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How hard is it to prove "with intent to commit a crime therein" for burglary 3rd degree in NY?

Kingston, NY |

Do the police lie during a trial most of the time or what?

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Attorney answers 3


How difficult it is to prove your intent depends on the facts unique to any case. For example, did you have burglars tools, did you have property that did not belong to you, did you make admissions to the police, did you have a valid reason for your presence, do you have prior convictions that can be used against you (usually only used if you testify but can be used if there is a particular M.O. involved. These are just a few. Your attorney, depending on their level of experience, should be able to tell you what arguments the prosecutor will use. I wouldn't say "most" of the time but I think they some do lie in an effort to help the case. Sometimes its those lies that result in an acquittal.

Richard Southard
I am a former Deputy Bureau Chief with the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office who has been specializing in criminal law for over 16 years. I offer free consultations by telephone, in-office or by video-conference.

All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. However, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication. For a privileged private consultation, contact me at 212-385-8600 or via my website


Most Police don't lie most of the time. I suspect some lie often, but fortunately it isn't a large number. On the other hands thieves lie most of the time. How easy is it to prove "with intent to commit a crime therein" depends on a lot of factors which were not in your post, and should not be on a public message board. If for example, you were caught in a private home in the middle of the night when the owners were not there and you broke a window to get in, its easy. If you were caught in a public park during day light hours, its not.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -



What about an abandoned, vacated building that had a fire in it and there was nothing inside of value. I believe it "may" constitute criminal trespassing 2nd degree, but not burglary, because "the intent to commit a crime therein" I simply had no intent to commit a crime before, when entering, or thereafter unlawfully remaining in the building. Can we ask questions at trial on direct examination? Thank you for your time, sir. Happy New Year!!

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold


You should not be posting about this on a public message board. You're essentially admitting tot he commission of a criminal act. I think that they charged you with intent, but that will be hard to prove, and that this could be pleaded down to a violation. By your questions, you indicated a clear necessity for you to obtain an attorney to represent you, because if you try to question witnesses knowledgeable in the law, you will get yourself in huge heaps of trouble.


There are many ways the prosecution can establish the “intent to commit a crime.” Some may be more difficult than others. It all depends of the facts and circumstances of the case.



What's your opinion and experience with the police lying (testifying) at trial to help the D.A.'s case?

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