When Does Unlawful Entry Become A Crime Of Burglary?

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Burglary is considered a serious crime in all states and usually results in harsher punishments. A person commits burglary once he enters a building without prior permission with the intention to commit a crime. In order to prove that burglary actually occurred, the prosecutor must produce evidence before the judge.

Elements of burglary

Burglary used to apply only to persons who broke into a home or dwelling. Today, the laws include entering any structure regardless of whether it is a home or building. Laws differentiate burglary as residential burglary and commercial burglary with the former treated more harshly.

Burglary includes the element of unlawful entry which means entering a building illegally without permission regardless of whether it is private or public place that is not opened. The persons who enter the structure illegally must have the intent to commit a crime. For example, a person enters a store with the intention to steal merchandise. Permission does not apply but only for legitimate purposes.

In some states, burglary includes “breaking” into a building or forced entry like picking a lock or breaking a window. Any type of unlawful entry regardless of how minimal will satisfy the requirement. However, the prosecutor must prove that the person has the intent to commit theft when he unlawfully entered the building. If there is no intention to commit a crime, it cannot be considered as burglary.

Burglary offenses are typically treated as felonies although some states allow misdemeanour burglary charges in certain situations. Actual sentencing option for burglary convictions include jailtime, fines, restitution and probation. Jailtime will depend on state laws and the circumstances of the case. The court will order restitution to compensate victims for their losses like replacing or repairing a damaged property. Fines for burglary are pretty significant at $100,000 and more for a felony conviction.

Because of the seriousness of a burglary charge, it would be wise to talk to Donich Law for proper advice before making any decisions. An experienced criminal defence lawyer would be the best choice to assist you with your case. He is familiar with the laws of the state and the criminal justice system and how to obtain the best possible results.

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