Q:

What is third-degree burglary?

A:

Third-degree burglary, known as burglary in the third degree, is the act of breaking into or unlawfully entering a building or automobile with the intent to steal something. In burglary in the third degree, the actual act of stealing does not take place because the individual is caught prior to stealing.

The burden of proof in burglary in the third degree lies in establishing that an individual entered a structure or automobile with the intent to commit a crime. If this is successfully done, the individual is guilty of burglary in the third degree even though he did not actually take anything.

Burglary in the third degree is a felony crime and carries with it a prison sentence and possible fine. The length of the sentence and the amount of the fine vary from state to state. Establishments from which individuals have been removed for gaining unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime often also impose a no trespassing order on those individuals, which makes it illegal for them ever to enter the establishment again. If individuals enter an establishment in which a no trespassing order has been enacted against them with the intent to commit a crime, they are not only guilty of burglary in the third degree but of trespassing as well.

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