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Criminal Jury Instructions

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9.2-4  Burglary in the Third Degree -- 53a-103

Revised to December 1, 2008

The defendant is charged [in count __] with burglary in the third degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of burglary in the third degree when (he/she) unlawfully (enters / remains in)1 a building with intent to commit a crime therein.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Entered/Remained in building
The first element is that the defendant knowingly and unlawfully (entered / remained in) a building.  A person acts "knowingly" with respect to conduct or circumstances when (he/she) is aware that (his/her) conduct is of such nature or that such circumstances exist.  <See Knowledge, Instruction 2.3-3.>

Ordinarily, "building" implies a structure that may be entered and used by human beings, as a residence or for business, or for other purposes involving occupancy by people, whether or not it is actually entered and used as such.  <Insert one or both of the following parts of the definition as appropriate:>

  • The law has expanded this definition to include, in addition to what we ordinarily know as a building, any watercraft, aircraft, trailer, sleeping car, railroad car, other structure or vehicle or any building with a valid certificate of occupancy.

  • The statutory definition also provides that where a building consists of separate units, such as, but not limited to separate apartments, offices or rented rooms, any unit not occupied by the defendant is, in addition to being a part of such building, a separate building.  In other words, any one of these separate units, separately secured or occupied, when intruded upon, may be considered a "building," plus the whole building is considered a "building" for purposes of any unlawful intrusion into any part of it.

You must also determine whether the defendant unlawfully (entered / remained in) the building.  A person unlawfully (enters / remains in) a building when the building, at the time, is not open to the public and the defendant is not licensed or privileged to do so.  To be "licensed or privileged," the defendant must either have consent from the person in possession of the building or have some other right to be in the building.

[To "enter" a building the intruder need not necessarily place (his/her) entire body inside the building.  Inserting any part of (his/her) body, or an implement or weapon held by (him/her), within the building is sufficient to constitute an entry as long as it is without license or privilege.  It does not matter how an intruder may actually have entered; if (he/she) did so without license or privilege, (he/she) has entered unlawfully.]

[A person may have entered a building lawfully, that is, (he/she) had the right or had been given permission, but that right is terminated or the permission withdrawn by someone who had a right to terminate or withdraw it.  You may find that the defendant "unlawfully remained" in the building under these circumstances.]

Element 2 - Intent to commit crime
The second element is that the defendant unlawfully (entered / remained in) the building with the intent to commit a crime in the building.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Even if the defendant never actually committed a crime in the building, if the evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that (he/she) was there with such intention, this is sufficient to prove that the defendant unlawfully (entered / remained in) the building with the intent to commit a crime therein.  Furthermore, the necessary intent to commit a crime must be an intent to commit either a felony or a misdemeanor in addition to the unlawful entering or remaining in the building.

In this case, the state claims that the defendant intended to commit <insert crime>. <Refer to the count in which this crime is charged or, if uncharged, give the elements of the crime.>


In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant unlawfully (entered / remained in) a building, and 2) (he/she) had the intent to commit a crime therein.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of burglary in the third degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

1 Do not instruct on both "unlawful entering" and "unlawful remaining" if the information and the evidence could support a conceptual distinction between the two.  See "enters or remains unlawfully" in the glossary.


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