Understanding Legal Challenges

4 Possible Defenses To Burglary Charges

Burglary is often confused with robbery, but they're not the same thing at all. Burglary is nothing more than illegally entering a building with the intent to commit a crime -- which means that you don't have to even commit a crime once you're there to be guilty. 

It's important to understand, however, that you're only guilty of what the prosecution can prove! Learn more about some of the potential defenses if you've been charged:

1. You aren't guilty.

Sometimes it's possible to show that the police and prosecution simply made a mistake. If, for example, there's a case of mistaken identity or there's evidence you simply wandered into someplace that wasn't locked the way it was supposed to be, that could be enough to win an acquittal.

2. You had permission to be there.

If you had the owner's consent to enter a building, it isn't burglary. This sort of situation can come up when you've been permitted in the past. If the owner never expressly told you that you weren't allowed to enter again, it's reasonable to assume that the permission continued. For example, maybe your neighbor once told you that it was okay to enter the attached garage and get his mower anytime you wanted. If he forgot to mention it to his wife and you entered when he wasn't home, you could end up on charges -- but that doesn't mean you really didn't have permission to be there.

3. You had no intention of doing anything illegal.

It's entirely possible to be inside a building without authorization and still not be guilty of burglary -- as long as you weren't there with any intention to commit a crime. For example, perhaps you wandered into the wrong home or apartment while you were intoxicated and just wanted to go to bed. While you might be guilty of something like trespassing, that's much less serious than a burglary charge. 

4. You were accidentally trapped inside.

This sort of defense is possible when someone gets left behind after a store closes. It can happen more easily than most people imagine! For example, if you were in the bathroom when a store closed and nobody did a quick check of the facilities, you could easily come out and find yourself locked inside. That's certainly not a situation that makes you guilty of burglary because you didn't enter without permission and didn't intend to commit a crime.

If you're charged with burglary, don't assume that the prosecution can convict you just because they say that they can. It isn't always that easy. Talk to an attorney that handles burglary offense law instead. Go to site to learn more about burglary defense law.