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The Elements That Make Burglary and How to Fight Them

Minneapolis Burglary Defense Lawyer

Theft is a broad term, and as such, the law has seen the need to separate it in specific parts. Burglary is one such part, defined as entering someone else’s property without permission and with the intent to steal. However, like any crime, in order to convict on a burglary charge, the prosecution must prove that several elements that make a burglary charge are true. In this regard, you and your criminal defense attorney will work to cast doubt or prove the elements are untrue in order to avoid the punishments that come with a burglary conviction.

The Elements of Burglary

Primarily, a burglary charge consists of three elements, and knowing these three elements can help you work to gather evidence with your attorney to disprove them and fight a burglary charge. Elements of a burglary charge include:

Breaking and Entry

In order for it to become a burglary, it must first be proven that you broke into and entered a structure without the owner’s permission. However, simply creating an access way into the structure, such as throwing a rock through the window, is not enough to create this element. The person in question must physically enter a structure for this to be true. However, even having a body part enter the structure, such as smashing through glass with a cover fist, is enough to fulfill this element for burglary for the prosecution.

Defining a Structure

Most buildings are covered as structures in burglary cases. Everything from homes and businesses all the down to the lowly barn or shed can count as a defined structure in a burglary case. However, for abandoned properties, even if they are owned by another, the charge would not be enough to be burglary, but would rather change to a trespassing charge. However, an abandoned building needs to be clearly defined, and sometimes that line can be rather foggy.

Intent to Steal

As with any theft, the prosecution must prove you had the intent to steal something for it to be burglary. Without the intent, the charge will be lowered to breaking and entering, which is serious in its own regard, but less so than a burglary charge. Often when it comes to intent to commit a burglary, it will come from the actual act of stealing something. However, if you are caught in the act of burglary, sometimes intent can come from what you have on you. Possessing burglary tools, for example, is often all a prosecutor needs to prove intent in a burglary case.

In Cases of Commercial Burglary

The crime of burglary is not limited to private residences or closed businesses. In fact, a person can commit a burglary in broad daylight in the middle of a store. The act of scratching off price stickers and replacing them with a lower priced sticker or tag can be considered burglary. Commercial burglary tends to only focus on the act or intent to steal from that store since there is no need to actually break into the structure.

Need Help? Contact Judith Samson Today!

If you have been charged with burglary in Minneapolis and need help, contact us today. Whether it is a traditional burglary charge or a commercial burglary charge, it can have harsh penalties including fines and jail time. Depending on certain circumstances, the degree of burglary charges can elevate all the way to a felony, something that will leave a very permanent mark on your record. Let Judith Samson, Attorney at Law come to your defense. By knowing the elements of a burglary charge, we can work with you to gather the proper evidence to unravel them, making sure you aren’t stuck with an unfair punishment.

Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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