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Burglary charge defenses can include affirmation or denial

Burglary charges have several elements that must be present in order for the case to be proven. As part of a defense strategy in Maryland and around the country, it is often necessary to challenge at least one of the elements that the prosecution must prove. Doing so can mean that you have to decide on the type of defense strategy that you are going to use for your case.

There are two basic defense strategy types for burglary cases. One of these is the affirmative defense. The other is the denial or claim of total innocence. It is very important that you consider how each will apply to the case against you.

The affirmative defense means that you admit that you were at the scene of the alleged crime but that no crime was committed. For example, showing that you were invited into the premises by the owner or occupant could negate the element that requires the prosecution to show that you weren't authorized to be in the building. In some cases, using the affirmative defense is a bit of a gamble.

The denial or claim of total innocence is just that. You deny that you were in the location of the alleged crime. This type of defense strategy often includes an alibi. Generally, this type of defense is meant to make the jury have doubts that you were in the location or a part of the crime. This avenue of defense can also be used to call other aspects of the prosecution's case, such as forensic evidence, into question.

Source: FindLaw, "Burglary Defenses," accessed April 08, 2016

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