Minimum Risk Offender Law and Legal Definition

Criminal offenders vary in their risk to re-offend. Minimum risk offender or a low risk offender refers to a criminal offender who has lesser tendencies to re-offend and is of minimal risk to the community. In most of the cases they may be first time offenders.

Criminal justice agencies routinely use offender risk assessment instruments to differentiate higher risk offenders from lower risk offenders. Information about an offender’s risk to re-offend is used for a number of purposes like enhancing public safety, determining treatment for the offenders etc. A high risk offender is more likely to be placed in prison or subjected to close supervision if they are on probation or parole. On the other hand, low risk offenders are more likely to have a community sentence. When supervised in the community, they are watched less closely than the high risk offenders.

Example of a state statute ( Illinois) defining minimal risk offender for the purpose of DUI Evaluation.

Administrative Code , Title 77 Public health Section 2020.503 DUI Evaluation


1) Minimal Risk

The offender has:

A) no prior conviction or court ordered supervisions for DUI, no prior statutory summary suspensions, and no prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI; and

B) a BAC of less than .15 as a result of the most current arrest for DUI; and

C) no other symptoms of substance abuse or dependence.