Student Name: Wendell Ballantyne
Student Identification Number: AC1210069
Course Number and Title: JO2.V.2.1 Criminal Law
Assignment Number and Title: Assignment 6_06 Criminal Law
Date of Submission: May 8, 2014
The offence of Burglary has gone through significant changes over the years in terms of its meaning and what constitutes the offence. Under common Law, burglary is defined as the breaking and entering of a dwelling at nighttime, with the intent to commit a felony inside. The elements for burglary under Common Law are as follows, (1) Breaking and entering, (2) Of the dwelling of another, (3) During the nighttime and (4) With Intent to commit a felony inside. The nighttime and breaking were to protect citizens in the sanctity of their homes when they were most vulnerable.
As time changed, burglary offence took on a different meaning. In most jurisdictions, today, some of the elements are relaxed and is no longer a requirement to prove burglary. For instance, the nighttime element is no longer required under most modern day statutes, which means that a burglary can occur at broad daylight as opposed to under Common Law. Also at Common Law, the breaking and entering must take place at a dwelling belonging to another with intent to commit a felony. Again, this is no longer the case in most states. Several changes have been made in this regard as it relates to the type of property being targeted and the level or type of crime intended to prove burglary. Firstly, there is no requirement for the building to be a dwelling. Pennsylvania’s burglary statute capture some of these changes which states: A person is guilty of burglary if he enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, with intent to commit a crime therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the actor is licensed or privilege to enter. Also, the structure does not need to be occupied by people. Farm outbuildings (such as...
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