Burglary -- History, Definition, and Hypothetical Case Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Criminal Justice
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #78138786
  • Related Topics: Definition, Common Law

Excerpt from Essay :

Burglary -- History, Definition, and Hypothetical Case

According to Common Law, burglary was identified as the breaking and entering the premises of another person's inhabitance with the purpose of committing a crime there. It can thus be associated with ideas like the act of entering a person's house without his or her permission and the act of committing a crime at the respective location.

Individuals perceived a person's house as the place where the respective individual could retreat and feel happy with his or her position -- a place that could practically be identified as his or her castle. "It is the enjoyment of this castle, free from the midnight terror of an intruder, that the outlawing of burglary was designed to protect." (Schultz, 2009, p. 70) Common law thus promoted the idea of burglary being the breach of security of a person's house rather than a crime against his or her property.

A situation that is likely to be qualified as a burglary needs to meet a series of requirements: it needs to involve breaking, entering, a person's house, it needs to happen during the night, and it needs to involve the criminal/s wanting to commit a crime. The idea of burglary appeared around 1450 and it came to promote the concept that a felony could be registered as long as an offender simply stepped inside a building at night without the owner's permission, even if the respective individual did not have the intention of committing a crime. "Burglary of the 15th Century had two elements that seem unusual to us now. Firstly, it was an essential requirement that someone was in the building at the time the burglary took place and secondly, the burglary had to take place at night." (History of…

Sources Used in Document:

Works cited:

Schultz, D.A. (2009). The Encyclopedia of American Law. Infobase Publishing.

"Burglary," Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/burglary

"History of Burglary," Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://englishlegalhistory.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/history-of-burglary/

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