What constitutes burglary and what defense options do I have?
The taking of property that is not yours might appear to be a simple example of theft; however, property crimes can be far more complex than that. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the allegations, the accused could face serious penalties for burglary. As such, it is important that you take control of the situation by understanding your rights and criminal defense options.
In simple terms, a charge for burglary involves the intent to take the property of another. However, unlike other property crimes, burglary does not require a complete taking. This crime only requires the unlawful entry into a building or dwelling with the intent to commit a theft.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged burglary, this crime could be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. And based on mitigating or aggravating factors, the penalties could range greatly. This includes jail time, lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines, court-mandated restitution to the victim and a lengthy probation period.
The defenses available to the accused is dependent on various factors, such as the degree of the charge and the circumstances involved. However, one of the most common defenses used for a burglary charge involves the assertion that there was the absence of criminal intent. Because an actual taking does not need to occur, the criminal intent is often focused on when establishing why the accused unlawfully entered the structure.
Facing allegations of a property crime can be overwhelming. In order to better navigate the matter and devise a strong criminal defense, it is important to obtain guidance from a legal professional.