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Steve on the Law

Burglary and Shoplifting / Petit Larceny

By June 5, 2019August 23rd, 2019No Comments

Burglary.  Many people think that burglary requires breaking and entering.  This is not true. Nevada Revised Statute 205.060 defines burglary as when a person enters any house, dwelling, apartment etc. with the intent to steal something.  A person who enters a store with the intent to shoplift commits burglary.  No breaking is required.  How can the state prove intent?  As an example; if a person were to secretly bring the store’s shopping bags into the store.  This Is evidence that they intended to steal from the store by smuggling out merchandise disguised as paid for items.  Bringing the bags into the store can prove that the person thought about the crime and planned it before they arrived at the store.  On the other hand, if a person suddenly decided to steal something while they were in the store.  They see a video game that they want desperately.  They don’t have the money to pay for it. They can’t resist the urge to steal it.  If they stole it, the would not be guilty of burglary because they did  not form the intent to steal the item until after they entered the store.  (The person would be guilty of larceny; petit larceny if the item is worth less then $750).

Many people don’t know that burglary also includes entering with the intent of committing assault or battery. For example A person who goes over to their ex-girlfriends apartment and enters the apartment (even entering the apartment with permission) with the intent of beating up  the ex-girlfriend (battery) commits the crime of burglary.  A first offense burglary carries up to 10 years in Nevada State prison.  Burglary is a serious felony offense.  However, in my opinion it is the most overcharged crime by prosecutors in this State.  Because burglary is relatively easy to prove, and carries such a harsh sentence prosecutors are quick to charge it and then use it as leverage in plea bargaining to a lesser offense.

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