A conviction for burglary can permanently impact your life, as a criminal record may significantly restrict your professional, educational, and personal opportunities. If you are facing burglary charges, you will likely need skilled legal representation to minimize the consequences of this offense. A qualified Minnesota burglary lawyer could examine your case and help you build a compelling case against your charges.

Elements of Burglary Charges

Burglary is one of several different kinds of larceny-related offenses which are punishable under Minnesota state law. A person may be found guilty of committing burglary if the prosecution can establish that they entered into a building or residence through illicit means and without consent, with the intent to engage in criminal activity. For a prosecutor to convict a defendant, each of these elements must be met.

The severity of the penalties for this offense can vary drastically depending on several factors, including the scope of the criminal act, the nature of the burgled structure, and any tools or weapons that the burglar had in their possession. A knowledgeable Minnesota lawyer with experience handling burglary cases could analyze the facts of a person’s case to cast doubt on the prosecution’s argument.

Degrees of Severity

In Minnesota, burglary is a severely punishable offense, the extent of which is dependent upon the degree of the crime. For instance, the penalties a person faces for committing an act of burglary in the first degree will be much harsher than punitive measures issued for third-degree burglary.

Determinations regarding the degree of severity of a burglary offense are made in accordance with § 609.582 of the Minnesota Statutes, the provisions of which define each of the varying degrees of burglary as follows:

  • First degree: The defendant burgled an occupied residence, or they possessed a dangerous weapon or assaulted a person while in the building or dwelling
  • Second degree: The defendant illegally entered a dwelling, or a building used by a religious, governmental, financial, or educational institution, or one that contains a pharmacy
  • Third degree: The defendant committed a burglary of a building with the intention of committing theft or another felony or gross misdemeanor, or successfully committed such a crime
  • Fourth degree: The defendant committed a burglary of a building with the intent to commit a non-theft misdemeanor offense

In cases in which someone is convicted of committing first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, they will be committed to the commissioner of corrections, according to state law. With such a wide range of penalties assessed for a burglary committed in any degree, those facing these charges are strongly encouraged to retain legal representation in Minnesota.

Consult a Minnesota Burglary Attorney for Help with Your Case

Burglary charges carry dire consequences that may be impossible to avoid without the guidance of a seasoned legal professional. If you were charged with committing this crime, you should get in touch with a Minnesota burglary lawyer right away to learn more about your options. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with a dedicated legal advocate and get started on your case.