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Confused by a burglary charge?

There are several types of criminal charges that are widely misunderstood by the public, and some defendants are surprised by the types of allegations that they face after being arrested. Burglary charges are one of the most commonly misunderstood criminal allegations. Many people in Colorado believe that burglary refers to the theft of another person's property, when this is not actually the case.

Homes and businesses are not the only buildings or structures that can be burgled. Burglary is actually defined as an individual unlawfully entering any type of structure or building while intending to commit a crime after getting inside. People might also want to toss out their perception of a masked individual breaking through a window, as burglary can occur even if someone enters through an unlocked door.

The intended crime involved with a burglary charge usually is not theft. Burglary laws originally came about as a way for individuals to protect themselves against violence and the sanctity that a home is supposed to provide, rather than as a way to prevent theft. The three elements of a burglary charge do not include theft and instead focus on an unauthorized person breaking and entering an occupied structure while intending to commit some type of crime inside.

Without these three elements, a burglary conviction cannot be achieved. For those facing such a charge, an understanding of Colorado law regarding burglary and its potential consequences can be beneficial. It is often necessary to carefully examine each of the three elements involved in an alleged burglary to determine whether they were actually satisfied. 

Source: FindLaw, "Burglary Overview", Accessed on Oct. 17, 2016

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