Burglary charges should not be taken lightly. You could be facing heavy fines and years in prison, not to mention lifelong impacts on your personal and professional life.
If you have been arrested, consult an Edina burglary lawyer as soon as possible, preferably before speaking to the arresting officers or anyone else. Although burglary is a serious crime, there are many ways a skilled theft defense attorney could help mitigate the consequences of these charges.
What is Burglary?
Entering any building without permission and intending to commit a crime is burglary in Edina. It does not matter what sort of building it is, what crime is intended, or whether the alleged perpetrators carried out their intended crime. The mere act of entering without permission with criminal intent is burglary. This crime does not require forced entry. All of the following acts could be classified as burglary:
- Staying after closing hours
- Using false pretenses to gain access to a building
- Using coercion to allow another individual else to enter
- Entering an unlocked building without authorization or permission
Although burglary is considered a theft crime, someone can be accused without committing or intending to commit theft. If an individual entered a building without permission and had the intent to vandalize property, assault someone, or commit any other crime, they could be charged with burglary.
The prosecutor must prove that the accused intended to commit a crime after entry. Depending on the circumstances, a knowledgeable burglary defense attorney could challenge the prosecution’s assertion that the defendant had a criminal intention.
Potential Penalties for a Burglary Conviction
Minnesota Statute §609.582 lays out the penalties for a burglary conviction. The severity of the charge is determined by the type of building the defendant entered and whether they planned or committed violence against a person. Fourth-degree burglary is the least severe burglary charge, and first-degree is the most severe. Depending on circumstances, it might be possible for an Edina attorney to negotiate a lesser degree burglary charge as part of a plea agreement.
Entering a building without permission and committing a misdemeanor other than theft while in the building is fourth-degree burglary. The intent to commit a misdemeanor also results in a fourth-degree charge. The penalty is up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.
Third-degree burglary is committing or intending to commit theft, another felony, or a gross misdemeanor upon entering a building unlawfully. A conviction could lead to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Entering a building without permission while in possession of burglary tools with the intent to commit a crime is second-degree burglary. A person also could face second-degree burglary charges if they allegedly enter certain types of structures without permission and with the intention of committing a crime. These structures are:
- Any structure meant to shelter people
- Businesses such as banks that receive or store money or securities
- Pharmacies or other places that legally store controlled substances
A conviction for second-degree burglary carries a ten-year prison term and a $10,000 fine.
Individuals commit first-degree burglary if they allegedly possess a weapon or assault someone while unlawfully entering a dwelling. Upon conviction of first-degree burglary, the sentence is up to 20 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $35,000.
Reach out to an Edina Burglary Attorney Right Away
A burglary conviction can have severe impacts on your life. You deserve to have someone in your corner fighting for your rights. An Edina burglary lawyer could work with you to construct a robust defense, potentially reaching a plea agreement or even having your charges dropped. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case with a dedicated member of our legal team.