Mankato Burglary Attorney
Burglary is a serious offense in Minnesota, and it is often charged as a felony. Burglary is defined as someone breaking into and illegally entering another’s property with the intent to commit a crime. While many people associate burglary with theft, you do not need to steal anything to be charged or convicted with burglary.
A burglary conviction can result in a prison sentence, significantly impacting your life. If you suspect you are being investigated for burglary in Mankato, Minnesota, you should contact a highly-qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The Mankato burglary attorneys at Knutson + Casey have the necessary skills and expertise to build a solid defense. Our dedicated lawyers will ensure your rights are protected and you fully understand your options and the charges against you.
The Degrees of Burglary in Minnesota
In Minnesota, burglary crimes are split into four degrees based on the severity of the crime. Each degree has its own definition and punishments. The four degrees of burglary in Minnesota are:
If a person unlawfully enters a property with the intent to commit a misdemeanor other than theft, the crime is classified as burglary in the fourth degree. Fourth-degree burglary is considered a gross misdemeanor, and those convicted could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and be fined up to $3,000.
Third-degree burglary is defined as a person unlawfully entering a property and committing, or intending to commit, misdemeanor-level theft or any gross misdemeanor or felony-level crimes. Burglary in the third degree is a felony charge and convicted individuals could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
A person unlawfully entering a property and committing, or intending to commit, a crime could be charged with second-degree burglary under one or more of the following circumstances:
- The property was a dwelling or place of residence
- The property was a bank or other type of business that receives securities and sensitive documents and was entered with force or threat of force
- The property was a pharmacy or other business with controlled substances
- The person who unlawfully entered the property used a tool to access the property or the valuables within.
Those convicted of burglary in the second degree could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $20,000.
A person who unlawfully enters a property and commits, or intends to commit, a crime could face a charge of first-degree burglary under one or more of the following circumstances:
- The property is a dwelling and another person who is not an accomplice is also present
- The person who unlawfully entered the property has a dangerous weapon or explosive device
- The person who unlawfully entered the property assaults someone on the property
An individual convicted of burglary in the first degree could be sentenced between six months to 20 years in prison and fined up to $35,000.
Possible Defense Strategies for a Burglary Charge in Minnesota
A burglary conviction comes with severe penalties and long-term effects on your life. If you are being investigated or have been charged with burglary in Mankato, Minnesota, it is vital to call an experienced burglary attorney as soon as possible. Some defense strategies you and your lawyer can discuss include:
- Strong alibi: One of the best defenses against a burglary charge is to prove you could not have committed the crime. Substantial evidence and witness testimony that you were not at the scene of the crime could result in your charges being dropped.
- Lack of evidence: The burden of proof for the crime falls on the prosecution. If they cannot prove you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the charges against you could be dropped.
- Lack of intent: One element in each degree of burglary is the intent to commit a crime within the building. If your attorney can prove you had no intent to commit a crime, you may have charges dropped or reduced.
These are only a few possible defense strategies for burglary charges. Your lawyer will work with you to determine the best defense for your unique situation.
Contact an Expert Mankato Burglary Lawyer Today
The criminal defense attorneys at Knutson + Casey are dedicated to protecting the rights of those accused of burglary in Mankato, Minnesota. Our passionate and experienced legal team is committed to working tirelessly to craft you the best possible defense. If you are facing a criminal charge, you deserve to have an advocate on your side. Call us at (507) 344-8888 or complete our contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a legal expert today.