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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27758
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My friends son was charged with burglary for entering a

Customer Question

My friends son was charged with burglary for entering a house, he is mildy retarted and thought it was a friends house. He and his girlfriend left when he realize that he was at the wrong house. But the owner of the house chased him and her down and slashed the tires on the boys moped, and he try to stabbed the boy and held a knife to the girls throat. He detained them till the police came an arrested them. They were charged with burglary
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: Newport, TN
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, it is my friends son
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes the police did nnothingto the man for slashing the tires and trying to stab the boy anf holding the knife at the girls throat. The boy has a record of dui and drug abuse, so the police sided with the man whom own the house. He didn't steal anything
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. What is your question with regard to this unfortunate incident?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do I have to retpye the whole thing?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Don't want to call
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

I already read what you typed and there's no need for you to retype it. Just tell me please, what it is you wish to know with regard to the incident you described.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My question is how can the police charge someone with burglary when they didn't steal anything?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. Give me a few minutes to look at Tennesse's burglary statute and type up a response.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

In Tennessee, a burglary is defined as entering into someone else's premises without permission and authority with the intent to commit a felony therein. As this is a residence, in Tennessee it is a Class C felony.

I know that you have said that your son walked in there just because he got the address wrong and thought it was his friend's house. If the evidence bears that out, this case will get reduced to just a trespass.

However, the state's position right now is that your son was there to commit a crime. And if they believe they can prove his intent to do so beyond a reasonable doubt, they are entitled to try. That's because there is a big difference between what the state needs to charge someone and what the state needs to convict them.

They don't need much evidence to charge your son with a burglary. All they need is probable cause, which is just a reasonable belief that he MAY HAVE been there to commit a crime. But at trial, they need a great deal more evidence. They have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to commit a serious crime in the house. To the extent that a jury believed that he just accidentally entered the wrong house, he could not be convicted of this crime.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello, you still looking?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

No. I typed my answer to you and sent it. Didn't you see it? I can, so I know it uploaded.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
sorry, but why didn't the police do anything for the home owner for slashing the tires on the moped and trying to stab james and holding his girlfriend and sticking a knife to her throat. This happen after james left the mans house. The home owner chases them down and held the girl at knife point till the police came.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

I can only guess that that the police believed the homeowner's version of the story, which was that they were only using reasonable force to try to hold them for the police. If they believed your son's version of what happened when they left the house, they would have arrested everybody.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.