New Orleans Burglary Defense Attorney
What is Burglary in Louisiana?
Generally, people associate burglary with theft; however, unlawfully entering another person’s property for the purpose of committing any type of crime may constitute Burglary in Louisiana. The individual also does not necessarily need to break in for the crime to be charged as burglary. The person may simply trespass through an open door to enter the property. The person also does not even have to commit a crime once on the property. The issue is whether or not the individual entered with the intent to commit a crime.
Burglary under Louisiana law is a specific intent offense, which means in this context that the prosecutor must prove that the accused had the specific intent to commit a criminal act inside the structure. For example, if a person enters an office intending to assault a worker who is there late at night, but gets frightened off by a security guard before committing the assault, the person could still be convicted of burglary. Otherwise, if the person simply entered the structure with no intentions then he could be convicted of trespassing (going onto someone else’s property without permission), but not burglary.
Possible Penalties of Conviction
Burglary is classified as a felony in Louisiana, which means the punishments are very harsh. The specific penalties will vary depending on the structure that was unlawfully entered. The specific facts of the case, (such as whether the defendant was in possession of a weapon or whether anyone was injured) will also affect sentencing. The consequences you face could include incarceration, fines, restitution and probation. A conviction of burglary will negatively impact your life.
New Orleans Burglary Crimes
Simple burglary is the unauthorized entering of any dwelling, vehicle, watercraft, or other structure, movable or immovable, or any cemetery, with the intent to commit a felony or any theft.
Aggravated burglary is the unauthorized entering of any dwelling, vehicle, watercraft, or other structure, movable or immovable with the intent to commit a felony or any theft therein, when the offender possesses a dangerous weapon or commits a battery upon any person while in such a place.
Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling
Simple burglary of an inhabited home is the unauthorized entry of any inhabited dwelling with the intent to commit a felony or any theft.
Unauthorized Entry of a Place of Business
Unauthorized entry of a place of business is the intentional entry by a person without permission onto any premises, belonging to another, that is completely enclosed by any type of physical barrier that is at least 6 feet in height and used as a place of business.
Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling
Unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling is the intentional entry by a person without permission into any inhabited dwelling or place of living by another person.
Home invasion is the unauthorized entering of any inhabited dwelling, where a person is present, with the intent to use force or violence upon the person of another or to vandalize, deface, or damage the property of another.
Possible Defenses to Burglary Louisiana
There are a number of defenses that can be raised against burglary charges in Louisiana. Whether or not you have any of the following defenses available will depend on the facts of your case.
Lack of Intent
- Prosecutors must prove that you intended to commit a crime in a structure in order to obtain a burglary conviction.
Mistake of Fact
- If you, through an honest mistake, took something you thought was permissible to take, or thought you had proper permission to take, you cannot be rightfully convicted of burglary.
- If the defendant owns the property or has right to the property that was taken, the consent defense may be viable.
- Unfortunately, at times innocent people are accused of crimes. You may have a legitimate defense if you have a situation of mistaken identity, false accusation, or evidence is misleading.
- If police misconduct occurs, your attorney may have a viable defense against your burglary charge. Some of the possible forms of police misconduct include asking leading questions of a witness, violation of Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search, coercion of a confession, and fabricating or planting evidence in the case.
Contact: New Orleans Burglary Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary in the New Orleans area, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and ensure the details of your case are adequately represented. Regardless of the type of burglary charges you or a loved one is facing, your case should not be taken lightly. Burglary is a serious offense in Louisiana. New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney Elizabeth Bagert Carpenter has the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to fight for you. She is committed to ensuring that her clients get the proper attention they deserve. Contact our office at 504-599-5955 – available 24/7.