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Cullman County’s Local Legal Team

What makes a burglary charge stick?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If you are convicted of burglary, you may spend time in an Alabama jail or prison. You may also pay a fine, be placed on probation or face a variety of penalties. However, if a prosecutor cannot prove that you actually committed this crime, you may be able to avoid some or all potential sanctions.

You entered a structure to commit a crime

The first element of a burglary charge is the fact that you entered a structure such as a car, boat or apartment complex with the intent to commit a crime. It’s worth noting that you can enter the structure by force, coercion or by any other means. Therefore, you may be guilty of burglary if you entered your parent’s house using the key that they gave you to steal an expensive piece of art. Although you may have had permission to use the key, it’s unlikely that you would have had permission to use it to commit a crime.

No intent usually means no conviction

The fact that you didn’t intend to commit a crime may be a key pillar of your criminal defense strategy. For instance, you may argue that you had permission to enter a parent’s home for the purpose of taking a piece of art to be appraised. Assuming that is true, the fact that you entered a structure and removed something from it wouldn’t constitute burglary because you intended to return it.

If a prosecutor cannot prove that your case rises to the level of burglary, there is a good chance that you’ll be acquitted. It’s also possible that the prosecutor will offer a favorable plea deal to make the matter go away. In the event that you’re acquitted, it may be possible to have the burglary charge expunged.