In Minnesota, there are three degrees of felony burglary that include residential, commercial and public buildings. Depending on the degree of the offense and the defendant's criminal history, the guideline sentence can vary significantly.
First degree burglary
First degree burglary can refer to a burglary committed with a dangerous weapon, a burglary and an assault or a burglary of an occupied dwelling. The first two examples can be a residential or commercial property. The term dwelling refers to a residence; burglary of an occupied dwelling is sometimes called a home invasion.
First degree burglaries are handled by the Adult Prosecution Division.
Second degree burglary
A residential burglary (unoccupied) is a second degree burglary.
Burglaries of certain types of buildings also fall into this category:
- Bank or similar business
- Government building
- Religious establishment
- Historic property
Second degree burglaries are handled by the Adult Prosecution Division.
Third degree burglary
Third degree burglary is the burglary of an unoccupied building, typically a garage or business.
In Minnesota many of the garages are detached from the home, which is why many garage burglaries fall into this category. An attached garage is considered part of the home and thus would be considered a residential burglary.
Third degree burglaries are handled by the Community Prosecution Division because they are considered property crimes rather than crimes against a person.
Possession of burglary tools or possession of stolen property
Sometimes there is not enough admissible evidence to charge a suspect with burglary. However, prosecutors may probable cause to charge another crime, such as possession or burglary tools or possession of stolen property.
These cases would be handled by an attorney on the property team of the Community Prosecution Division.
Theft and other property crimes
Property crimes range from damage to someone else's property to stealing someone's property (theft). These cases are handled by the Community Prosecution Division's property team.
Particularly large or complex financial crimes, such as cases with losses of greater than $100,000 or multiple victims are handled by the Complex Crimes unit within the Special Litigation Division.