What if you are wrongly accused of burglary? Being a felony crime with serious consequences, a conviction here can easily ruin your life. The jail time is bad enough on its own, but a felony conviction will stay on your record for years, and will make it almost impossible to get a good job in the future.
In situations like these, the right defense can make all the difference. What possible strategies do you have?
Establish an Alibi
There are many ways to prove your innocence in a burglary case. The best and easiest way is to provide a reliable alibi. If you have any eyewitnesses that can put you at a different place than the crime scene when the burglary happened, you are usually quite safe. Cases are rarely this convenient, though, so you may have to explore other options.
Miller &Steiert, P.C. says that there are different types of defense for complex criminal matters. Remember that all you really need is a doubt; if your lawyer can attack the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence, or question the reliability of a forensic technique, they may not have enough to convict you.
Many defendants also use the affirmative defense; this is when you admit that you engaged in the behavior that the prosecution accuses you of, but argue that it was not actually a crime. How does this work? For burglary cases, this is usually a matter of consent or intentions.
Imagine that the prosecution accuses you of breaking the window of your friend’s car, and then stealing the laptop and cash inside. You can admit that you indeed took these items, but only to keep them safe, as the car was in a dangerous area. In addition, you deny breaking the window, and insist that you used a key; this implies that someone else broke the window after you were gone.
If you can sufficiently prove that you had permission to enter a property, and did not intend to commit a crime, then getting an acquittal is likely.
Seeking a Plea Bargain
When all else fails, getting a plea bargain can significantly reduce your sentence, and may even keep your record relatively clean. Your top priorities are to avoid jail time and to keep this event from affecting your career – almost everything else is negotiable.