There are various theft offenses in Louisiana, so if you or your loved one is facing charges, you should know the elements that make up the type of theft charge you are in for and its potential consequences. Here are the characteristics of burglary you should know.
What is burglary defined as in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, burglary is the entry into someone else’s structure, such as their house, business, car or other property, without their permission and with the intention of committing a crime; this includes any offense, not just theft, arson or assault. It is important to note that entry doesn’t necessarily mean there has to be a door; the simple act of trespassing on someone’s property satisfies the first half of the burglary charge. The other half entails the criminal activity that the person allegedly wanted to commit.
Elements of burglary in Louisiana
For a theft crime to qualify as a burglary, it must have certain elements. They include the following:
- Unlawful or unauthorized entry
- A structure or a building in which they get into
- An intention to commit a crime
Most people often confuse breaking and entering; almost any act where a part of your body is inside someone’s property qualifies. For example, if you force your hand through a window and commit a crime, the owner of that property can file a burglary lawsuit against you.
In addition, if you enter a place illegally but you don’t commit a crime, you will face breaking and entry charges alone. The prosecutor must prove your intention to commit a crime. And the degree of the offense will depend on the crime you intend or have committed.
Penalties for burglary
Louisiana categorizes burglary as a felony. If you are facing charges, you’ll need a criminal defense strategy because the penalties are quite harsh. They may include the following:
- For simple burglary, which is burglary without a weapon of violence, the offense is punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a $2,000 fine.
- A simple burglary at a place without an inhabitant could lead to imprisonment of 1 to 12 years.
- Burglary with a weapon in hand can lead to up to 30 years in prison.
The consequences for burglary are harsh because this offense involves more than one crime. The first is breaking and entering, followed by the crime the person commits next or intends to commit.