State v. Colvin

645 N.W.2d 449 (Minn. 2002)



A rule of strict construction applies to penal statutes, and all reasonable doubt concerning legislative intent should be resolved in favor of the defendant.


Following entry into his ex-wife's residence, defendant was charged with violating his OFP and with first-degree burglary in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.582, subd. 1(a) (2000). The parties stipulated to the facts in the police report and the complaint and agreed that there were no allegations that defendant committed or attempted to commit any crime independent of the OFP violation. The OFP prohibited defendant from entry into his ex-wife's residence. The district court found defendant violated the no-entry provision of the OFP and was guilty of first-degree burglary, but made no finding that defendant had engaged in any other conduct prohibited under the OFP.


Did the defendant commit burglary?




The supreme court found that on the stipulated facts there was no allegation that defendant committed or intended to commit a crime other than a violation of the OFP prohibition against entry onto his ex-wife's residence, and held that the unauthorized entry in violation of the OFP could not, alone, be the basis for a burglary charge.

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