Crime Rate Declines in Minnesota

The 2018 Minnesota crime report shows a decline in violent crimes across the state, but an increase in motor vehicle thefts, rapes, and human trafficking. Imprisonment rates overall ranked fifth-lowest in the country.

Table of Contents

Crime Rates Drop in Minnesota

The national crime report shows Minnesota in the bottom 10 states for violent crimes including homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and human trafficking. Overall, violent crimes across the state dropped by 6.7% in 2018.

Every year, law enforcement officials release statewide crime data for all types of crimes to the FBI. Data is reported in The Uniform Crime Report for all 50 states. In 2018, data showed a significant decline in Minnesota crime rates. Violent crimes were down by almost 7%, while property crimes fell by 9%. There was also a major decline in robberies, burglaries, and larceny cases, while arson crimes dropped to their lowest rate since the state began tracking them.

Across the board, most Minnesota crimes were down in 2018. There were a few exceptions, however:

  • Motor vehicle thefts rose for the third year in a row. There were 1,706 auto thefts that resulted in arrests, mostly of Minnesota juveniles.
  • Rapes increased by about 9.3% with 2,656 reports. This is the highest number in 24 years.
  • Human trafficking cases were up 5.8% with 183 incidents reported.

According to the FBI, violent crimes and property crimes nationwide have continued to drop over the last 16 years. FBI 2017 statistics show an estimated 383 violent crimes including murders, assaults, robberies, and rapes for every 100,000 Americans. Homicides and non-negligent manslaughter cases accounted for 17,284 violent crimes nationwide. Across the country, the national murder rate was 5.3%, while the murder rate in Minnesota was only 2% for every 100,000 residents.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says that state homicide rates have fluctuated up and down over the last five years. In 2017, homicide rates jumped by 16% over 2016 rates. In 2018, homicide rates dropped significantly. Law enforcement officials say murder rates are difficult to predict from year to year because they depend on the type of weapons used, drugs and/or alcohol use, and response time by police and emergency medical responders. Some violent crimes such as robbery, rape, and arson do not involve the use of lethal weapons, so crimes don’t escalate to murder.

Minnesota has harsh penalties for criminal offenses, especially violent crimes that involve lethal weapons.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.