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Thread: Criminal Law case

  1. #10

    Default Re: Criminal Law case

    You are correct intent is difficult to prove if I am invited, but that does not detract from whether or not technically a burglary is committed. Here's an example.

    Based on your position that permission is an element, then a person who enters a mall during open business hours with the intent to shoplift can not commit burglary. In California (and I suspect many other states, but I do not have independent knowlege of it) the person can. Here's how you prove intent. Some shoplifters carry devices such as store bags folded up in their pockets to place merchandise into and leave giving the appearance they paid for it; another device is a wrapped box that appears to have been wrapped by a department store, but this box is empty and contains a trap door activated by spring. The suspect then walks around the store gather up merchandise and slipping inside the box through the spring rigged door. Does this make better sense?

  2. #11

    Default Re: Criminal Law case

    Generally speaking a history of theft does not really satisfy an element. But in California a prior theft can satisfy another statute that carries an enhancement..."petty theft with a prior". It get a bit technical though and probably not of interest to this thread.

  3. #12

    Default Re: Criminal Law case

    I suppose the most value message here is if you are studying criminal law then beware of generalizations. Each state determines the law of their land in so long as it does not contradict the U.S. Constitution. So burglary, tresspass, theft, rape, murder, and other state laws can and do differ between each state. Generally your info on burglary is correct, but the "permission" issue can make or break the crime depending upon the state's individual code.

  4. #13
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    Default Re: Criminal Law case

    Shoplifting and burglary are two different crimes.

    Burglary is specifically a crime of entering the premises illegally. Most common way is through entering the place when its closed (Actual burglary) or by fraud (Saying you are doing an inspection when you are not an inspector). The latter is a constructive burglary.


    In most states in the United States, shoplifting is a misdemeanor crime of petty larceny when specifically committed against a retail establishment by a patron. Some states do not distinguish between shoplifting and other forms of petty larceny, although a judge may consider the context of any crime in sentencing.

    In some jurisdictions within the United States, certain egregious instances of shoplifting involving large dollar amounts of merchandise and/or a high degree of criminal sophistication may be prosecuted and punished as burglary or otherwise as a felony.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoplifting

  5. #14

    Default Re: Criminal Law case

    Big, what is clear to me is that you are stubbornly attached to generalizing laws and applying their standards across all states; that is an enormous mistake. What I have tried to explain to you is 100% on the mark for California law, and I feel very qualifed to explain California law to you. I won't tell you what the elements are for New York, Nevada, or any other state however.

    If you can take anything away from this conversation remember you may be correct in one specific jurisdiction, but you can not apply it to any OTHER jurisdiction because you will stand a very high probability of being foolishly wrong. And you are incorrect as we discuss this according to California law.

    Come to California and enter an open business and take some property, and then if caught openly admit to the police officer you came to the business and entered it with the specific intent to take the property and I will bet dollars to doughnuts you will be booked for 459 PC - Burglary. Without a history of theft and the dollar amount being too high, the DA will probably offer you a petty theft (488 PC or 490.5 PC) but you could be charged for 459 PC as well. Believe what you will, but I have accurately explained this. Now the question is if I was able to do it adequately so you understand.

    When it comes to criminal statutes wikipaedia is no source whatsoever.
    Last edited by pm01; 06-03-2007 at 09:35 AM.

  6. #15
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    Default Re: Criminal Law case

    pm1,

    I get your point. I conceded I don't know specifics about California law.

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