Breaking into a residential home or attempting to break into someone’s property carries serious penalties in Minnesota, which is why you should always hire a defense lawyer in the event that you end up facing burglary charges. Below, we take a look at the crime of burglary in Minnesota, and the potential penalties for those convicted of the crime.
You don’t need to break into someone’s home and make off with their goods in order to be charged with burglary. If you are caught loitering around someone’s property with certain tools that could aid in a break-in, you can be charged with felony-level possession of burglary tools, which carries potential penalties of up to three years in jail and fines up to $5,000. Tools that can result in a possession of burglary tools charge include:
- Bolt cutters
- Lock picks
Now, if your neighbor asks you to come over and help him hammer in some nails, you’re not going to be charged with possession of burglary tools. However, if you’re standing near his basement window with a crowbar at two in the morning, you can be charged with a crime, even if you don’t start prying at the window. It all comes down to intent, and law enforcement officials will make their determination of your intent prior to filing charges.
Types of Burglary Charges
Now, if you actually commit the act of attempting or breaking into a building or a residential home, you will be charged with burglary. The degree to which you are charged depends on the circumstances of your arrest. Here’s a quick look at the four degrees of burglary in Minnesota.
Burglary in the first degree – This involves burglary of a dwelling when either another individual is present (like a homeowner, but not including an accomplice), and the defendant possessed a dangerous weapon or the defendant assaulted someone while committing the offense. Burglary in the first degree carries potential penalties of at least six months in jail (and up to 20 years in prison), a fine of up to $35,000, or both.
Burglary in the second degree – Burglary in the second degree involves burglary of a dwelling or another building like a bank or pharmacy, when the defendant either entered the building by force or threat of force, or had tools in their possession to gain access to money or property. Potential penalties include a fine of up to $20,000, up to ten years in prison, or both.
Burglary in the third degree – This includes unlawful entry into buildings not previously listed with the intent to steal or commit a felony or gross misdemeanor. Potential penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.
Burglary in the fourth degree – Finally, burglary in the fourth degree includes the unlawful entry into a building not previously listed for first or second degree burglary, with the intent to commit a misdemeanor (other than theft). Potential penalties include a fine of up to $3,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
If you or someone you know has been charged with burglary, don’t go into the court system without a lawyer. Contact Appelman Law Firm to learn how you can best challenge the charges.