A burglary may seem like the most glamorous type of theft because of mainstream media depictions of the crime. People often think of burglary as a high-tech attempt to steal incredibly valuable assets. Numerous famous movies focus on high-stakes heists and make burglary seem like a very well-planned, even professional process.
The media depiction of burglary is somewhat misleading and could result in people being at risk of prosecution and not really understanding why. Obviously, those who infiltrate a residence or a business without permission and with the intention of stealing something from the owner or occupant will very likely face burglary charges should they get caught. However, actual theft is not necessary for North Carolina burglary charges. People can get arrested for burglary without any evidence that they stole or intended to steal from others.
What constitutes burglary?
Although burglary often involves property crimes like theft, it does not necessarily have to involve the intention to deprive someone of valuable property. Burglary is simply the act of illegally gaining access to a property with the intention of committing a crime. The crime doesn’t need to be theft necessarily.
Someone who breaks into a building with the intention of assaulting a resident could face burglary charges. Those who hide in a business after it closes or in a home after an open house for a real estate listing could end up arrested for burglary because their unlawful presence indicates an intention to commit a crime. Those accused of burglary will typically face felony charges. Simple breaking and entering charges, on the other hand, will usually be misdemeanor offenses.
A defense is possible when accused of burglary
Although a large percentage of those accused of burglary and similar crimes do plead guilty, it is possible for someone to successfully defend against burglary allegations in North Carolina criminal court. Some people provide proof that they had permission to be in a location, while others establish a reasonable explanation for their actions that does not include an intent to commit a crime.
Discussing the circumstances that led to someone’s burglary charges at length with a lawyer might help them determine the best option for defending against those criminal allegations.