Burglary Overview

Burglary, is it the same as theft ?  Why am I being charged with burglary if I didn’t steal anything?  Wouldn’t I just be trespassing?  All these questions are legitimate and can be confusing to sift through.  An experienced defense attorney can help navigate the many nuances and overlap of these different charges with you.  Someone who knows the ins and outs of what needs to be proved or disproven can increase the likeliness of justice you may be seeking. 

 Let’s explore what burglary is in the eyes of the law, and how some of the circumstances that may be surrounding charges you are facing can effect the outcome.


 Burglary: Definition

According to Nevada law, (NRS 205.060) Burglary is defined as when: “a person who, by day or night, enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, vehicle, vehicle trailer, semitrailer or house trailer, airplane, glider, boat or railroad car, with the intent to commit grand or petit larceny, assault or battery on any person or any felony, or to obtain money or property by false pretenses, is guilty of burglary.”

Burglary: Act Requirement

While at first glance, it’s easy to assume something stolen is required to qualify for this particular crime, simply entering, or “breaking and entering” is the only action required to qualify as burglary.  So while theft may sound implied, it is not necessary.  Burglary, it turns out, is not necessitated by theft, and is a bit more involved than just simply trespassing.

Burglary: Intent Requirement

Notice the word intent under the burglary definition above.  Gaining possession of money or property is not even necessary to be considered guilty of burglary. Even simply possessing the tools necessary to commit larceny is enough to garnish a gross misdemeanor charge of possession and punishable with up to 364 days in jail and $2,000 in fines.  Possession, as defined in (NRS 205.080) is concidered ”Possession of instrument with burglarious intent; making, alteration or repair of instrument for committing offense; penalty.”  The burden of proof of intent, however, must be proven, or in our case, disproven, beyond a reasonable doubt.   

 More Questions About Burglary? An Attorney Can Help

Simple burglary is considered a “Category B Felony” with a minimum prison sentence of 1 year and as much as a $10,000 fine. In varying circumstances, say for instance if a deadly weapon is involved or victims become injured due to the crime, the penalties levied against you can be raised and the classification of your charge can also be elevated.  A conviction is considered permanent on your record.  This can cause many unforeseen limitations such as where your able to work and even your ability to vote.  Make sure you take every precaution to not let this happen to you. If you or someone you know is concerned about a burglary charge, it’s critical to contact John Routsis as early as possible to better understand the charges and the possible penalties that come with a conviction.