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Criminal Defense Options Available for Burglary Charges

When individuals in Iowa and elsewhere are accused of committing a crime, the first thing the accused is likely to consider is how to get the charges against them dropped. Depending on the type of crime the person is suspected of, there are possible criminal defense options available to defendants. In some cases, this could clear the name of the accused, helping them avoid any penalties; however, this could also mean reducing the charges alleged, helping to reduce the consequences as well.

With regards to burglary, a defendant has various options to counter these allegations. Prior to discussing these defense options, though, the elements of this criminal charge will be explored. There are three elements of a burglary charge. First, there must be an unauthorized breaking and entry. Second, this breaking and entry must be into a building or occupied structure. Third, there must be the intent to commit a crime inside.

In order for an offender to be charged with burglary, all of these elements must be met. Therefore, one way to make a defense is to challenge one of these elements. If a defendant can prove that one of these elements did not exists or a prosecutor fails to prove that one exists, the entire case will fail and the charges will likely be dropped.

The most basic defense against burglary is actual innocence. This means that the defendant attempts to convince the court that the person did not commit the acts in question. And since the prosecution bears the burden to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, this dense option could generate plausible doubt in the minds of the jury.

Another criminal defense option is an affirmative defense. This consists of the defendant admitting that the person engaged in the behaviors described by the prosecution but argues that this does not amount to a crime. This defense options involves negating one or more of the elements of burglary. Lastly, a defendant could argue that someone entrapped them. The person would need to argue that they were convinced to commit a crime the person was not already predisposed to committing on the person's own.

While these are not all the defense options available to those accused of burglary, the above information described possible criminal defense options available to defendants. Those facing any criminal allegations should take steps to understand the defense options available to them, helping to protect their rights and meet their needs and interests.

Source: Criminal.findlaw.com, "Burglary Defenses," accessed August 15, 2016

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Keegan, Tindal, & Mason 

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  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Mason
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

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    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
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  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Mason, graduated from the University ...
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  • Andrea D. Mason Andrea D. Mason

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in Iowa City Andrea D. Mason practices in the areas of white collar criminal defense, government ...
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    Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. An employee of a Cedar Rapids business accused of embezzling six million dollars was not charged criminally after the County Attorney agreed to abide by an agreement negotiated by Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald Kinnamon in which the accused would pay two million dollars to the company.

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    Johnson County No. FECR058630- Iowa City, Iowa. Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald W. Kinnamon successfully challenged the withdrawal of blood from a Defendant without his permission after a rollover accident in which a passenger in the vehicle was killed.

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    Muscatine County No. FECR03718 - Muscatine, Iowa. If convicted of the vehicular homicide while intoxicated, as alleged in this case, the Defendant would have faced the possibility of a 25-year prison sentence, 17 years of which would have to be served before he would be eligible for parole. Following the depositions of the investigating officer and consultation with an accident reconstruction expert, Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerry Kinnamon negotiated the dismissal of Vehicular Homicide as part of a plea

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    Johnson County No. OWCR083001 - Iowa City, Iowa. Attorney J. Dean Keegan alleged that the Defendant's rights to contact a lawyer or family member may have been violated after his arrest. He requested video of the breath test from the arresting officer to support his allegation. When the officer failed to produce the video evidence in response written requests, a subpoena, and a Motion to Compel, the State conceded the issue and dismissed the offense.

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    State v. Hornik, Segura, et. al.Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa. When the state of Iowa established that the Datamaster breath testing machine could be used to test subjects being investigated for OWI, it failed to establish a protocol for its proper use. Attorney J. Dean Keegan, in conjunction with the Johnson County Public Defender's Office, mounted a challenge to the use of the machine based on the lack of uniform instructions for its operation.

  • Zero Tolerance Driver's License Revocation Zero Tolerance Driver's License Revocation Overt

    Iowa Dept. of Inspection and Appeals Docket No. 08DOTOW3937. Attorney J. Dean Keegan successfully challenged a "Zero Tolerance" license revocation on the basis that the officer had failed to allow the driver to contact a family member or attorney for legal advice before submitting to the test.

  • OWI 2nd Offense Charge Dismissed

    Muscatine County No. OWCR040280 - Muscatine, Iowa. After Attorney Dean Keegan scheduled the deposition of the State's expert witness in this case, he learned that the breath test was inappropriately administered by the arresting officer. The State dismissed the offense outright and agreed that the breath test result should be inadmissible so the Defendant would not face the proposed one-year administrative revocation of her driver's license.

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