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What constitutes burglary?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Although the court arraigns someone charged with a crime, that does not mean the defendant fully understands the charges. Confusion might exist why the state levies specific charges. For example, a Florida defendant might be stunned to face burglary charges when they had no intention of stealing anything.

Burglary charges reflect a particular criminal act

Burglary does not refer to theft or robbery, although these two crimes may accompany a burglary charge. In fact, crimes associated with taking someone’s property without permission often stand as the motivation for committing burglary, but burglary is a separate and distinct crime.

Entering any premises not open to the public or entering without permission or license with the intent to commit a crime may result in burglary charges. Picking a lock and entering a home to steal something might lead to an arrest for burglary. So would entering through an open window without permission.

A clear understanding of burglary

Again, burglary requires the intent to commit an underlying crime, and the crime does not need to be theft-related. An angry neighbor might illegally enter someone’s property intending to assault someone.

A criminal defense strategy could focus on whether someone had any intentions to commit a crime. If not, burglary charges might not hold, and the individual could face lesser charges. Since criminal conviction thresholds center on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution must clearly prove the intent to commit a crime.

Burglary is a felony offense in Florida. Those considering entering any property without permission may wish to rethink their behavior. Those arrested for burglary could consider a plea arrangement if the evidence against them is solid.