Maybe you had a rough night of drinking and needed a place to sleep it off. Or maybe you simply thought you were at your home or the home of somebody else. Whatever the cause, you broke into somebody's home, slept on the floor, and got caught. And now they are attempting to set you up as an attempted burglary. Thankfully, you can avoid prison time with the help of an attorney.
Burglary Has A Very Specific Definition
Breaking into somebody's house to sleep for the night could be considered a case of trespassing or breaking and entering. However, it has only passed two of the four elements of a burglary case. The other two elements of this kind of case are intent and actual loss. Intent states that you intended to commit burglary when you broke in and that you actually stole something from the resident.
Now, sleeping on somebody's basement floor doesn't show much intent to commit a burglary. And giving yourself up immediately when confronted also shows a lack of criminal intent. However, the plaintiff may try to argue that you were guilty of attempted burglary to get you in trouble.
Attempt Is Very Important In Burglary
While you may have broken into a person's home to find a place to stay for the night, you may not have had any intent to rob the place. Instead, you found a place to sleep somewhere that was warm and safe before you were caught by the homeowner. They may believe that you were attempting to commit burglary, but the law will think differently.
That said, their lawyer may still attempt to argue that you were intending to rob the place, even if you showed no attempt to do so. This argument states that your very act of breaking into the house constitutes a criminal offense. While that argument is somewhat facetious, it may swing a jury or even a judge if it is argued with enough force.
Beating This Charge
The situation may seem grim to you, but you actually have a strong chance of beating an attempted burglary charge. That's because the prosecution is not likely to have any evidence of you plotting or attempting a burglary. It may just end up being your word against that of the plaintiff, and if there is no hard evidence that you were stealing, you may be safe.
However, there is a chance that lesser charges of trespassing may be brought up against you. In fact, it is often a wise idea to bargain with the prosecution on this point and bring your charge down to a lower one. While you still might end up on probation, you are less likely to end up going to prison and may end up having to attend a few classes.
The reality of the situation here is that you shouldn't have entered somebody's home without their permission. However, you don't have to suffer a penalty you don't deserve. Talk to a burglary offense law office to learn more about this kind of complex case.