Monday, March 1, 2010

What Constitutes a Burglary

In a recent case of mine a young man was accused of burglary. Somebody at the party called the young man and invited him owner. During that telephone call the female owner of the home also told the young man to come over. When the young man got to the house, the doors were locked and only males that the young man did not recognize were in the kitchen. The door appeared to be locked. The male owner of the house (the husband to the female mentioned above) did not invite the young man and did not answer the door. The young man pushed on the door until it opened and entered the home.

Entering a residence, without permission may constitute a burglary. If that residence is occupied, the charge will be burglary in the first degree, in violation of Minn. Stat. 609.582 subd. 1. It is important to remember that this includes attached garages. Therefore, if there are people in the living room and someone enters the attached garage with the purpose of stealing something, the charge could be burglary in the first degree, a felony.

We had a trial on our matter. Our defense relied upon the Jury Instruction that states "when several persons are in lawful possession of a building or of the same part of the building, any one of the persons may consent to the entry remaining of another person."

As the female owner of the home had given permission to my client, the verdict was not guilty.

If you have been accused of a crime, it is important that you have an attorney assist you in determining what defenses may be available to you and that the government is really able to prove all of the elements by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you have any questions regarding your legal situation, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation.

Patrick Flanagan

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