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.

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.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-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. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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

People facing criminal charges in Minnesota often ask, “Can you defend yourself in court?” You can represent yourself in court when charged with a crime. Self-representation, however, is not typically in the accused's best interests, even if courts allow it.
Parents whose children have been arrested or accused of committing a heinous crime might wonder, “Can a minor be charged with a felony?” A minor aged 14 years or older but below 18 years may face felony charges in Minnesota.
People accused of or under investigation for assault might ask, “What are the charges for assault?” Minnesota has five levels of assault charges. First-degree assault is the most serious offense, and a conviction often results in the most severe penalties, like long prison time and hefty fines.