What constitutes burglary charges in North Carolina?

| Jul 12, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Burglary charges could leave someone faces difficult challenges in the North Carolina criminal justice system. Some defendants may feel surprised when facing burglary charges since they did not steal anything. Burglary represents a charge different from theft, although many people confuse the two. Several elements need to be in place for burglary charges to have credibility, though.

Burglary charges explained

Several elements add up to burglary charges. Entering a dwelling or home owned by another person with the intent to commit a crime constitutes burglary. For example, someone may climb through an open window of a neighbor’s house to steal something. Even though the accused never stole anything, he or she could face burglary charges if caught. Again, burglary reflects a separate crime from theft or robbery.

And no, the “crime” associated with burglary intentions need not be connected to theft. The crime could be another property violation, such as vandalism. Or, the offense may involve the intention to harm another person. Sexual assault and kidnapping would be examples of crimes that may happen after illegally entering a home or apartment.

Burglary charges and their defenses

A person who approaches a door to confront someone but never enters verbally may face charges for such disorderly conduct. However, if the accused never entered the property, burglary charges may not apply. Burglary and breaking and entering would surely apply if someone kicked down a door and entered without permission.

Burglary charges would seem inappropriate when dealing with someone with permission to enter a property or who has the right to enter. Mistaken identity or the failure to provide proper identification may complicate a situation, but the arrest might have a tough time standing up in court when the “burglar” rents a room in the home entered.

An attorney could explain burglary charges to a client. The attorney may review the charges to determine a reasonable defense strategy.