What is the Law on Burglary in Indiana and What are the Punishments for It?
Burglary is the act of entering a house or a building illegally or without authorization. There are many legal aspects related to burglary. Each state in the US has defined the scope of the law differently. The law in Indiana related to burglary is presented here.
Burglary in Indiana
In the state of Indiana, the Indiana Code IC 35-43-2-1 defines the law related to burglary. Burglary is listed under Article 43, which is offenses against property. This clearly indicates that burglary is a property-related crime. The law states that a person is said to have committed burglary if he breaks and enters a building or structure of another person, with the intent of committing a felony or theft.
While the law of the burglary is defined in the same way, depending on certain aspects, the level or grade of the offense increases. There is no separate burglary of first grade or second grade; graduation is done in terms of punishment. Also, there is no separate residential and commercial burglary defined, the law is the same irrespective of the type of premises where the burglary occurs.
As per the law, burglary is when a person breaks and enters. So entering a premise by breaking into it is one of the aspects of the law. Breaking can involve opening a lock, breaking open a door or window or even opening a lock using a duplicate key. Burglary conviction depends on the intent to commit a felony or theft.
The actual crime or the theft need not occur, the intention is sufficient to result in a conviction. Burglary can be in any building or structure of another person, whether it is a home, office building, school, or any other structure.
Another related section of the law is residential entry, which is breaking and entering without any intent to commit a crime. Trespassing is another related law that deals with entering someone else’s property knowingly without their permission.
Punishment under the law
Burglary is considered a punishable offense under the law in Indiana. It invites imprisonment and penalty for whoever is convicted under the law.
As per Indiana laws, burglary is a Level 5 felony. A conviction would lead to one to six years in prison. The burglary law has been graded into different levels of a felony based on certain aspects related to the act.
While burglary is a level 5 felony, if it occurs in a home, then it is a level 4 felony and would lead to imprisonment for a period of two to twelve years. If during the burglary, someone is bodily injured, then it would be a level 3 felony. In such a case, imprisonment on conviction would be for a period of three to sixteen years.
If the burglar is armed with a deadly weapon or causes an injury to someone, then it is a level 2 felony and would lead to imprisonment for 10 to 30 years in prison. When a burglary happens in a home and leads to bodily injury, then it is the highest category of offense and is a level 1 offense, which can lead to a conviction of 20 to 40 years in prison.
Apart from imprisonment, a conviction for burglary would also be punishable of a fine of up to $10,000.
For the offense of residential entry, a conviction can lead to punishment for half to two and a half years in prison. Trespassing is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by one-year imprisonment in county jail with up to $5,000 in fines.