Burglary Defenses

Locate a Local Criminal Lawyer

Find Lawyers in Other Categories
Most Common Defense and Criminal Law Issues

What Is Burglary?

Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry into a building, with the intent to commit a crime in the structure. Some jurisdictions include other elements, such as breaking and entering at nighttime, or intending to commit a felony. Burglary is sometimes classified as a “crime against the habitation,” although the building does not usually need to be a home.

Since there are so many elements to the crime of burglary, many cases that seem like burglary actually are not. For example, if the defendant was granted access to the building, it will not be considered burglary. Or, if they did not intend to commit a crime, it also would not be considered burglary, even if the entry was illegal. However, they may be guilty of other crimes like larceny.

Are There Any Defenses Against Burglary Charges?

Probably the best defense against a burglary charge is where all the necessary elements of proof have not been met. As mentioned, all the elements need to be satisfied in order to be guilty of burglary. Defenses raised in relation to the elements of burglary are called “affirmative defenses.” These may include:

Other criminal defenses may be applicable to burglary cases, including:

Again, it is common for burglary defenses to result in the charges being lessened from burglary to a less serious crime, like petty theft or breaking and entering. Also, burglary can be confusing, and many people attempt to file a burglary charge when really it is an entirely different crime in question. Be sure to consult with an attorney if you have questions about burglary laws in your area. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Burglary Defenses?

Burglary is probably one of the more misunderstood areas of criminal law. If you are facing burglary charges, you may wish to speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense, but a qualified criminal lawyer can advise you on your options in terms of raising a defense.   

Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 12-08-2016 04:20 PM PST

Find the Right Lawyer Now

Link to this page

Law Library Disclaimer

LegalMatch Service Mark