Hollywood likes to portray burglars as hardened criminals who are breaking and entering” to do something extremely violent or nefarious. However
Under New York law, an individual commits third-degree burglary if he or she knowingly enters into a building or unlawfully remains in the building, intending to commit an illegal act therein. Let us unpack some of these phrases and see how the law defines them.
First, a building under the law is not restricted to brick-and-mortar structures. It also includes vehicles and watercraft intended for overnight lodging. Also included in the definition of building” are enclosed motor trucks or truck trailers. If a building consists of multiple units that each have a separate lock or are separately occupied
Second, let us consider the definition of enter or remain unlawfully.” In general
This definition is also met, if an individual has the right to be on one part of a building, but not another part of the building, and enters and remains on the part of the building he or she is not permitted to occupy. Finally, if an individual goes to a school and remains there without written permission or without a lawful reason also meets the definition of enter or remain unlawfully.””
Finally, keep in mind that the intent to commit a crime” means any crime. It can be a theft crime
As one can see, the crime of burglary is quite nuanced. An attorney may be able to explain the details of what constitutes burglary in New York, and can represent those accused of it if needed.