Being charged with burglary can be a shock to any South Carolina resident. While you might know you’re innocent, it’s important to have a solid criminal defense. There are certain elements of a burglary charge, so if anything is absent in your case, the charges might be thrown out.
A building or structure
Burglary is a crime that involves a building or structure. Without a building or structure, the offense can’t happen. Usually, the crime occurs when no one is present. The perpetrator might stalk the property before actually taking the next step.
Breaking into the building or structure
The next element of burglary involves a person breaking into the building or structure. This could be considered breaking and entering, which needs a criminal defense strategy if an arrest is made and charges are handed down. Breaking in could involve breaking a window, picking a lock on a door or otherwise forcing their way inside.
The burglary itself
Another element of a burglary crime is the burglary itself taking place. Once a person has entered a building or structure after breaking in, they must have the intent to commit another crime once inside. This could be any number of things. For example, if someone breaks a window in a house with the intention of stealing money once inside, they could face burglary charges if they are caught. Even if the person wants to vandalize the interior of the structure, it could be considered burglary.
A person could be charged with burglary even if they don’t actually commit a second crime once inside the building. For example, if someone broke into a home and wanted to pilfer jewelry but got scared off by a loud noise and fled, they could still face burglary charges.
There are times when a person might be wrongfully accused of burglary. If that is the case for you, it’s important to understand the charges and protect your rights.