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What’s the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?

In popular culture, especially in film and television, individuals often use the terms robbery and burglary interchangeably. Under Minnesota law, however, these terms have completely different meanings. Before going into the differences, it should be noted that what these two crimes do share are the consequences. If you are ultimately convicted of a robbery charge, a burglary charge, or both, you are looking at incarceration, high fines, and community service, among other serious penalties. The conviction may also have a long-lasting and detrimental effect on your personal and professional life. A criminal record with a burglary or robbery conviction can make it very difficult for you to find a place to live, gain employment (or remain employed at your current job), and further your education.

If you are facing a criminal charge for robbery and/or burglary in the state of Minnesota, legal help is available to you. The knowledgeable team of Minnesota robbery and burglary defense lawyers at Gerald Miller, P.A. will investigate the circumstances of your criminal charge(s) and determine the best path forward for you. Please give us a call today to find out more about how our team can assist you throughout your criminal legal matter.

How Is Robbery Defined Under Minnesota State Law?

In the state of Minnesota, robbery is a felony criminal offense and a conviction can bring serious penalties. Robbery crimes in Minnesota are divided into simple robberies and aggravated robberies. Although simple robberies are technically less severe crimes than aggravated robberies, a conviction for a simple robbery can still land you in jail for a significant period of time.

In order for a court to convict someone of a simple robbery charge, the prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt (which is a very high legal standard) that the accused individual used some amount of force, or threat of imminent force, in order to steal property or merchandise from another person.

Aggravated robberies are divided into two categories: first-degree and second-degree (first-degree robbery being the more serious of the two). In order for a court to convict an individual on an aggravated robbery charge, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused possessed a dangerous weapon during the commission of the robbery offense. On the other hand, the defendant can sustain an aggravated robbery conviction if they lead the victim to believe the defendant had a weapon in their possession while committing the offense – even if no such weapon was actually present at the time.

What Is a Burglary under Minnesota Law?

In order for an individual to be charged with and convicted of robbery in the state of Minnesota, it is necessary that a theft takes place. For a person to be charged with a burglary, however, the crime of theft is not necessary.

For a state prosecutor to satisfy the legal burden of proof on a Minnesota burglary charge, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused entered a structure, such as a residence, without the owner’s consent and with the intention of committing a crime while inside the structure. In some instances, the accused may have only intended to commit the robbery while inside the structure, in which case the accused may be charged with both robbery and burglary under the circumstances.

An individual may also be convicted on a burglary charge if they enter a structure without the owner’s permission and actually committed a criminal offense while inside the structure. This is true even if the accused did not initially intend to commit a crime when they first entered the building.

Like robbery charges, there are also several different degrees of burglary charges. The specific degree of burglary with which a person is charged depends upon various factors, including the seriousness of the offense, the type of structure involved, and whether or not other individuals are present in the building at the time when the accused individual committed the offense.

Call a Minnesota Robbery and Burglary Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today

An experienced robbery and burglary criminal defense attorney can defend you from the criminal charge and pursue the best possible resolution to your criminal case. At Gerald Miller, P.A., our legal team is committed to safeguarding your legal rights and defending your from the criminal charge or charges. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Minnesota robbery and burglary defense lawyer, please give us a call at 612-440-4610 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.

About the author

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.

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