Burglary is a serious criminal offense, one which has the potential to send you to prison for a very long time. When you are up against something like this, it can feel like no one is on your side, that the cops and the prosecutor only want to see you locked away. Having an aggressive local defense attorney, however, can help ensure your side is heard and that your rights are protected at every step of the criminal justice process.
Burglary isn’t just a theft — it’s far more — and the penalties reflect this. The laws in Minnesota governing burglary can be confusing. This general overview will provide you a glimpse of what you could be facing, though a consultation with a criminal defense attorney is the best way to know for certain.
Minnesota Burglary Laws and Penalties
Under Minnesota law, burglary is divided into four different crimes. The facts of your case determine the charge you will ultimately face.
4th Degree Burglary
If you are accused of entering a building without consent and with the intent to commit a misdemeanor (other than theft), you could be charged with this offense. The potential penalty for a charge of 4th degree burglary is up to 1 year in prison and fines of $3,000.
3rd Degree Burglary
A third degree burglary charge applies to cases where you are accused of entering a building without consent and with the intent of committing any felony, gross misdemeanor, or theft offense. This applies whether you were the primary offender or an accomplice in the act. A conviction for burglary in the third degree can result in up to 5 years in prison and fines of $10,000.
2nd Degree Burglary
Burglary in the second degree is the applicable charge when you are accused of entering a building without consent and with the intent to commit a crime, when one of the following is true:
- The building is a dwelling,
- The portion of the building you entered contains a bank or related business and the entry is forcible,
- The portion of the building contains a pharmacy or similar business and the entry is forcible, or
- You possess a tool to gain access to money or property during the commission of the offense.
This crime carries a potential 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.
1st Degree Burglary
Burglary in the first degree is the most serious classification under Minnesota law. This is the charge you could face if you are accused of entering a building without consent and with intent to commit a crime, where one of the following is true:
- The building is an occupied dwelling,
- You are armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, or
- You assault someone in the commission of the offense.
In general, this crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $35,000 in fines. In addition, if the building was an occupied dwelling, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 6 months.
If you are charged with burglary in the state of Minneapolis, you need an experienced advocate on your side. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case and how we might be able to help.