If you stand accused of a crime such as burglary, you may be feeling somewhat intimidated or overwhelmed by the process. A conviction for burglary carries severe penalties that could prove detrimental to your future.
You may wish to protect yourself from potentially devastating consequences by challenging the burglary charges against you. However, the process can be complex, and you might be wondering about your available options for defense moving forward.
Burglary charges and potential defenses thereof
Before a conviction for burglary is obtainable, prosecutors must prove that you are culpable of the act of breaking into and entering a structure with the intent of committing a crime. Some potential defenses to a burglary charge may include the following:
- Innocence: Perhaps you maintain your innocence concerning the alleged crime or crimes; you may attempt to convince the court that you did not commit them.
- Innocent until proved guilty: Even if the prosecution wishes to proceed with the charges, prosecutors must prove you are guilty of the alleged crimes beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction is obtainable.
- Evidence: If you have an alibi, or you can cast doubt on the reliability of the evidence against you, this may result in a dismissal of your case.
- Admitting/denying: You may also choose to admit to certain aspects of this behavior, while denying that this behavior amounts to a crime. There may be several reasons to choose this as a viable option, one of which is if you have or had consent to enter the premises.
- Consent: Perhaps you had consent, or at least believe that you had consent, to enter the structure, you may be able to argue the validity of a burglary claim on the grounds that there was no breaking and entering.
While perhaps rare, intoxication or entrapment may also be an option for defense, as these may indicate a lack of intent or a potentially involuntary action. With several options available, seeking assistance in the initial stages of the process could prove exceedingly beneficial to the road ahead.
Advice and assistance
Along with the potential of a lengthy prison term, a conviction for an offense such as burglary could leave a mark on your criminal record, thus making it difficult to obtain employment in certain fields down the road. Perhaps you wish to protect your future by combating the charges, but you may be uncertain how to achieve this goal.
You could seek guidance from someone with extensive knowledge in federal and Illinois state laws concerning burglary for advice on the best course of action to take moving forward. If a conviction is unavoidable, this type of advice could prove beneficial to pursuing the most favorable outcome possible during court proceedings.