A majority of crimes are prosecuted under state criminal laws instead of federal statutes. Whether you have been charged with a crime or are only curious about how particular offenses are treated through Minnesota’s statutes, it’s important to educate yourself on what the law dictates. In this article, we explain the various crimes defended against in Moorhead and provisions of the law when it comes to these offenses. Contact us today at Ringstrom Law if you have been charged with any of the following crimes.

Theft Crimes

Minnesota criminal law lists several specific acts that, if committed, would warrant charging the crime of theft. For example, you commit theft under the criminal code if you

  • Intentionally take, use, transfer, retain possession of, or conceal property that belongs to someone else, intending to deprive its owner of it
  • Obtain custody, title, or possession of services or property by purposefully deceiving someone else with false representation
  • File an untrue medical claim
  • Rent or lease an individual property but fail to pay for it or return it
  • Find a lost item of property and not make any reasonable effort to return it to its owner
  • Tap into someone else’s cable TV line without authorization
  • Take or drive an automobile without consent from the owner

Like most states, Minnesota categorizes theft crimes based on the worth of the services or property taken. Sometimes, theft offenses are classified based on the property type. The classification is as follows:

Property Worth Less Than $500

Stealing property worth less than $500 is the lowest tier of theft offense in Moorhead. It’s occasionally referred to as petty theft, and it happens when the worth of the services or property stolen is five hundred dollars or less. If you commit this kind of theft, you may be imprisoned for not more than ninety days. You may also be subjected to a fine that does not exceed $1,000.

Property Valued at Between $500 and $1,000

If the stolen services or property is over $500 but less than $1000, a theft crime may be punished by a jail sentence that does not exceed one year and up to $3,000 in fines.

Property Worth $1,000 to $5,000

If the stolen service or property value is over $1,000 but not over $5,000, the theft crime may be punished by not more than five years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000. Theft crimes under this category also include

  • Stealing a Schedule V, IV, or III controlled substance
  • Stealing services/property valued at over $500 but not over $1000, and you’ve been convicted before of the same crime
  • The stolen property isn’t worth over $1000, and you took it from a grave, coffin, or corpse
  • The property is a court or public record
  • You took the property during a disaster or riot
  • The property is an automobile

Property Worth Over $5,000

Where the stolen service or property value is over $5,000, the crime may be punishable by a prison sentence that doesn’t exceed ten years and up to $20,000 in fines. Theft crimes under this class also include

  • Stealing an incendiary device or explosive
  • Stealing a trade secret
  • Stealing a Schedule II or I controlled substance that’s not marijuana

Property Valued at Over $35,000

This form of theft is the most severe. It is punished by not more than twenty years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. Theft offenses under this category include

  • Stealing services or property worth over $35,000 when specific aggravating circumstances are present, including deceit, a vulnerable adult victim, or fraud
  • Stealing a firearm valued at any cost

If charged with any of the above offenses in Moorhead, don’t hesitate to call us right away. We will fight to defend your rights and ensure that you stay out of jail and avoid hefty fines. Where that’s not possible, we may be capable of negotiating a deal that will enable you to face reduced charges that carry more lenient penalties. We have won multiple theft jury trials.

Sex Crimes

When you’re facing a sex offense charge in Moorhead, you’re facing the reputation-ruining possibility of sex offender registration and prison time. Regardless of how severe the charges against you are, you can rely on our Moorhead criminal attorneys for the legal representation and powerful advocacy your case needs. The various sex crimes that we handle include

  • Child sexual abuse
  • Child pornography
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Computer-related sex offenses
  • Indecent exposure
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Statutory rape
  • Solicitation

If you’re found guilty of any sex crime in Moorhead, there is a high chance that you’ll be obligated to register as a sex offender even before you’re done serving your sentence. Being convicted of criminal sexual conduct, soliciting a child to participate in prostitution or any other sexual conduct, and felony indecent exposure result in registration as a sex offender, known as a predatory offender in Minnesota. For these crimes, offenders are often obligated to register for at least ten years.

Whether you are facing a sex offense accusation at the federal or state level, your stakes will be high. Apart from lifetime or lengthy terms of registering as a sex offender, you will also face life-changing repercussions due to having a sex offense conviction on your record. For you to eliminate or minimize these consequences, our criminal defense lawyers possess years of experience and proven talent, and have extensive resources to assist you when you need it most.

Drug-Related Crimes

Minnesota is one of the states that have strict laws regarding drug possession and use. Drug-related crimes in Minnesota state have five degrees, as well as a separate misdemeanor level. Based on the degree with which you are charged, the potential penalties can be more severe in that they could truly alter your life. Usually, it takes a criminal defense attorney’s help to prove that the charges against you are untrue or to enter a plea deal negotiation to help you through the criminal charges.

As mentioned above, Minnesota drug-related crimes are classified in five degrees. Whereas a fifth-degree offense is the least severe, a first-degree crime is the most critical for most people that are facing these charges. Different factors affect what degree of the offense you will be charged with. They include the drug type, where you have the drugs, and the total amount or the weight you are alleged to possess. When the classification of the drug justifying the offense is more severe, the severity of the charges you will face may increase as well. The same often happens if there are multiple quantities of two or more substances or more than a few grams of a single drug. If you have illegal drugs close to where minors congregate or a school, the charges against you will be more severe.

When charged with a drug-related crime in Moorhead, you have various choices. It’s usually critical to hire a Moorhead criminal attorney to assist you in deciding what legal step to take. A criminal defense attorney that’s knowledgeable about crimes related to drugs and how prosecutors work in prosecuting these offenses is the best person to provide information and advice. He or she may increase the chances of the best possible outcome by disproving the charges against you or negotiating a plea deal to reduce your sentence. If there’s a lack of proof, the lawyer can also assist you in getting your charges dropped.

Violent Crimes

The penalties for violent offenses are very severe. You may be subjected to a significant prison sentence, not to mention hefty fines and a permanent criminal record, if you get convicted. The types of violent offenses you can be charged with include

  • Domestic assault
  • Assault and aggravated assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Battery and aggravated battery
  • Harassment/stalking
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Weapons offenses
  • Child neglect or abuse
  • False imprisonment/kidnapping

If you are facing charges of any of these violent crimes in Moorhead, we invite you to contact our firm right away. Our Moorhead criminal attorneys boast aggressive criminal defense strategies and commit to helping clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases.


Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, referred to as DWI (driving while intoxicated) in Minnesota, is unlawful and could carry severe penalties. DWI statutes have put in place the limits for BAC levels, penalties, and testing rules for driving an automobile while under the influence.

Like most states, the maximum lawful BAC level in Minnesota is under 0.08. This means if you have a 0.08 BAC level, the prosecution does not need any other proof of impairment to have you charged. You can also face aggravated DWI charges that allow for enhanced punishments if you have a 0.16 or more BAC level. If you are below the lawful alcohol consumption age of twenty-one years old, you will be subjected to the zero-tolerance law, whereby any BAC level, regardless of how low, could lead to a DWI charge.

DWIs can be categorized into first-degree DWI, second-degree DWI, third-degree DWI, and fourth-degree DWI based on the number of times you have been convicted within the past ten years and certain other factors. DWI offenses carry both criminal and administrative penalties. Criminal consequences are imposed by the court, administrative penalties by the DMV. The punishments can be enhanced in instances where the DWI crime causes an accident, death, or property damage.

DWI statutes can be complicated. If you are facing charges in Moorhead, consult with our criminal defense lawyers who will explain the laws to you, including the rights and responsibilities you have as a motorist.

Find a Moorhead Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

Being convicted of any crime can change your life as you knew it. For one, you might spend several years in prison away from your loved ones. Or your reputation may be ruined, with people not wanting to associate with you. That is why as soon as you get arrested or charged, you should reach out to a skilled Moorhead criminal defense attorney to help you control the damage and, in cases of wrongful accusations, prove your innocence. If you are in Moorhead, Minnesota, attorneys at Ringstrom Law are readily available to help. We have a deep understanding of the Minnesota criminal law, and we will use our extensive resources to defend your rights. Call us as soon as possible at 218-284-0484 if you are facing charges for any criminal offense. We will evaluate your case and advise on the steps to take.