What Constitutes a Burglary in the State of Minnesota?
Under Minnesota Law, there are several levels of burglary. In general, a burglary is committed by entering a building without consent and with the intent of committing a crime; or entering a building without consent and actually committing a crime while in the building (either directly or as an accomplice).
Burglaries are classified into different categories depending on the circumstances.
- Entering a dwelling while an occupant of the dwelling is present in the dwelling or an occupant of the dwelling enters the dwelling while the burglar is still inside; [A dwelling is defined as a building or part of a building that is used by a person as a place of residence on either a full-time or part-time basis. For example, a dwelling could be an apartment, a house, or even a tent].
- Entering a dwelling while possessing a dangerous weapon or any article that could be used to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon; or
- If the burglar assaults a person while in the dwelling.
Burglary in the Second Degree can occur in five different situations:
- Entering a dwelling without consent;
- Entering a building which contains a banking business, and the entry is made with force or threat of force;
- The forcible entry of a building which contains a pharmacy or any other lawful business in which controlled substances can be found;
- Entering a building while possessing tools which could be used to gain access to money or property; or
- Entering a government building, religious establishment, historic property, or school building.
Burglary in the Third Degree is the entry of a building without consent, with the intent to steal or commit a gross misdemeanor while in the building, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000 dollars.
Burglary in the Fourth Degree is the entry of a building without consent with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, other than theft. The burglar and potential accomplice(s) may be sentenced up to one year and/or fined up to $3,000 dollars.