When dealing with burglary crimes, burglary in the first degree is often considered a felony. Many people think of the crime as one that is committed under the cover of darkness at night by someone who is wearing black clothing or who is wearing mask and trying to get inside a business or a home. This is considered burglary, but there are many other components with the crime that are approached when charges are filed. Burglary is a crime in each state, but the penalties are usually different, ranging from fines to restitution and time in jail.
First degree burglary is committed when the defendant enters a building with the intention of a crime being committed. The prosecution must be able to show that there is evidence that a crime has occurred while convincing a jury or a judge beyond a reasonable doubt that the burglary was intentional. Until recent years, burglary only involved the defendant unlawfully entering a person’s home. Now, a burglary charge can be sought if the person enters an abandoned building or a business. School buildings, houseboats and tents are also included in the types of dwellings that can be burglarized. A residential burglary is often punished more severely than if the building is a business or a commercial property. The residence must be an environment where someone lives, even if it is a campsite.
One of the components of first degree burglary is that the defendant entered the building, whether it’s a home or business, without permission. The building must be one that is privately owned and operated or one that is publicly owned but prevents unlawful entry without permission. Another aspect of the crime is that the defendant enters a building that is public but plans to commit a crime while inside the building. The entire body of the defendant doesn’t need to be inside the building for first degree burglary to occur. A tool used to commit the crime can be put through a door or window, and the person would still be charged. There are some states that pair breaking into a building with burglary. Forced entry will satisfy this claim. The prosecution must be able to show that a felony was going to be committed in order to charge the defendant with first degree burglary.
Examples Of First Degree Burglary
A simple example of this crime is if a person breaks a door or window in a home or business and enters the property. The person would plan on stealing something or have the time to steal something before law enforcement arrives. Another example is if a person enters a store and takes items from the shelves without paying for them. An example of forced entry would be when the defendant lifts a window or uses a door knob to gain entrance. If someone arrives at an event with the intent of taking property, then this is considered burglary. If the person simply sees something and takes it without intending to when arriving, then it’s considered theft.
Defenses For First Degree Burglary
A NYC criminal attorney can examine the evidence that is presented to determine if there was any intent when the crime occurred. If the defendant is convicted of burglary, the person can be sentenced to jail for up to 20 years and see hefty fines. A defense that is sometimes used is that the defendant was forced to break into the building and steal items inside. It’s hard to come up with a defense to this type of crime, but a possible one is that the defendant didn’t commit the act in the first place.
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