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What are the elements of a burglary?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Federal Crimes |

If you have been charged with a burglary in Florida, it’s important to understand the nature of this crime. There are several elements of the crime of burglary that distinguish it from similar acts, such as breaking and entering.

Breaking and entering has taken place

The first element of burglary will involve unauthorized breaking and entering. This means that someone has entered a building without the permission of the owners. They may have done so in a purely physical manner. This would involve using a gun, axe, crowbar, or some other tool. This type of entry involves the concept of actual force.

There is also another type of illegal entry that is known as constructive force. This is an act that does not involve the use of an actual weapon. For example, one could gain entry through the use of threats or blackmail. Regardless of the method used, the actual entry is achieved through unlawful means. The charge of breaking and entering will still apply.

A building or occupied structure was entered

The second element involves the area where the crime takes place. This must be a place that is designed to shelter either humans or animals. In most cases, it will be either a private residence or a business location. The point is that they are doing so without the consent of the owner.

There was intent to commit a crime

The third and final element that must be proved is that there was definite intent to commit a crime. In most cases, the motive will be theft. A person may break into someone’s home in order to steal their jewelry or rifle through their safe. They may also enter a corporate building to steal equipment.

Breaking and entering consists of unlawfully entering a building with the intent to commit a crime. A person can be charged with this crime if all of the required elements are present.