Burglar before burglary into the houseMany states define burglary in the same exact way. This is defined as the unauthorized breaking and entry into a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. Each of these elements must be present to be convicted of burglary. We will help you understand each of these elements in detail.

Elements of Burglary

Breaking and Entry: When you committed your crime, did you break into and enter a structure in an actual or constructive manner? For instance, in actual breaking, you may have used physical force such as picking a lock or kicking in a door. In constructive breaking, you may have gained entry through threats or blackmail. In order to satisfy breaking and entry, you must have actually entered the structure or else it does not count as a crime. This must have been done without consent.

Building or Structure: The structure must meet certain requirements to fulfill this element of the crime. Many states require that the structure must house people or animals, such as a home, garage, shed, or store. At the time of the burglary, the structure must have been closed to the public. This means that, if you enter a store and steal from it as it is operating, this would be shoplifting and not burglary. However, if you entered after hours, this would be burglary because you forced entry. 

Intent: You must have also had intent to commit a crime. The timing is usually very important in these cases, as it can help determine the degree of burglary.

As you can see, many factors must be considered when there is a suspected crime of burglary. Luckily for you, if you have been charged with this crime, you may be able to use a valid defense in your case. This is why it is important to speak to an experienced attorney about your case. Call us today at The Law Offices of Peter Blair for more information.