If you have recently been charged with burglary in Minnesota, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped with the right defense strategy and a skilled criminal lawyer by your side.
If you are charged with burglary in Minnesota, you can face serious consequences for a conviction. You could be incarcerated for months or years, be forced to pay high fines, and be subject to lengthy probation sentencing. That’s why it’s important to fight back with the help of an experienced Minnesota burglary attorney.
Before you even start thinking of strategy, though, it’s important to understand what the law says. Burglary is commonly defined as unlawfully entering a structure or habitation with an intent to commit a crime inside.
Beating your burglary charge means being able to cast doubt on the prosecution’s argument that your actions fit that definition. Here are some of the best strategies to help you do that:
If concrete evidence and/or witness statements can show that you were not at the scene of the crime, or that there is a case of mistaken identity, your charges may be dropped. At the very least, you’ll do a good amount of damage to the prosecution’s case.
Lack of Evidence
The prosecution has the burden of compiling enough evidence to prove that you were at the scene and intended to commit a crime. Your charges can be dropped if there is insufficient evidence or if the evidence has been compromised through tampering.
Lack of Intent
Burglary cases hinge on an intent to commit a crime after entering a structure or residence. If your attorney can prove that you did not intend to commit a crime while inside, you can receive lesser charges.
Not a Structure or Building
Burglary charges only apply to certain structures or habitations. If the property in question does not fit the description as defined in Minnesota statutes, you could face a lesser charge with reduced legal consequences.
If you can prove that the property owner granted you permission to be on the property, you can use the consent defense to avoid stiff penalties.
Plead Guilty to Lesser Charges
Other crimes like petty theft or trespassing often carry lower sentencing than burglary. You have the option to plead guilty to one of these misdemeanor crimes to avoid facing the stiff penalties associated with a felony burglary conviction.
A felony conviction will stay on your permanent record and have a longer lasting, negative impact on your life. Make sure to check with a Minnesota defense attorney to know if this defense is in your best interest.
If someone threatened harm to you or your loved one unless you committed burglary, you can use the duress defense to avoid serious charges.
If a member of law enforcement forced or coerced you into committing burglary against your will, your charges can be dropped.
Which of these strategies is most likely to help in your situation? The only way to know for sure is to talk with a knowledgeable criminal lawyer.
They may even tell you that it’s smarter to go a different direction altogether. Or use pieces of many of these strategies together.
The point is that there are ways to fight back. Do not make the mistake of thinking that a charge is a conviction. Protect your rights and future with an aggressive defense.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).