Burglary is generally a felony, but most state jurisdictions don’t have a clear answer for this question. Many argue that the reason is the archetype of burglary that most people have in their minds. That is, most people think burglary is a petty crime. However, that archetype is not accurate, immoral, or pernicious.
The reason most jurisdictions punish burglary as a ‘felony’ is that it carries a hefty sentence. Because it violates a person’s privacy and security, a felony is punishable by a maximum sentence of 25 years. Despite this, the punishment for committing burglary is relatively mild, and many people are guilty of it. The most common definitions are as follows:
The definition of burglary is often broad and ambiguous. Depending on the jurisdiction, lifting a window or reaching a person’s arm through a window frame can be considered burglary. Regardless of the definition, a person can be convicted of a felony for breaking and entering. A felony conviction is not easy to prove, but it’s still a serious offense.
The broader nature of burglary means that penalties are based on archetypal crimes that violate the safety of a home or business. In some cases, this definition can be too broad, resulting in disproportionately harsh punishments. A broad definition of a burglary can lead to a hefty sentence. In some jurisdictions, burglary can be punishable if the perpetrator returns after receiving a written notice of exclusion.
In addition to these broad definitions, many state criminal codes are inconsistent and deviant. These statutes are often counterintuitive, resulting in significant injustices and a disproportionate punishment for criminal defendants. In some cases, it’s possible to find a reasonable definition that makes sense in your own situation. A general guideline is to apply a “proportionate” standard to all burglaries.
Most state jurisdictions have a statutory definition of burglary. The underlying reason for this is that it is an offense that violates the security of a home or business. Hence, the definition should be more precise, but it should not be too narrow to create unnecessary hardship. A broad, credible definition would make the crime more deterrent. A broader definition of the crime can help to prevent such wrongful prosecutions.
While there are many reasons to impose a felony for burglary, the general answer is that the crime is a felony. This is the most common crime among all states. In some states, the punishments for burglary vary between states, but they are generally the same. This is why most state jurisdictions punish burglary as if a person broke into a home and didn’t intend to commit the crime.