Burglary is generally defined as entering into a building without permission with the purpose of committing a crime inside. Although this is the general definition of burglary, states usually provide a specific definition of the crime within their statutes. Many states also separate burglary into different degrees or levels based on specific circumstances surrounding the crime.
In Minnesota, although there's only one statute addressing burglary, the crime is separated into four degrees, with first degree burglary being the most serious. One common element for each of the degrees of burglary is that the entry into a building must be without consent. Another common element is that the burglar either has the intent to commit a crime or actually commits a crime after entering. Although this may seem like an unnecessary factor, it means that a person can be convicted for burglary whether they actually achieved the crime they intended or not.
An Overview of Minnesota Burglary Laws
Statutory language can take time to understand, which is why reading an overview of the law in plain English can be very helpful. The following chart provides an overview of burglary laws in Minnesota as well as links to the applicable statutes.
Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 609. Criminal Code, Section 609.582 (Burglary)
|Defining the Offense
Burglary in the first degree: Entering a building without consent and either (1) intending to commit a crime, or (2) committing a crime; and:
- The building is a dwelling and another person (other than an accomplice) is present;
- The burglar possesses a dangerous weapon, an explosive, or something that a reasonable person would believe is a dangerous weapon; or
- The burglar assaults a person within the building or on the building's property.
Burglary in the second degree*: Entering a building without consent and either (1) intending to commit a crime, or (2) committing a crime; and:
- The building is a dwelling;
- The area of the building entered has a banking or similar business and the entry is with force or threat of force;
- The area of the building entered has a pharmacy or other lawful business/practice where controlled substances are stored and the entry is forcible; or
- When entering or while in the building, the burglar possesses a tool to gain access to money or property.
Burglary in the third degree: Entering a building without consent and either (1) intending to steal or commit any felony or gross misdemeanor, or (2) stealing or committing a felony or a gross misdemeanor.
Burglary in the fourth degree: Entering a building without consent and either (1) intending to commit a misdemeanor (other than theft) or (2) committing a misdemeanor (other than theft).
*For additional circumstances that can classify a burglary as in the second degree, please see the statute.
Burglary in the first degree: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $35,000. Additionally, there is a mandatory minimum of not less than six months in a county workhouse for burglary of an occupied dwelling although there may be sentencing exceptions for a first burglary.
Burglary in the second degree: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
Burglary in the third degree: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Burglary in the fourth degree: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 609. Criminal Code, Section 609.605 (Trespass)
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Minnesota Burglary Laws: Related Resources
Facing Burglary Charges in Minnesota? Get Legal Help
A burglary conviction in Minnesota can lead to imprisonment and fines; however, the possible penalties depend on whether you're facing first, second, third, fourth degree burglary. If you're facing burglary charges in Minnesota, it's best to get in touch with a local criminal defense attorney who can explain how Minnesota burglary laws apply to the specific facts of your case and zealously defend you against the charges.