What Are Criminal Tools and How Do They Factor into a Burglary Charge?

Interviewer: Is there any charge for burglary tools? I mentioned a crowbar or other items that could be considered to help someone accomplish burglary.

Dale: That’s interesting when you start talking about “criminal tools,” because no matter when activity you’re engaged in, it seems like everything in your possession at the time becomes a “criminal tool.”

A Criminal Tool Is Classified as Any Object that Aids in a Commission of a Crime

As an example, this includes your cell phone and the car in which you store the stolen goods. Anything can be a “criminal tool.” Anything that helps you in the commission of the crime, and that could be almost anything.

Interviewer: Is that alleged by prosecutors? Are you facing a separate charge for that?

Possession of Criminal Tools Is an Additional Charge

Dale: Yes, it’s a very common charge. A separate charge of “Criminal tools,” will be added it on. The legal term is “Possession of criminal tools.”

Multiple Charges Commonly Accompany Burglary Charges

Interviewer: What other charges will you encounter along with a charge of burglary?

Dale: Well, they usually charge you with theft. They’ll be a theft charge involved.

They might charge you with a trespass. They might charge you with a B&E. Most prosecutors pile on the charges to see what they will be allowed to ultimately charge a defendant with.

Interviewer: If you break into someone’s house and steal, for example, a diamond ring you can not only be charged with burglary, but theft as well, and breaking and entering?

If Facing Multiple Theft Charges, It Is Important to Remember You Can Only Be Convicted of One

Dale: Absolutely, but you can only be convicted of one.

Interviewer:  That makes sense because it would seem like you would be facing double, triple, or quadruple jeopardy.

What Allied Offenses and How Do They Pertain to a Burglary Charge?

Dale: It’s what they call “Allied offenses.” You have to commit one to commit the other. That’s an allied offense. It gives them leeway. If the charges go before a jury, maybe the jury didn’t think you had the intent to commit a crime, but you did break and enter.

They can convict you on the breaking and entering. They couldn’t convict you of burglary and breaking and entering, because one charge is assumed by the other.

Interviewer: But people are charged oftentimes that way just to make sure at least one charge sticks?

Dale: Yes, that is how the prosecutors present the charges.

Is It Typical to Experience Anxiety in This Situation?

Interviewer: When you have people approach you and they’ve been charged, are they typically experiencing a great deal of anxiety because they perceive that they’re being charged with a multitude of different crimes?

Dale: All the time.

Your Attorney Can Help Allay Your Fears during This Time

Interviewer: Is this a common misconception that people have? If they have multiple charges against them, they could be convicted of all of them.

Dale: Yes, most people do exactly assume just that and most often, that perception is incorrect.

Is a Certain Demographic of the Population Charged with Burglary?

Interviewer: That’s good to know. Is there a typical profile or background of someone that is accused of burglary?

Dale: It’s more often than not a young person’s crime.

Interviewer: Is that because they don’t really think about the consequences?

Dale: That is correct and they’re not usually after big ticket items. But it does happen. I have represented some clients who scoped out a neighborhood. They pick out a few vulnerable houses, they hit them, and they’re gone.

What Is Home Invasion?

Interviewer: Is there such a thing as a “home invasion”? Is that a burglary or is that something different?

Home Invasion Is Not a Correct Term for a Crime

Dale: That is not a correct name for a crime. Certainly, it’s a crime to be in somebody’s home, but there’s no crime called “home invasion.”