What are the elements of burglary?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Alabama residents accused of burglary should immediately seek help. These charges are serious and require a strong defense. It’s important to understand the elements of this crime.

What is burglary?

Burglary is a crime that involves entering a property or structure without permission or authority and planning on committing a crime while inside. A person doesn’t need to actually break in to commit the offense. For example, if someone enters a home through an open window and then steals a wallet they find on a table once inside, it’s considered burglary. Burglary doesn’t require the use of force or a weapon. Often, there is no victim around during the crime.

What are the elements of burglary?

If a person is arrested and charged with burglary, the prosecution could only prove that they’re guilty based on the elements of the crime being present in the case. Burglary often doesn’t involve a victim. Most who commit the crime deliberately choose to enter a building when nobody is there.

The building or structure is an important element. It’s impossible to commit burglary without it. The building might be empty and is often dark. Many burglary crimes take place at night, after dark.

There must be specific elements of the crime in a situation of burglary. For example, the person who enters the property must have the intention of committing some type of crime once inside. Usually, this is a theft crime. It’s possible for the defense to argue that a person entered a building and then left without committing a crime while inside.

Sometimes, breaking and entering occur during a burglary. For example, if a person’s car is locked and someone uses a crowbar to break a window to get in and steal items inside, it would be considered a burglary crime.

Only after all of the elements of a burglary crime are in place can the prosecution claim that the defendant committed burglary. If any of these elements are missing, there would be reasonable doubt and the charges might be dismissed.