David L. McCormick

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What are the elements of a burglary offense?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Criminal Law

Burglary is one of the most common crimes in Minnesota. A person who faces charges of burglary needs a solid defense in their case. However, it’s also up to the prosecution to prove that a defendant should be found guilty of the crime. This is due to certain elements that must be in place.

What is burglary?

Burglary is a type of crime that involves an illegal entry into a building or structure. It doesn’t necessarily have to only be a home or place of business. However, there is another component to burglary that requires a formidable criminal defense strategy: the person must have entered the structure with the intention of committing a crime once inside.

It’s important to understand that even if a person doesn’t actually commit a crime after unlawfully entering a structure, they can still end up being found guilty and convicted. In other words, a person may illegally enter a home through an unlocked door. While they might intend to steal jewelry, even if they don’t carry that out, they can still be charged with burglary.

What are the elements of burglary?

A person who is arrested on charges of burglary needs the strongest criminal defense possible. This is an offense that is viewed seriously by the court, which means a person who is convicted can face hefty penalties.

The prosecution has to prove that certain elements are in place to secure a conviction, however. The elements of burglary include the following:

  • The defendant committed unlawful breaking and entering.
  • The defendant entered a structure.
  • The defendant intended to commit a separate crime once they were inside the structure.

If any of those elements are absent from the situation, then the defendant would not be able to be convicted of burglary.

Burglary can take place in any type of structure or building. It can be a person’s private residence or a place of business. However, it’s even possible for a person to face burglary charges if they illegally enter a different type of structure like a garage or tool shed. Whatever the case, a strong defense might make a big difference in the outcome.