To those intrigued by a Galaxy Far Far Away and others looking to find out more about Minnesota’s Definition of a “dangerous weapon” we bring you a blog about Minnesota Criminal Law… with a twist. We realize it is no longer May 4th (May the 4th be with you) so this blog may not be our most timely. However, our office (only a select few) and so many others are Star Wars fans year-round. Therefore, it makes sense to bring you some wisdom (Yoda style) and teach you the ways of the force as it relates to criminal liability when a dangerous weapon is involved.
Before we dive into the Star Wars component of our analysis (and perhaps get a bit nerdy), we must first define a dangerous weapon. Under Minnesota Statute § 609.02, subd. 6, a dangerous weapon is defined as
When a dangerous weapon is involved, your criminal liability naturally increases. Minnesota Statute § 609.66 contains a comprehensive list of crimes, from Misdemeanors to Felonies, which result due to the involvement of a dangerous weapon. These include but are not limited to: recklessly handling a dangerous weapon, endangering the safety of others, and manufacturing/possessing certain types of dangerous weapons (such as brass knuckles or a switch blade). Beyond the list contained in Minnesota Statute § 609.66, other crimes, such as assault, are enhanced due to the involvement of a dangerous weapon. For example, if an individual assaults another with a dangerous weapon, you will face a more severe punishment and likely be charged with Assault in the 2nd Degree under Minnesota Statute § 609.222.
Now to the fun part, Star Wars. Our question is simple, would a lightsaber be considered a dangerous weapon? For those of you who do not know, a lightsaber is a mythical weapon used by Jedi (good guys) and Sith (bad guys) to dual over the fate of the galaxy. A lightsaber is used similar to a sword. Based on Minnesota’s broad definition of a dangerous weapon and a lightsaber’s ability to inflict death and great bodily harm, if you got caught with a lightsaber, you would more than likely be facing criminal consequences.
While lightsabers may not be available until far into the future, if you are dealing with a criminal matter involving a dangerous weapon and are wondering what may happen, contact our office at 763.421.6366!
May the force be with you.