When it comes to a criminal case, the prosecution bears the burden of proving all elements of the crime. Take, for example, the recent case of two New York men facing charges of burglary.
A New York father and son have recently been accused of felony burglary in the third degree. The men already were serving jail time on separate burglary charges at the time they were accused of the new crimes. The father, age 50, and the son, age 19, were accused of stealing cash from a gas station ATM and cash register in early May, as well as tobacco and lottery scratch-off tickets. The criminal charges came after a reportedly lengthy investigation by New York state police and county police that was completed near the end of June. The father is also facing charges of felony criminal mischief in the third degree and the son is facing an additional charge of misdemeanor conspiracy in the fifth degree.
Charges of burglary are no laughing matter. Often these charges are considered a felony, which will result in harsher penalties than mere misdemeanor crimes. In general, when it comes to burglary or any crime, the prosecution must prove several elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
First of all, the suspects must have entered another's home or building without the permission of the property owner. However, if it can be established that the accused had the property owner's permission to be there, it is possible that this element of the crime may not be proven.
Secondly, the suspect must have entered the property with the intent to commit a crime, whether it is theft or another crime. Nonetheless, if the suspect entered the building of another, but without any intention to do something illegal, this element may not be satisfied.
As these examples show, crimes such as burglary may seem straightforward, but they are actually pretty complex. Anyone suspected of burglary should make sure that they thoroughly understand all of the charges against them so they can develop a good defense strategy with the help of an attorney.
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, "Police: Father, son hit with more burglary charges," Nina Schutzman, June 30, 2014