Burglary Essay

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Black’s Law Dictionary defines the crime of burglary at common law, as the breaking and entering of a dwelling house of another in the nighttime with the the intent to commit a felony therein. The modern statutory definition of burglary is less restrictive. Under modern statutory burglary a person is guilty if he enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, with purpose to commit a crime therein, unless the premises are at the time, open to the public or the person is licensed or privileged to enter. At common law, burglary was regarded as an infamous offense against the habitation of the home and not against the property. In order to preserve this security the common law created safeguards…show more content…
Even if a defendant was originally given consent or permission to enter the dwelling house of another at a certain time, but failed to do so and entered at a different time without any consent or permission, the defendant could be guilty of burglary, if the other elements were met. Additionally, it is necessary to understand what nighttime means in terms of committing this offense. Nighttime is generally defined as the time, when it is so dark that a person’s face cannot be identified except by artificial light or moonlight. The nighttime element might be shown by fitting a certain time frame of the crime into the period of time between the recorded sunset and the recorded sunrise. Alternatively, a person present at the scene of the crime at the time of the burglary or shortly thereafter might be able to testify to the darkness. Also, another important consideration to burglary is what is actually considered a dwelling house or sleeping apartment. Typically, a dwelling house or sleeping apartment is a structure regularly used by an individual or individuals for the purpose of sleeping. For example a home, an apartment, a hotel or a rooming house or any place that has a bed and is regularly used for sleeping purposes. If a building is not typically use for sleeping, a defendant may be able to use that as an affirmative defense to the…show more content…
A common intended felony during a burglary is larceny, which is the taking away of personal property of another without consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, knowing that it was not their property to take. In North Carolina, larceny can be a misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than $1,000.00. However, the North Carolina burglary statute provides in part that for the purposes of defining the crime of burglary, larceny shall be deemed a felony without regard to the value of the property
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