Being arrested and charged with burglary can be a very frightening experience. Thankfully, if you’ve been charged with burglary, you may be able to get your charges reduced or even dropped if you can prove that one or more of the elements of burglary was not present.
Entering a structure
If you’re accused of burglary, the criminal prosecutor must prove that you entered a structure without permission.
The prosecution can also prove entry by showing that you either went through an open door or window or by climbing over a fence or into a building. If you were already inside the structure, for example, or you were picking up a dropped item, you may not get convicted of burglary.
Also, this means that if you got caught in someone’s yard, but you did not enter the structure itself, you cannot be convicted of burglary. Lastly, any criminal defense attorney would tell you that if you got invited in by the owner, then you may not get convicted of burglary.
Intent to commit a crime
In order to get convicted of burglary, the prosecutor must also prove that you had the intent to commit a crime once you entered the structure. For instance, if you entered a store with the intent to steal, you could be convicted of burglary. However, if you entered a home with the intent to use the phone, but did not commit any other crime, it would be difficult for you to get convicted of burglary.
How about trespassing?
It’s important to note that simply trespassing on someone’s property is not enough to get convicted of burglary. You must have entered the structure without permission in order to get convicted of this crime.
In order to convict someone of burglary, all these elements must be present. If any of these are missing, then the defendant may not get convicted of burglary.