Movies and television programs like to depict burglary as a thief violently breaking down a locked door and stealing something therein. However, in Minnesota the crime of burglary need not be so nefarious.
If a person enters a building without permission and they commit a crime therein or intend to commit a crime therein, and one of the following three elements are present, this constitutes first-degree burglary. One element is the building is a residence and a person other than an accomplice is inside at the time. The second element is if the defendant is carrying a “dangerous weapon.” The third element is that the defendant committed assault in the building. The penalties for first-degree burglary include up to 20 years on prison and/or a $35,000 fine.
If a person enters a building without permission and they commit a crime therein or intend to commit a crime therein, this is considered second-degree burglary if one of the following four circumstances exist. One is that the building is a residence. The second is if force or threat of force is used to get into a bank. The third is if the person used force to get into a pharmacy. The fourth is that the person had a tool on them to get to money or property when entering the building or once they are in the building. The penalties for second-degree burglary include up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
If a person enters a building without permission and commits a theft crime, felony crime or gross misdemeanor therein or intended to do one of these things therein, this is considered third-degree burglary. The penalties for third-degree burglary include up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
If a person enters a building without permission and commits a non-theft misdemeanor therein or intends to, this is considered fourth-degree burglary. The penalties for fourth-degree burglary include up to one year in prison and/or a fine of $3,000.
As you can see, when it comes to certain burglary crimes, sometimes just entering a building with the intent to commit any crime is enough. Still, any burglary charges are serious charges so you will want to develop a strong defense strategy to protect your rights.