Gillette Burglary Defense Attorneys
The Wyoming statute states that, “A person is guilty of burglary if, without authority, he enters or remains in a building, occupied structure or vehicle, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, with intent to commit theft or a felony therein.” The offense becomes aggravated burglary if, in the course of committing the crime of burglary, the person:
- Is armed with or uses a deadly weapon or a simulated deadly weapon
- Knowingly and recklessly inflicts bodily injury on anyone; or
- Attempts to inflict bodily injury on anyone.
The statute specifically defines the phrase “in the course of committing the crime” to include the time during which an attempt to commit burglary or flight after an attempt or commission takes place.
To prove that a burglary occurred, the prosecution must show evidence for each of the elements of the crime and convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt on each element.
- Entering a building or structure: In Wyoming, the crime involves entering or remaining in a building, occupied structure, or vehicle, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof. In this context, entering does not necessarily mean with the entire body. Entering has still occurred if the person simply reaches into the building or structure.
- Illegal entry: The prosecution must show that the accused did not have permission to enter the building or structure or did so illegally. This usually applies to privately owned buildings or public buildings that were not open or publicly accessible at the time.
- Intent to commit theft or a felony: Burglary does not necessarily mean theft. A person who entered a building or structure illegally to commit another felony crime could be charged with burglary. The prosecution must show that the person intended to commit the crime before or at the point of entry. If someone enters a building illegally with the intent to commit theft or a felony, then changes his mind or gets caught before he can commit the crime, it is still burglary.
Burglary is a felony in Wyoming. It is punishable by not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
Aggravated burglary carries even stiffer penalties – not less than five years or more than 25 years in prison, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.
The crime of burglary carries heavy penalties. If you have been charged with this felony offense, it is important to develop a defense strategy with your attorney. If the prosecution fails to prove one element of the crime, the entire case will fail. Common defenses to burglary include the following:
- Actual innocence: The defendant did not commit the crime of which he is being accused. The burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. The defense only needs to create doubt in the minds of the jury.
- Not the way it seems: A defendant may admit to the actions the prosecution is alleging but argue that he was not committing a crime. For example, the defendant may have had the consent of the owner or occupier of the property to be there.
- Lack of intent: The crime of burglary includes the specific intent to commit a crime after entering the building or structure. If there was no intent, burglary did not occur.
If you are facing burglary charges, you need an experienced Gillette criminal defense lawyer. At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we understand that a criminal conviction can have serious repercussions, and we want to help. Call us at (307) 257-7800 to set up a free case strategy session.
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