Diligent investigation and aggressive representation led a northern Minnesota county attorney’s office to dismiss its burglary case against my client.
In 2014, the State charged my client with burglary in the second degree after he allegedly entered his ex-girlfriend’s house without her permission. She called law enforcement and reported that my client forced entry through a window and confronted her. Law enforcement eventually arrested my client, and the county attorney charged him with felony burglary.
One of the most important elements of burglary is entry into a dwelling without the consent of its owner. That means in order for the State to sustain this burglary charge, it had to show my client entered his ex-girlfriend’s residence without her permission.
In cases involving romantic relationships, both past and present, it’s imperative for attorneys to conduct thorough and sometimes extensive investigation into the parties’ communication. This includes checking social media sites and accessing phone records to see what contact, if any, the parties had before the alleged crime. In this case, we accessed the text message conversations between my client and his ex-girlfriend during the night law enforcement arrested my client for the alleged burglary. The text message conversations revealed that my client’s ex-girlfriend invited him over to her house roughly thirty minutes before she called law enforcement.
We confronted the prosecutor with this information and argued that the physical proof of my client’s ex-girlfriend’s invitation to visit necessarily contradicted her allegation he entered without her permission. Without unlawful entry, the State could not sustain its burglary case. The prosecutor agreed and ultimately dismissed the burglary charge.
This victory demonstrates how integral investigative work is in criminal defense. No stone should be unturned, especially when prison time is on the line. Through diligent investigation and aggressive representation, we guaranteed my client’s liberty and protected his civil rights.