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Is it burglary if a culprit first decides to commit a crime only after entering a building?

Kingston, NY |

If someone grew some marijuana plants on the outside of an abandoned building on the deck and then got caught entering the building thereafter when the police arrived, but had no intent to commit a crime while inside, can they charge me with burglary and would it stick?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

I think I saw this question several times last week. This version sounds more like a trespass.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

Asker

Posted

thank you, finally someone agrees with me. maybe it's how i presented the facts.

Posted

I believe youve asked this several times already. Yes they can charge you with the Burglary and it could legally stick. Whether or not a jury would buy it is a different story. If you were charged get a lawyer and review all of the facts and circumstances with him/her. S/he can best advise and guide you.

Asker

Posted

i thought that with burglary, the key moment is the burglar's entrance into a building. If at that moment the burglar intends to commit a crime inside the building, it's burglary, therefore wouldn't it be true that if a culprit first decides to commit a crime only after entering a building it doesn't constitute burglary? are you on the same page as me?

Benjamin J Lieberman

Benjamin J Lieberman

Posted

I don’t know what page you're on so I couldn’t tell you if we are on the same page. A person doesn’t have to have the intent to commit a crime while at the threshold of the building. He can have the intent several hours before or even once s/he gets in the building (though it would depend on the purpose of entering the building). Intent is usually extrapolated from the collateral circumstances and that is what any prosecutor would argue.

Posted

Arguably tyou entered into the premises with the intent to commit the crime of facilitating your growth of marinjuana, or trespassing...

Asker

Posted

That's a big word, "Arguably"! Do you mean the police/prosecutor/judge may arguably justify that twisted version of the facts? that's distorting the facts and overcharging me. i believe it's criminal tresspassing at best.

Posted

They can try but it will be very fact specific.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
Jlopiccolo@hbclaw.net

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.