Sample Critical Thinking Paper on Burglary


The criminal justice system plays a significant role in protecting personal and public property. Therefore, giving citizens and the government a sense of security in owning both private and public property without any sort of fear whatsoever. The system works in partnership with the government to promote work ethics among individuals thus encouraging people to acquire property legally. The model penal code has been adopted by the criminal law system in several states. This code according to the constitution, addresses four entities in the law regarding the definition of burglary; these include, intent, knowledge, recklessness, and negligence (Samaha 2008). It further states that the defendant has to commit a crime or violate the law with a mental state of recklessness or knowledge of hidden agenda to be found guilty.

According to section 9 of the Theft Act 1968, an individual is only guilty of burglary if he or she forcibly enters a building with the intention of committing an offense. The offenses include stealing from the building or the people in the building, causing bodily harm to the dwellers, and destroying the property therein (Garland 2012). On the other hand, the criminal act of trespassing is defined as the act of entering or accessing the property of another person without his or her consent. Consequently, robbery is defined as the criminal act of a person forcibly taking another person’s property by using force and threat to completely deprive that individual of his or her property.  Theft is different from robbery since this is an act of taking or acquiring another person’s property without their knowledge or consent whatsoever.

However, burglary is differentiated from the above-mentioned criminal acts in that, for the offense of burglary to be charged, the person must have acted within the men’s ream. This will be a determining factor as to whether the defendant has trespassed or not. Thus, the defendant must be well aware of the fact that he or she is a trespasser in another person’s property. According to Paul 2003, for an individual to be found guilty of burglary at the very least, he or she has to have been reckless and is careless as to whether or not he is accessing another person’s property without his or her consent or legally recognized agreement. Moreover, if the individual receives consent from the owner but defiles the owner’s property in a way that the owner disapproves of, he or she is considered under civil law as a trespasser.

Dubber 2007 affirms that for an individual to be punished for burglary there must be evidence that the defendant had the intention or his main purpose was to steal, inflict fear and pain or cause damage. If the law is not able to prove that the defendant had any of the above intentions, then the defendant is not guilty of burglary but trespassing. In other circumstances whereby the defendant only breaks into someone’s property and it is established that the property did not have anything worth stealing or the owner was not there, the defendant is also not guilty of burglary but trespassing.

Therefore, burglary has a significant distinction from other criminal acts. This is due to the nature of the crime of burglary whereby the law needs to provide evidence that the defendant had very clear intentions, acted recklessly, and had complete knowledge of what he or she was engaging in. Thus, in order to be found guilty of burglary, it is necessary to consider that the defendant acted under the model penal code of men’s realm.

Work cited

Dubber, M. D. (2007). Dubber’s Criminal Law: Model Penal Code (Turning Point Series). Foundation Press.

Garland, N. (2012). Criminal Law for the Criminal Justice Professional, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Paul F. Cromwell, (2003). Breaking Entering: Burglars on Burglary(Wordsworth Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice). Cengage Learning.

Samaha, J. (2008). CRIMINAL LAW, 9th ed. Cengage Learning.