Bill to increase penalties for burglary of inhabited dwelling heads to governor for signature

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A bill to increase penalties for the crime of burglary of an inhabited dwelling received final passage Sunday. Legal Analyst Franz Borghardt said it’s a good bill in the sense that it will deter burglaries. If someone enters your home while you are there, even if you are not physically touched it would be considered a crime of violence…

“Whereas a non-crime of violence you serve a certain amount of time, a crime of violence you spend more time in jail. Additionally, if it’s a second crime of violence, you spend a flat time in jail, without credit for good time or get the eligibility of parole,” said Borghardt.

Borghardt said while the legislation is meant to deter simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, it goes against justice reform initiatives.

“If justice reform was meant to possibly clear our prisons from individuals, this is going to put more people in jail,” said Borghardt.

In those cases where there’s no actual violence, merely the suspect’s presence, Borghardt said defense attorneys will most likely challenge the law once enacted. He said it would make more sense if…

“The burglar encounters the individual who’s a resident, even if no harm happens, if they encounter them that would make it a crime of violence, that would make more sense to me. But the mere presence to me seems like it’s right for a legal challenge,” said Borghardt.

Borghardt said while the bill’s intent to deter simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling is good, realistically it would be challenged and most likely not used by prosecutors or judges.

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