Differentiating Elements of Burglary and Theft

Published: 2021-07-20 19:55:07
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Criminal Investigation QuestionsThe definition of Burglary can vary between different states or jurisdictions, from the common-law. Although, the states have tried to use their own definitions of criminology, especially burglary, most definitions are still based on the common law and expand its definitions in areas under its jurisdiction. The Common Law defines Burglary as:“The unlawful entry of a structure in order to commit a felony or theft may include actual forcible entry, unlawful entry where no force is used, or attempted forcible entry” (F.E. Hagan)Theft is the act of depriving an owner permanently of their property without them consenting to it. The property can be goods, money or any object of value. Theft must be actually committed to consider it a prosecutable crime. On the other hand, any person who enters a building without permission intending a felony or a theft, constitutes a burglary, regardless of the fact that the building is vacant, unoccupied or occupied. The defendant must enter or be inside the building without permission to be convicted of burglary. Even if the suspect has not committed theft or felony, a crime of burglary can still be registered if the suspect enters a building or a vehicle. Furthermore, any tool, object or explosive normally used in committing theft, burglary or crime that can be used to commit that crime, also makes one liable to be convicted of burglary (Girard). As an example, if some person commits the act of taking the other person’s bicycle from the road, it would constitute a theft. If that person enters an unlocked or a locked garage in order to search for the other person’s bicycle intending to steal it, even without being successful, it would constitute a burglary.Follow-Up Interview of a Witness in Forcible Rape CasesTo investigate a sexual assault or forcible rape case. All possible witnesses must be interviewed. Any witnesses that could speak to the victim’s emotional state or state of mind must be included. Any corroborating witnesses such as a neighbor or a passerby who could have seen aspects of the assault, such as a scream should be included. For instance, someone an attendant at the gas station who saw the victim in her car crying. Any witnesses who might have left the crime scene prior to the arrival of the officer should also be identified. From the victim, the first person who was told about the assault should also be interviewed and identified. To confirm the credibility of the victim’s account, this person can be used as a witness, therefore it can be important in cases the suspect denies any forcible act of rape.The investigator can also take assistance from a previous rape victim of the suspect, as a witness to corroborate the account of the victim when interviewing both the victim and the witness. Witnesses that had any contact with the victim after reporting the assault or after the assault itself should also be interviewed. Furthermore, those witnesses who can negate or corroborate the suspect’s statements must be included and the probative value of the statements must be determined as made by the witness, the victim and the offender (IACP). Once the necessary witnesses have been identified, the follow-up interviews that are conducted for the witnesses of the act of forcible rape should focus on whether the statements are corroborative or supportive of the victim’s account of the rape.If the identity of the rapist is not known, then the follow-up interview from a witness of the rape should focus on whether the witness heard anything from the victim in which he or she could remember the circumstances of the rape that could potentially lead to identifying therapists’ characteristics. It is also important to note that some victims or witnesses may be unable or unwilling to participate in the interview, therefore a previous victim who can be a potential witness can be interviewed at a later time to support or corroborate the account of the prime victim.Works CitedF.E. Hagan. “Introduction to Criminology: Theories, Methods and Criminal Behaviour.” Ed. 9th. Thousand Oaks, CA, 2017. 247.Girard, Paul J. “Burglary Trends, and Protection.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 50.5 (1960): 511-518. .IACP. Investigating Sexual Assaults. Concepts and Issues Paper. Washington St., Alexandria, VA: International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2005. .

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