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Missouri Burglary Laws

The traditional definition of burglary involves a "breaking and entering" into someone's home (usually at night) to commit a theft or other crime. Even though many modern statutes eliminated the common law elements, every jurisdiction has its own definition of burglary, which means that the specific charges will vary depending on the state law where the offense was committed.

Unlike other states, Missouri makes no distinction between burglaries that target homes (residential burglaries) and other burglaries. However, the state does recognize two degrees of burglary. Burglary in the first degree is more serious than burglary in the second degree because it involves the presence or use of a weapon or threats or physical injury upon a person who isn't involved in the crime.

Explanation of Missouri Burglary Laws

Making sense out of the information in a statute can be difficult because of the way that the laws are written. For plain-language answers to your questions, turn to a condensed version of the statute written in everyday language. The chart below provides a basic summary of Missouri's extortion laws.


Missouri Revised Statutes:

  • Section 569.160 (burglary in the first degree)
  • Section 569.170 (burglary in the second degree)

Elements of the Crime



Burglary in the first degree: Knowingly entering unlawfully or knowingly remaining unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure for purposes of committing an offense inside, and when in course of entry or while in the building or inhabitable structure or in immediate flight, the following conditions exist:

  • A participant is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or
  • A participant causes or threatens immediate physical injury to any person who isn't a participant in the crime; or
  • A person who isn't a participant in the crime is present.

Burglary in the second degree: Knowingly entering unlawfully or knowingly remaining unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure for purposes of committing a crime inside.

Possible Penalties

Burglary in the first degree: Class B felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Burglary in the second degree: Class D felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison. Note: The court has discretion to give the defendant a term of up to 1 year in the county jail; if they impose a sentence longer than 1 year, the court must send the defendant to the Department of Corrections.

Related Offenses

Missouri Revised Statutes:

  • Section 569.180 (possession of burglary tools)
  • Section 569.140 (criminal trespass in the first degree)
  • Section 569.150 (criminal trespass in the second degree)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Missouri Burglary Laws: Related Resources

Facing Burglary Charges in Missouri? Get an Attorney's Help

Breaking Missouri's burglary laws can result in dire consequences like imprisonment or costly fines. If you're in the unfortunate position of facing charges, then don't deal with this on your own. Get an advocate on your side by talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can design a strategically sound defense on your behalf.

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