An arrest typically leads to an arraignment where the suspect hears the charges. A defendant might realize entering someone else’s property led to the arrest, but he or she could feel surprised to face burglary charges. Burglary often represents a “connected” charge since it often comes with another underlying crime, usually theft. However, “often” does not mean always.
The connection between burglary and theft
When someone does not have permission to enter a home or another property, expect criminal charges to result. A person standing on someone else’s lawn and refuses to leave could find trespassing charges unavoidable. Knocking down the door or forcibly opening a window may lead to several charges. Some could find burglary lists among their accused of crimes. A person who never intended to steal anything may wonder why burglary charges appear.
Burglary centers on unlawfully entering with the intent to commit a crime — many persons accused of burglary break into a home to steal. However, the crime underlying the burglary charge does not necessarily need to be theft.
Dealing with burglary accusations
The defendant could face burglary charges for entering a property without permission, including opening an unlocked door and walking inside to continue an argument with someone. In such a situation, no theft or conspiracy to commit theft appears. Question marks may even exist regarding whether the person illegally entered, depending upon the interaction between the accused and the person filing the charges.
A judge may consider dismissing a weak case against the defendant, which may happen when it appears the accused had the right or permission to enter. Or, the defendant may seek a plea bargain agreement if the charges are valid and the underlying crime serious.
An attorney may offer an option about how solid or weak a prosecutor’s case is. The attorney might then advise a client about a defense strategy.