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Could You Be Charged With Burglary If You Enter Someone’s Balcony?

Issue of whether defendant’s presence on a balcony amounted to entry of a building was a question of law and was not for jury to resolve. Trial court did not err by including the term “balcony” in definition of burglary where balcony at issue was immediately adjacent to apartment’s living room, extended the living room space, was accessible only through victim’s apartment, and was intended for the exclusive use of apartment’s inhabitants; any error was harmless where evidence established defendant actually entered victim’s apartment.

Whether a balcony is part of a building for purposes of entry for burglary is going to be a very fact specific inquiry and will not always be the case. In this specific set of facts, the court held that the balcony was appropriately made part of the definition of burglary. Cases have held that entry into a carport qualify, as does the area between a window and a window screen.

People v. Jackson – filed December 8, 2010, Second District, Div. Four – Cite as 2010 S.O.S. 6792

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