What Constitutes a Burglary Charge?

When it comes to property crimes, people often confuse burglary for other theft crimes. Burglary, as defined by North Carolina is distinct from robbery and breaking and entering.

If you face accusations of burglary, it is advantageous to understand what burglary is and how you can defend yourself against said charges.


The North Carolina legislation defines burglary as breaking and entering a building, without permission to commit a crime like theft. There are two degrees of burglary. First-degree burglary involves theft in an occupied dwelling. Then, second-degree burglary is when it is a building where no one is home. The crime of burglary has steep penalties. Factors that affect your charge include the type of building and the intent to commit a crime. Burglary in the first degree may be a Class D felony and second-degree burglary is a Class G felony.


A burglary defense must prove one or more of the elements of the crime false, explains FindLaw. For instance, if you have an alibi, you may be able to prove that you are innocent of the crime. Without an alibi, there are still defenses available.

For instance, you can say that you lacked intent. To commit burglary, you must have an intent to commit the crime. Sometimes, intoxication can be a valid defense for a lack of intent. If you had consent to enter the property but the owner of the property never revoked it, then you did not break in. If you believed you could enter the property, then your belief in consent is enough.

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