What is a “Crime of Violence” in Minnesota?

On Behalf of Thooft Law LLC

“Crimes of violence” are defined by Minnesota statute 624.712 and are of particular importance because they impact a person’s ability to lawfully possess a firearm. In addition to a firearm ban, a crime of violence conviction can create issues with housing, employment, and other collateral consequences. Thankfully, those convicted of a crime of violence in Minnesota have avenues to restore their rights and avoid these consequences including petitioning the court or expungeing their criminal records.

According to Minnesota statute 624.713 persons who have been convicted of a crime of violence, either in Minnesota or elsewhere, are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms for life. This was not always the case as it used to be a ten (10) year ban from release of confinement, however, the Minnesota legislature changed this in 2003. The lifetime ban was applied retroactively meaning it also applies to those released from custody prior to 2003. It should also be noted that this ban applies equally to both adults and juveniles.

A complete list of “crimes of violence” can be found in Minnesota Statute 624.712 and are listed below. It is important to note that a crime, committed in another state or jurisdiction, which fits the definition of one of the listed crimes, would still count as a crime of violence. Crimes of violence include felony convictions of the following:

  • murder in the first degree

  • murder in the second degree

  • murder in the third degree

  • manslaughter in the first degree

  • manslaughter in the second degree

  • aiding suicide and aiding attempted suicide

  • assault in the first degree

  • assault in the second degree

  • assault in the third degree

  • assault in the fourth degree

  • assault in the fifth degree

  • domestic assault

  • domestic assault by strangulation

  • crimes committed for the benefit of a gang

  • use of drugs to injure or facilitate crime

  • simple robbery

  • aggravated robbery

  • kidnapping

  • false imprisonment

  • solicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution; sex trafficking

  • criminal sexual conduct in the first degree

  • criminal sexual conduct in the second degree

  • criminal sexual conduct in the third degree

  • criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree

  • malicious punishment of a child

  • neglect or endangerment of a child

  • commission of crime while wearing or possessing a bullet-resistant vest

  • involving theft of a firearm and theft involving the theft of a controlled substance, an explosive, or an incendiary device

  • arson in the first degree

  • arson in the second degree

  • burglary in the first and second degrees

  • drive-by shooting

  • unlawfully owning, possessing, operating a machine gun or short-barreled shotgun

  • terroristic threats

  • stalking

  • shooting at a public transit vehicle or facility

  • drugs, controlled substances

  • and an attempt to commit any of these offenses.

As you can see this is an extensive list of crimes but there are ways to “remove” a conviction from your record or restore the right to possess a firearm. An expungement, if granted, allows a person to seal or remove a criminal conviction in the eyes of the law. It is an often times complicated process and may require the help of an experienced attorney. Alternatively, a person can petition the court to restore the right to possess a firearm directly without attempting the expungement process. Both of these are discussed at length in other articles on this blog. In conclusion, crimes of violence are defined by Minnesota statute and often times affect a person’s ability to possess a firearm, advance their career, or even live where they want to. Thankfully, through an expungement or a direct petition to the court these consequences can often times be avoided.