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Types Of Evidence Commonly Used In Breaking And Entry Cases

Types Of Evidence Commonly Used In Breaking And Entry Cases

For a break in case to be successfully prosecuted, prosecuting attorneys need to accumulate enough evidence to prove beyond any doubt that the suspect committed a crime. There are several kinds of evidence that regularly get wheeled out during the prosecution of a breaking and entering case. Here is a quick rundown.



Many businesses and homes feature CCTV systems. CCTV evidence can be used in court to prove that a break in has occurred. Video analytics teams such as those working for monitor and pour over commercial footage so that essential evidence is not lost by businesses.



Every human being has a unique set of fingerprints. Fingerprints are sometimes left behind at crime scenes as faint imprints in dust or material. These can be used to positively identify a perpetrator if their prints are on record due to a previous crime. Fingerprints are not commonly collected at break in crime scenes unless a more serious secondary crime has taken place after the break in. Prosecution teams will present fingerprint evidence in court to prove that a person was present at a crime scene. They cannot prove intent using fingerprint evidence.


Witness Testimony

Witness testimony can form the backbone of a prosecution. Witnesses to a crime recount their experiences under oath and can be cross examined by the defense team. Witness testimony is famously unreliable and is typically only admitted as proof in conjunction with other forms of evidence.


Evidence Of Intent

The intent behind a person’s unlawful entry onto a property is very important for the prosecution. Prosecutors seeking a serious sentence will attempt to prove that the defendant entered onto a property with the intent to commit a serious crime. This can change a charge from trespassing to burglary. Intent can be proven circumstantially in a court of law. If, for instance, a person has broken into a home with a large backpack and a set of tools, they can be considered to have the intent to steal items when they entered the house. If they simply walked into an unlocked home with nothing but the clothes on their back, then intent can be much harder to prove without a confession or a history of previous break ins.



Confessions are typically seen as one of the most straightforward ways of proving a case, but they are not as cut and dry as they might initially seem. Confessions can be challenged by a defense if they believe that they are not truthful. False confessions may be given by defendants if they have been intimidated by law enforcement officers, if they are scared of retribution from guilty parties or if they are cognitively impaired. In cases where organized crime is involved it is not unusual for junior members of a gang to make a confession on behalf of their higher ups. A good prosecutor will always look to back up a confession with more concrete evidence of a break in.