The 3 elements of burglary

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

When you get arrested and charged with burglary in North Dakota, it’s easy to think that the criminal justice system will work against you. However, if you understand the elements of burglary, you may be able to use them to your advantage.

Unauthorized entry

This means that you entered a property without the owner’s permission. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that you broke in, but simply that you didn’t have the owner’s permission to be there. Usually, the owner will have to testify that they did not give you permission to enter. If the prosecution can’t prove that you entered without permission, they may not be able to convict you of burglary.

There must be a property

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the prosecution has to be able to prove that there was actually a property that you entered. If they can’t do this, then there’s no case. A property, in this case, can be pretty much anything – a house, a car, a boat or anything similar. You have to have actually entered the property, though – simply being in the vicinity isn’t enough. For instance, if you got caught trying to break into a house, but you hadn’t actually made it inside yet, it would be easy for your criminal defense team to argue that there was no property involved.

Intent to commit a crime

This is where things can get tricky. In this case, the prosecution doesn’t need to prove that you actually committed a crime, only that you intended to. For example, you may be charged with burglary if you’re caught trying to pick a lock. However, if you can prove that you had no intention of actually committing a crime, you may be able to get the charges reduced or dropped.

If you’re charged with burglary, it’s important to understand these three elements of the crime. You may be able to use them to your advantage and get a reduced sentence or even an acquittal. Always remember that even if you’re caught in the act of burglary, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll get convicted.

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