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Burglary

Burglary is one of the most serious theft offenses in Minnesota because it involves illegally entering another party’s property with the intent to commit a crime. In most cases, alleged offenders often face felony charges that can result in lengthy prison sentences as well as significant fines.

Under state law in Minnesota, people may also face felony charges without breaking and entering into property if they possessed tools that authorities believed were going to be used in the commission of a burglary. The supposed criminal intent of the alleged offenders is critical in these cases, as prosecutors simple overcharge what were otherwise basic misdemeanor trespass offenses.

Lawyer for Burglary Arrests in Apple Valley, MN

If you were arrested for allegedly committing burglary or possessing burglary tools in the Twin Cities, you should not say anything to authorities without legal representation. James Blumberg Law aggressively defends clients throughout Ramsey County, Carver County, Hennepin County, Washington County, Dakota County, Anoka County, and Scott County.

James Blumberg is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Apple Valley who fights to get the best outcomes for alleged offenders in such communities as Coon Rapids, Plymouth, Brooklyn Park, Woodbury, Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, and Blaine. Call (952) 431-7758 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and discuss all of your legal options.


Minnesota Burglary Defense Information Center


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Burglary Penalties in Dakota County

Minnesota Statute §609.582 establishes four degrees of burglary offenses:

Burglary in the Fourth Degree

It is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000 for an alleged offender to enter a building—defined under Subdivision 3 of Minnesota Statute § 609.556 as, in addition to its ordinary, also meaning any tent, watercraft, structure or vehicle that is customarily used for overnight lodging of a person or persons—without consent and either:

  • with intent to commit a misdemeanor other than to steal; or
  • commit a misdemeanor other than to steal while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice.

Burglary in the Third Degree

It is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for an alleged offender to enter a building without consent and either:

  • with intent to commit any felony or gross misdemeanor while in the building; or
  • steal or commit a felony or gross misdemeanor while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice.

Burglary in the Second Degree

It is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000 for an alleged offender to enter a building without consent and with intent to commit a crime, or enter a building without consent and commit a crime while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice, if:

  • the building is a dwelling—defined under Subdivision 1 of Minnesota Statute § 609.605 as the building or part of a building used by an individual as a place of residence on either a full-time or a part-time basis;
  • the portion of the building entered contains a banking business or other business of receiving securities or other valuable papers for deposit or safekeeping and the entry is with force or threat of force;
  • the portion of the building entered contains a pharmacy or other lawful business or practice in which controlled substances are routinely held or 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.

It is also a felony offense of burglary in the second degree if an alleged offender enters a government building, religious establishment, historic property, or school building without consent and with intent to commit or commits, either directly or as an accomplice, a theft or criminal damage of property offense.

Burglary in the First Degree

It is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum of six months committed to the commissioner of corrections or county workhouse up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $35,000 for an alleged offender to enter a building without consent and with intent to commit a crime, or enter a building without consent and commit a crime while in the building, either directly or as an accomplice, if:

  • the building is a dwelling and another person, not an accomplice, is present in it when the burglar enters or at any time while the burglar is in the building;
  • the burglar possesses, when entering or at any time while in the building, any of the following: a dangerous weapon, any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a dangerous weapon, or an explosive; or
  • the burglar assaults a person within the building or on the building's appurtenant property.

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Possession of Burglary Tools in Apple Valley

In some cases, alleged offenders may face felony charges related to burglary even if they did not illegally enter a building. Minnesota Statute § 609.59 establishes possession of burglary or theft tools as a felony offense punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

People may be charged with this crime if they have in their possession “any device, explosive, or other instrumentality with intent to use or permit the use of the same to commit burglary or theft.” Some objects that may be considered so-called burglary tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Bolt cutters;
  • Center hole punches;
  • Ceramic spark plugs;
  • Crowbars;
  • Dynamite;
  • Explosives;
  • Gloves;
  • Gunpowder;
  • Hammers;
  • Lock picks;
  • Masks;
  • Master keys;
  • Pliers;
  • Porcelain chips;
  • Prying devices;
  • Ropes;
  • Screwdrivers;
  • Slim jims;
  • Thermal lances; or
  • Torches.

Many of the items listed above have perfectly legitimate everyday uses. It is incredibly difficult for a prosecutor to prove an alleged offender’s supposed criminal intent, and an attorney can determine the best possible defenses that can result in criminal charges in these cases being reduced or possibly even dismissed.


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Minnesota Burglary Resources

Residential Burglaries | City of Apple Valley — The Apple Valley Police Department provides free home premise surveys for residents in which they come to your house and check it for security features such as locks, lighting, and landscaping. On this website, you can learn how to set up an appointment. You can also read some tips to help reduce your chances of being a burglary victim.

City of Apple Valley Police Department
7100 147th Street West
St. Paul, MN 55124
(952) 953-2700

Uniform Crime Report | Minnesota Department of Public Safety — The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) compiles a statistical report each year detailing the amount of criminal activity in the state. In this 2014 report, you can find extensive statistics relating to burglary offenses committed in Minnesota. Learn more about residential and non-residential burglary losses, average dollar loss per burglary offense, and the number of burglaries committed in specific counties or cities.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 201-7000


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Find a Lawyer for Burglary Defense in Dakota County

Do you think that you might be the target of a criminal investigation or have you already been arrested for an alleged burglary in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area? It is in your best interest to make sure that you contact James Blumberg Law before speaking to authorities about your role in any property crime.

Apple Valley criminal defense attorney James Blumberg is a former prosecutor who represents clients in several surrounding areas, including Lakeville, Burnsville, Eagan, St. Cloud, Minnetonka, Bloomington, and many more. He can review your case as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 or fill out an online contact form to set up a free consultation.


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James L. Blumberg

Attorney James L. Blumberg

As a former prosecutor in the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, James Blumberg has experience on both sides of the criminal courtroom. He knows how to fight to get charges reduced or dismissed for clients in the Twin Cities area.

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