Burglar sneaking inside a home

Criminal Laws in Utah: What is Burglary?

Burglary is considered a serious criminal offense in Utah. It’s a felony that involves an offense against a property and/or another individual. This crucial distinction is a significant factor in determining the punishment a “burglar” or intruder could receive in the state.

If you’ve been charged with burglary in Utah, here’s what you need to know about it:

Burglary as Defined in the Utah Code

People typically confuse burglary, theft, and robbery as similar offenses or one crime. But burglary doesn’t require the act of theft. Although theft involves a person stealing from another person and the crime of robbery involves the use of force to steal from another person, burglary usually includes the act of breaking in and entering a property with the intent to steal, explains a prominent criminal defense attorney in Provo. In Utah, the definition of burglary is broader and involves other actions.

Burglary punishes the act of entering a property illegally, which makes it a more serious form or trespassing. It usually involves theft, but could also involve harming another individual, so penalties for this type of burglary are steep.

According to the Utah Code, a burglary occurs when an individual illegally enters or stays in a property or any portion of a property, with the intent to commit another crime. For burglary to be considered an actual burglary in Utah, the accompanying crime should be of the following:

  • Theft
  • Lewdness
  • Assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Voyeurism
  • Any other felony under the Utah Code
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For example, an offender committed theft in the building, but he could’ve also committed another more serious felony that involves a crime against another individual, such as assault. That means you could likewise be charged for the assault you committed in the property because the key component of burglary is trespassing or breaking and entering. But the intention to commit another criminal offense is also a necessary component of burglary, which means trespassing for the thrill of it is simply a lower trespassing offense.

As you could gather from the information mentioned above, burglary is often a felony. Depending on the severity of the crime, meaning the other crime that accompanied the trespassing, you could spend one to 15 years in jail and pay fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Contact an experienced lawyer to help you assess the case and explore options to reduce your penalties and charges.