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News/Case Decisions

You Cannot Burglarize Your Own Home in Nevada!

Another example of the Nevada legislature getting cute with the language of a common law crime. At common law, burglary was defined as:

“the breaking and entering of the dwelling of another in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony”

However, the Nevada legislature changed the statute as evident by the Nevada Supreme Court’s analysis in State v. White.

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The Nevada Legislature has moved away from the common law definition of burglary in several respects. The current statute only requires an entry with the intent to commit certain enumerated offenses. State v. Adams, 94 Nev. 503, 505, 581 P.2d 868, 869 (1978). Breaking is no longer an essential element of burglary.Id. Further, the entry does not need to be a forcible entry, nor does the burglary need to occur at night.Hernandez v. State, 118 Nev. 513, 531, 50 P.3d 1100, 1113 (2002); NRS 205.060(1). Also, consent to the entry is not a defense to burglary if the person “acquired the entry with felonious intent.” Barrett v. State, 105 Nev. 361, 364, 775 P.2d 1276, 1277 (1989). While these changes certainly expanded the common law definition of burglary, the common law notion that burglary law is designed to protect a possessory or occupancy right in property remains in effect.

 

Thank goodness the California Supreme Court was there to guide us back to the common law definition.

Guess any other result would be absurd considering NRS § 200.120.