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Understanding the components of a burglary charge in Ohio

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

In Ohio, burglary is a serious criminal offense that could result in jail time and hefty fines. Thankfully, it may be possible to have the court reduce or dismiss these charges if the defendant can prove that the prosecutor did not meet certain criteria, which include:

Entering a structure

The prosecutor must show that the defendant got into someone else’s property through an open or closed door or window or by climbing over a wall or fence. The prosecutor doesn’t need to prove that they actually broke into the building, only that they entered it unlawfully.

Intent to commit a crime

The intent to commit a crime means that the defendant had an objective or plan to engage in criminal activity – typically theft – while on the premises. The prosecutor doesn’t need to prove that the defendant committed a crime, only that they intended to.

This is often one of the more challenging aspects of a burglary charge to prove, as it requires inferring from the defendant’s actions and the circumstances surrounding the incident due to its subjective nature. It’s here that a well-versed criminal defense can play a crucial role, challenging the allegation of intent and potentially leading to a reduction or dismissal of charges.

Factors that may aggravate this charge

The first is inflicting, attempting or threatening to inflict harm on the people who inhabit the structure. The second is if the defendant armed themselves with a deadly weapon when they entered the building, even if it turns out that they committed no crime with it.

It is important to remember that each burglary case is unique and demands a thorough analysis of the circumstances, evidence and legal implications. Charting a path forward requires a deep understanding of Ohio law, a commitment to justice and a meticulous approach to crafting a strong defense strategy. If things go well, the court might dismiss, reduce or change the charge to a lesser offense.