22 March 2007

Historical Myths

Most people know that one of the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights is the prohibition against quartering soldiers in people's homes. That, supposedly, is one of the reasons that the colonists fought against the British in the American Revolution. However, according to this blog, the statute permitting quartering of soldiers never permitted quartering soldiers in people's homes. It permitted quartering in outbuildings, but even then, other resources had to be exhausted. Maybe whoever was responsible for quartering the soldiers chose to ignore the statute and quartered soldiers in people's homes anyway.
I must take issue, however, with the blog's belief that breaking and entering is redundant. It's not. Burglary requires two elements:

  • The defendant must break a lock, window, etc., or technically open a door, I think.
  • The defendant must then go inside the building.
If the defendant breaks the lock but doesn't go any further, then it's probably vandalism, but I don't think it would be burglary.

As a side note, in California, it's burglary if you enter an outhouse (among other places).

This post does not constitute legal advice.


Jerry said...

Too late! I read your post and acted on it before I read the final sentence! I took your "legal advice," and you couldn't stop me!

So now I'm rotting in a Long Island Jail after busting a lock on some poor schmoe's house in Oyster Bay.

Jerry said...

Get me out of here!

Jerry said...

You're my lawyer, I said so!

Jimmy said...

Actually, the elements of burglary include the entering of any structure with the intent of committing theft or other felony. As an outhouse is a structure, it is included.

Technically, you can go into a store without money and steal a candy bar and be convicted of burglary. The fact that you had no money indicated that you entered with the intent to steal.

Also, you could be 18 and go into your 17 year old girlfriends house to have sex with her. Being as you entered to commit a felony (in this case, statutory rape) you could be convicted for burglary.

In practice, these things do not really happen, but the law does allow for them.