What Are the Potential Defenses Against a Burglary Charge in New York?




    If you’re facing burglary charges, it can be a daunting experience. If convicted, the state can impose harsh penalties that negatively impact your life. As such, it’s vital to understand the possible defense that can help shield you from your charges. If you or someone you care about has been charged with burglary, you need to enlist the immediate legal assistance of a seasoned Nassau County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you explore all available defenses to prevent harsh penalties that could haunt you for the rest of your life. 

    What is burglary in New York?

    Generally, burglary is when an individual enters a structure unlawfully, intending to commit a crime. The act of burglary is limited to enclosed areas such as buildings; spaces open to the public do not constitute burglary. It’s crucial to understand that every state has its definition of burglary, meaning the elements of the crime may differ depending on where you live. In New York, for a crime to constitute burglary, it must meet two elements. The crime must involve unlawful entry and the intent to commit a crime.

    Burglary and robbery are often confused, but they are distinct crimes. Robbery involves the use of force or fear to unlawfully obtain someone else’s property, while burglary doesn’t require a victim to be present. It can encompass a variety of offenses, not just theft and larceny.

    Are there any defenses?

    Fortunately, various defenses can be used against burglary charges in New York. As mentioned above, for an act to be considered burglary, it must meet specific elements. Some of the possible defenses for this crime include, but are not limited to:

    • Criminal intent. One possible defense strategy against burglary charges is to challenge the intent element. When there is a lack of intent to commit a crime, meaning the defendant was present on the property in question but had no intention to commit a crime, it would not constitute burglary.
    • Owner’s permission or invitation. Another potential defense to consider is challenging unlawful entry. If the defendant had the property owner’s permission to enter the premises, they would not have committed burglary. As mentioned earlier, the second element of burglary is unlawful entry.
    • Mistaken identity. This can be a compelling defense if you demonstrate that you were wrongfully accused. In some cases, an unclear surveillance video or questionable identification by a witness can cast doubt on a defendant’s involvement in the alleged offense. If you can establish a mistaken identity by providing alibis, it can help you prove your innocence.
    • Insufficient evidence. The prosecution is burdened with proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They must prove that you are guilty of unlawful entry and had the intent to commit a crime. If they do not have adequate evidence, you can challenge their offense. Your attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence that was unlawfully obtained. This could result in specific evidence being thrown out, increasing your chances of reduced or dismissed charges.

    As you can see, numerous defenses could help combat your charges. When facing burglary charges, it’s in your best interest to retain the legal services of a skilled attorney from the legal team at Grunwald & Seman, P.C., who can help defend your rights and interests.

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