Shoplifting / Retail Theft

Fight Shoplifting Charges with a Skilled Minnesota Defense Lawyer


If you or someone you love has been charged with retail theft, it may be surprising to learn that you can be up against high fines and even jail time. After all, many people still look at shoplifting as no big deal. We all know it is wrong, but it seems like a victimless crime – and one that can be solved by taking back the merchandise and apologizing.


Unfortunately, retailers and government officials do not agree with this opinion. Adults face the possibility of jail time even for the lowest level of shoplifting, and if someone under 18 engages in retail theft, parents or guardians can be held liable for up to $1,000. To protect your rights and future, you need a strong defense.

That is where experienced criminal attorney Christopher Keyser comes in. Since starting Keyser Law, P.A., Mr. Keyser and his team of knowledgeable and experienced legal professionals have quickly built up a strong reputation across the state by using pioneering defense strategies to help clients get the best possible outcome in their cases, often having charges severely reduced or even dismissed altogether.


These efforts have been well-recognized, with The National Trial Lawyers naming Christopher Keyser as both a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and a Top 40 Under 40. Additionally, he has been named a Rising Star in Minnesota by SuperLawyers, and praise from his clients has helped him to win an Avvo Clients’ Choice award every year since 2010.


Out of all these accolades, the last one is definitely the most important to Mr. Keyser, because it tells him that he truly is providing his clients with the best service he can, and that they are happy and appreciative of the work he does for them.


A Minnesota Criminal Attorney Who Can Tell You What to Expect from Your Retail Theft Charges


Do you understand why you were charged with shoplifting? Do you know what charges you face and all of the potential penalties that may be imposed? Do you know what the prosecution needs to prove in order to convict you?


Christopher Keyser has successfully handled all kinds of retail theft charges, and he understands all the ins and outs of the law. He also knows that there are many reasons why someone might be charged.

Maybe you really needed something and couldn’t afford it. Or friends dared you and you bowed to peer pressure. Or the act itself gave you a rush. Sometimes people may not have even intended to steal but technically committed the act because they forgot to pay for an item or their kid shoved something into their bag when they were not looking.


Mr. Keyser has seen it all, and he believes that everyone deserves the strongest possible defense no matter what happened. Step one in fighting your charges is to know why you were charged and what penalties you may be facing.


If you allegedly took something worth less than $500…

You will be charged with a misdemeanor that can include fines of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.


If you allegedly took something worth more than $500, up to $1,000…

You will be charged with a gross misdemeanor that can include fines of up to $3,000 and up to a year in jail. Additionally, if you were convicted of another theft offense under specific conditions within the past five years, the charge can be bumped up to a felony that includes fines of up to $10,000 and up to 5 years in prison.


If you allegedly took something worth more than $1,000, but less than $5,000…

You will be charged with a felony that can include fines of up to $10,000 and up to 5 years in prison.


If you allegedly took something worth more than $5,000, up to $35,000…

You will be charged with a felony that can include fines of up to $20,000 and up to 10 years in prison. This is also true for property of lesser value that is either an explosive or a controlled substance (excluding marijuana).


If you allegedly took something worth more than $35,000…

You will be charged with a felony that can include fines up to $100,000 and up to 20 years in prison. These charges and penalties also apply if the property in question is a firearm of any value.


Beyond these penalties, Minnesota law says that adult shoplifters must repay merchants for the value of the stolen merchandise in addition to punitive damages of $50 or up to 100% of the retail value of the property, whichever is greater.


Someone can find themselves facing these charges for:

  • Taking property without consent
  • Concealing property without consent
  • Switching price tags
  • Altering packaging to pay less


To fight back, you need someone who understands Minnesota shoplifting laws and the various options open to you. One thing that Mr. Keyser always looks into is whether pretrial diversion programs may be available in your situation. By using a pretrial diversion program, you may be able to get your charges dropped by doing things like paying restitution and completing community service. These options are not always advertised though, so it pays to have a knowledgeable defense lawyer on your side who can push for them.


Reach Out to an Experienced Minnesota Retail Theft Attorney Today


Retailers want to protect their bottom line and make an example out of those charged with shoplifting to discourage others from doing it. Prosecutors want to secure convictions because it makes them look more effective. If you are charged, the only people on your side will be you and your criminal lawyer – which is why it is so important to get a good one.


When you decide to work with Christopher Keyser, he will serve as your tireless advocate, looking at your case from every angle to make sure everything is done to protect your rights and get you the best possible results.


He has the experience. He has the knowledge. But most importantly, he has the results.


Start fighting for your rights today by getting in touch. You can set up a free initial consultation with Mr. Keyser at one of our two convenient offices by emailing, calling his cell phone at 612-281-8325, or contacting an office directly:


612-338-5007 (Minneapolis)

651-689-4788 (Stillwater)



If You Need a Top Minnesota Criminal Lawyer Call 312-338-5007



With offices in Minneapolis and Stillwater, Minnesota, Keyser Law, P.A. handles cases throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area including:




Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Chanhassen, Corcoran, Crystal, Dayton, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Greenfield, Greenwood, Hanover, Hopkins, Independence, Long Lake, Loretto, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Mound, New Hope, Orono, Osseo, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rockford, Rogers, Shorewood, Spring Park, St. Anthony Village, St. Bonifacius, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, Woodland and Hassan Township.



Afton, Bayport, Birchwood Village, Cottage Grove, Dellwood, Forest Lake, Grant, Hugo, Lake Elmo, Lake St. Croix Beach, Lakeland Shores, Lakeland, Landfall, Mahtomedi, Marine on St. Croix, Newport, Oak Park Heights, Oakdale, Pine Springs, Scandia, St. Marys Point, St. Paul Park, Stillwater, Willernie, White Bear Lake, Woodbury, Baytown, Denmark, Grey Cloud Island, May, West Lakeland, Garen and Point Douglas.


Arden Hills, Blaine, Falcon Heights, Gem Lake, Lauderdale, Little Canada, Maplewood, Mounds View, New Brighton, North Oaks, North St. Paul, Roseville, Shoreview, St. Anthony, St. Paul, Spring Lake Park, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and White Bear Lake Township.


Andover, Anoka, Bethel, Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Fridley, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey and St. Francis.


Apple Valley, Burnsville, Coates, Eagan, Farmington, Hampton, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Miesville, New Trier, Northfield, Randolph, Rosemount, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, Vermillion and West St. Paul.