Minneapolis criminal defense attorneys can be counted on by anyone accused of burglary in the first degree, which is described in Minnesota statute 609.582 as “entering a building without consent” with a plan to commit a crime, and/or going into that building unannounced and actually engaging in an illegal act. The person who carries through with the crime–be it theft, vandalism, stalking, assault–may be one person, and another may accompany and aid the person who goes into a building without permission to break the law. Accomplices can be found guilty. However, there are many defenses to first degree burglary.
The crux of the issue is that a presumption of guilt accrues to anyone who trespasses on another’s property. The presumption is that you have illegally entered for nefarious purposes.
Punishments for first degree burglary in Minnesota include up to 20 years in prison, and as much as $35,000 in fines, or both, if:
1) The “building” is someone’s home, or “dwelling” place, and another person–not including your accomplice–is there “at any time” you are present in that dwelling,
2)You have on your person–while you are entering, and/or throughout the time you are in that “dwelling”–a “dangerous weapon”(such as gun, knife, brass knuckles, etc.), or any implement you’ve altered in such a way that a “dweller” would “reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon,”
3)You assault another person within this “dwelling,” and/or on the grounds directly adjacent to this dwelling.
Anyone convicted of burglary in the first degree according to the above-described definition–and especially if he/she has been found guilty of number 1 directly above–will spend “not less than 6 months” in jail.
An adjudication of burglary in the second degree means a person has entered a building, in particular a “dwelling”–without permission and has committed (or intended to carry through with) a crime therein (with or without an accomplice)–the actual perpetrator will be fined up to $20,000 and/or spend “not more than 10 years,” in prison if:
1) A part of that building–which you’ve entered by “force or threat of force”–holds a “banking business,” a securities business, or a business charged with safeguarding “other valuable papers,”
2) A part of that building–which you’ve entered by “force or threat of force”–holds a pharmacy or other business that safeguards “controlled substances,”
3) While entering or spending time within this building, you have on your person a “criminal tool,” known for “gaining access” to “money or property.”
These are not the only guidelines used to find an accused guilty of burglary–whether it be in the second, third, or fourth degrees. And, there are many defenses to actions which could be construed as constituting burglary: Perhaps you believed you had permission to go into a “dwelling.” Perhaps the “criminal tool” you possessed when law enforcement arrived was a simple pocket knife that you used in your daily life, and on the job, to open cans, cut rope, etc. If you engaged in a scuffle on building grounds, perhaps it was because another person surprised you, and you were only defending yourself.
Please contact us if you have been charged with burglary in Minnesota. We fully understand the applicable statutes, and will work diligently on your behalf.