What Are the Potential Defenses Against a Burglary Charge?


Burglary is a serious offense with harsh penalties. When facing these charges, it’s crucial to understand the available defenses that could help safeguard your rights. If you or someone you love has been charged with Burglary, it’s imperative to seek immediate legal assistance from a skilled Baldwin County Criminal Defense Lawyer who can help you develop a solid legal strategy to prevent severe penalties. 

What is Burglary?

Burglary refers to unlawful entry into any enclosed area, such as a building, dwelling, or other structure, without permission, with the intent to commit a crime. The intent to commit a crime upon entry into the structure is the crucial element of this offense. Unlike popular belief, there is no requirement for breaking to classify an act as Burglary. It’s also imperative to note that Burglary differs from robbery, which involves using force or fear to take someone else’s property. On the other hand, Burglary usually does not involve a victim present and can include any crime, not just theft and robbery, as long as there is an intent to commit a crime. Burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense.

What are the possible defenses for Burglary charges?

If you’re facing a burglary charge, it can be a frightening and overwhelming experience as you may be subject to an array of harsh penalties if convicted. Fortunately, there may be available defenses that can help shield you from your charges. The following include but are not limited to some of the potential defenses for burglary charges:

  • Lack of intent. As mentioned above, one of the critical elements of a burglary charge is the intent to commit a crime. If there is no criminal intent, meaning the defendant was on the property in question but had no intention to do anything unlawful, Burglary would not be an appropriate charge.
  • Unlawful entry. The second element of a burglary charge is unlawful entry. If the defendant had the property owner’s permission or had been invited to the premises, they would not be guilty of Burglary. If they had a legitimate reason to enter the property, this can be used as a defense as it can challenge the allegation of unlawful entry.
  • Mistaken identity. In a burglary case, a witness making an incorrect or questionable identification can lead to a mistaken identity, which can become a compelling defense. Sometimes, a surveillance video may not clearly show the perpetrator’s identity, which can be used to prove that the defendant was not present at the crime scene when it occurred. If the defendant can provide a credible alibi, it can prove that they were wrongfully accused due to mistaken identity.

As you can see, various defenses are available that could help you combat burglary charges. However, to determine the best court of action, you need to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you’re facing burglary charges, please don’t hesitate to contact a qualified Baldwin County criminal defense lawyer from The Law Office of James M. Burns, who can help you explore all available defenses. Our firm is prepared to represent your interests today.