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The elements of a burglary charge

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Facing a Colorado burglary charge is one of the scariest experiences you can have. However, certain criteria are needed to prove that someone has committed this crime.

A building or structure is involved

There is a misconception that burglary is a crime that only involves breaking into a building to steal money or property. This isn’t the case, but the first element of the offense is the presence of a structure. There’s no cause for a burglary charge if this aspect is missing.

Entering the building or structure

Burglary charges require a person to enter a building or structure without authorization. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a home or office building. Even entering a garage, shed or vehicle can be considered an element of a burglary charge.

Entrance can occur through force to break in or even without such means. For example, a stranger steps into a home via an open first-floor living room window.

Intent to commit a crime

The next element of burglary is the intent to commit a separate crime once inside the building or structure. For example, three men find a store’s front door unlocked and enter. Once inside, they smash windows and glass displays, causing significant damage and requiring thousands of dollars to repair.

A burglary charge can occur even if a person doesn’t commit a crime once inside a building. Just intending to do that can result in an arrest on such charges.

When facing burglary charges, the best way to clear your name is to show that you had a right to be inside the property. Showing that one or more of the elements of the crime are missing could also help your case.

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