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What are the elements of burglary in Tennessee?

Because there are laws that protect the property of individuals, there are also laws in place to punish those who take property that is not theirs. Property crimes are treated quite seriously in Tennessee. Law enforcement and prosecutors are both aggressive when it comes to trying to catch and convict those they believe have committed a property related crime. This means that those who are accused of a property crime such as theft or vandalism need to ensure that they are doing everything they can to protect their legal rights and raise doubt as to their guilt. To do so, these individuals need to look at the statutory language of the crime they are being charged with. After doing so, they may have a better idea of how to approach their criminal defense.

For example, before an individual can be convicted of burglary, certain legal elements must be shown. First, it must be proved that the defendant entered a building. Second, it must be shown that the entering occurred without the property owner's consent. Then, the prosecution must prove that the defendant concealed him or herself. Lastly, it must be shown that the concealment was committed with the intent to commit a felony. If each of these elements is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then a conviction is handed down.

However, raising doubt as to just one of these elements is enough to obtain an acquittal. Therefore, evidence that consent was given to enter the building can be crucial, as well as evidence that there was no intent to commit a felony. Even putting forth evidence that one did not conceal him or herself can be enough to successfully challenge the prosecution's allegations.

Of course, while these attacks can be made during trial, they can also be utilized during negotiations in hopes of securing less harsh penalties. However, the extent to which a favorable outcome can be reached is dependent upon the facts at hand. Therefore, those who have been accused of burglary may find it beneficial to discuss their situation with a skilled criminal defense attorney.

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