Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary


The crime of entering a building with the intent to commit a crime. Old definitions required that the entering be accompanied by a "breaking," by forcing one's way in or by any pnysical act that allows entry; and that the crime intended be a felony. Modern statutes are less restrictive. For instance, someone would be guilty of burglary if he entered a house through an unlocked door in order to commit a murder (a felony) or to steal a bicycle (probably a misdemeanor). (See also: felony, misdemeanor)