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Ward K Johnson Law

Ward K Johnson Law

North Dakota Breaking Down Burglary Charges

Burglary is an unlawful entry into a structure with the intent to commit a crime inside. The structure in question includes but is not limited to homes and businesses. The crime that is committed includes theft and larceny, among others. The person committing the burglary merely has to enter the building with the intent of committing a crime; physical breaking and entering or actually taking the person’s property is not required to be charged with burglary.

At Ward K Johnson, we have a strong legal defense team of Burglary Lawyers North Dakota. With our services, you will be able to create a strong defense against your burglary charge. We walk you through all the steps of legal procedure that will be required of you and make sure that we make the right arguments along the way.

First, let’s get a basic understanding of what a burglary charge is by breaking it down into its three main elements- 

Breaking and Entering

There are two ways in which a burglar can break and enter a building. Actual breaking involves the use of physical force. If you have been charged with burglary, you might be accused of picking the lock of a door, kicking a door open, or breaking window glass, in order to enter the building. Our Burglary Law Firm North Dakota has seen that it is considered an actual breaking-in if you use even a minimal amount of force, such as pushing open an already ajar door. Constructive breaking does not use physical force, like committing fraud or blackmailing your way into a building for example. 

Not only do you have to break into a building, but you also have to enter it. The entry can also be extremely minimal. If only your hand reached into the building, it can be construed as a burglary. The entry also has to be without the consent of the person who owns or occupies the property. 

Our Burglary Lawyers North Dakota can help you provide arguments to deny the charges of breaking and entering. We do this by looking at the facts and evidence presented in the case and then creating doubt as to whether these are true beyond a reasonable doubt.

Into a Structure

For your burglary charge to be strong enough for a conviction, there needs to be a structure that was entered into. This typically includes any type of building. Generally, the structure needs to be one that can house people or animals, or shelter property. It could be a house along with its outlying structures like garages and outhouses, a store, or an office building. Fenced-off areas that do not have a structure are not included in a burglary charge. 

This is usually a difficult element to fight. But by finding proof that casts reasonable doubt that you entered into the structure, our Burglary Law Firm North Dakota can build a case against your charges.

With the Intent to Commit a Crime

The prosecution must also prove that you had an intent to commit a crime when you entered the building, in order to convict you of a burglary. The crime must be separate from the break-in (which is itself considered a crime), such as theft. The timing of the intent also matters, and the severity of the charge will depend on whether you intended to commit the crime before you entered the building, or formed that intent only later. 

The burden of proof for this element falls on the prosecution, and with the right arguments, our Burglary Lawyers North Dakota can disprove this claim.

All three elements must exist for you to be convicted of a burglary. However, different states have specific laws. To find out which laws pertain to you, visit us at Ward K Johnson. Our Burglary Law Firm North Dakota will help you define your case and put up the most suitable defense for you.

This article is for information purposes only and is not to be substituted for legal advice.