnesota statutes reference or incorporate it in 203 instances. Clearly, its impact is wide, and deep. And these 203 statutory references to “Minnesota crimes of violence” cover a range of topics:
- Driving Records
- Pardons, Restoration Of Civil Rights
- Human Services Background Studies
- Records & Effect Of Juvenile Court
- Testimony Of Witnesses
- Property Forfeiture
- Certain Persons Not To Possess Firearms
Moreover, this statute defining “Minnesota felony crimes of violence” can send a person to prison for mere possession.
And, under this statute the most common “crimes of violence” are, in fact, non-violent crimes!
Non-violent “Crimes of Violence” list
So consider these examples of non-violent crimes included in the definition of “Minnesota Crimes of Violence” in Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 5. Marijuana possession felonies: More than two pounds of plant-form marijuana is a felony to possess. And over 160 grams of concentrate is a felony to possess. See our page: Weight Thresholds for Marijuana Criminal Prosecutions in Minnesota.
But, since Minnesota statutes define “crimes of violence” to include non-violent crimes, we ask. Is this law Constitutional? Is this law fair or just? Or, will a jury refuse to enforce a law that attempts to define words opposite to their common meaning?
So far, the courts have not yet chosen to reign in this legislative abuse. But, any jury can refuse to accept an unjust law.
And the people of Minnesota can ask the legislature to repair this injustice; by removing non-violent crimes from the Minnesota “crimes of violence” list.
If we want to strip a person with a violent crime conviction, of citizenship rights for life; why are non-violent crimes on this list? But the law defies its own internal logic.
We should reform this law, to make it less unfair. But until then, we can refuse to enforce an unjust law. And that is a cornerstone reason for the jury trial, and the jury’s power.
Minnesota Felony “Crimes of Violence” statute
Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 5. (2019) ‘”Crime of violence’ means: felony convictions of the following offenses:Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 5 (2019)
sections 609.185 (murder in the first degree); 609.19 (murder in the second degree); 609.195 (murder in the third degree); 609.20 (manslaughter in the first degree); 609.205 (manslaughter in the second degree); 609.215 (aiding suicide and aiding attempted suicide);
609.221 (assault in the first degree); 609.222 (assault in the second degree); 609.223 (assault in the third degree); 609.2231 (assault in the fourth degree); 609.224 (assault in the fifth degree); 609.2242 (domestic assault); 609.2247 (domestic assault by strangulation);
609.229 (crimes committed for the benefit of a gang); 609.235 (use of drugs to injure or facilitate crime); 609.24 (simple robbery); 609.245 (aggravated robbery); 609.25 (kidnapping); 609.255 (false imprisonment);
609.322 (solicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution; sex trafficking); 609.342 (criminal sexual conduct in the first degree); 609.343 (criminal sexual conduct in the second degree); 609.344 (criminal sexual conduct in the third degree); 609.345 (criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree); 609.377 (malicious punishment of a child); 609.378 (neglect or endangerment of a child); 609.486 (commission of crime while wearing or possessing a bullet-resistant vest);
609.52 (involving theft of a firearm and theft involving the theft of a controlled substance, an explosive, or an incendiary device); 609.561 (arson in the first degree); 609.562 (arson in the second degree); 609.582, subdivision 1 or 2 (burglary in the first and second degrees); 609.66, subdivision 1e (drive-by shooting); 609.67 (unlawfully owning, possessing, operating a machine gun or short-barreled shotgun); 609.71 (riot); 609.713 (terroristic threats); 609.749 (harassment); 609.855, subdivision 5 (shooting at a public transit vehicle or facility); and chapter 152 (drugs, controlled substances); and an attempt to commit any of these offenses.”
FAQ: “What if my conviction is no longer on ‘crimes of violence’ list?”
Does the Minnesota felony “Crimes of Violence” list at the time of the conviction control? Or is the current version of the Minnesota felony “Crimes of Violence” statutes that controls? The current version controls.
That question was answered by the Minnesota Supreme Court in a case involving a carry permit denial. The applicant had been adjudicated delinquent for theft of a motor vehicle in 1998. The court held he was eligible to possess a firearm because the Legislature in 2014 removed that offense from the definition of “crime of violence” in Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 5. Tapia v. Leslie, 950 NW 2d 59 (Minn. Supreme Court 2020).
Implications of Minnesota “Crimes of Violence” law
So if you face any of the felony charges on the statute’s list; know that a conviction results in a default lifetime loss of civil rights to firearms. And though some might eventually get restoration; most never will.
Considering that mere possession of a firearm triggers mandatory prison for a prohibted person, caution is in order.
So we see people who lost their civil rights for a non-violent crime; and later serve prison time for another non-violent crime, simple possession. But outcomes like that – imprisoning non-violent criminals for mere possession – violate the apparent purpose of the law and basic fairness.
But, for now, the last defense may be a good criminal defense lawyer. So, educate yourself about the “Minnesota Felony Crimes of Violence” statute, before it’s too late. And bring some lawyering power to bear.
About Attorney Thomas Gallagher
Thomas Gallagher is a criminal defense attorney with over 35 years experience helping people. And this includes charges of Minnesota Felony “Crimes of Violence.” So he developed expertise in gun laws, to help protect rights. And now he teaches gun law CLE classes to other lawyers.
Attorney Thomas Gallagher handles every kind of gun charge case. And he helps people with other criminal charges with gun enhancements.