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Possession Of Burglar’s Tools In Michigan

Many people might have never considered that Michigan law has a list of burglar’s tools that can lead to felony criminal charges if law enforcement finds them in the wrong hands at the wrong time. The law says that people are forbidden from having any tools or devices that are designed or adapted purposefully for the reason of cracking a safe or breaking and entering any building, structure, room, or another place for the purpose of stealing valuable goods or money.

Elements Of Possession Of Burglar’s Tools

To get a conviction on a charge of possession of burglar’s tools, a Michigan prosecutor must prove all the elements of the crime to a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements that must be established in court include:

  • The possession of items that are, in fact, burglar’s tools—they are things designed or adapted for the purpose of breaking into a structure or secure place. Tools that can satisfy this element of the crime include cutting tools, chemical explosives, or other specialized implements or devices for gaining access to secure areas by picking locks or breaking doors or windows.
  • The person charged with the crime was knowingly and intentionally in possession of the items
  • The person charged intended to use the items or tools to break and enter into a structure, garage, shed, office building, or any other secure place with the use of the tools

These critical things that a prosecutor must prove in court to get a conviction have some challenging aspects for the government to prove. The element of intent that the defendant knew of the specialized uses for the tools and planned to use them for these purposes is critical to getting a conviction.

Related Criminal Charges

A charge of possession of burglar’s tools is often accompanied in court by other related criminal charges that usually come from the same set of circumstances. Possible related charges may include such crimes as home invasion, burglary with explosives, or breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny or felony therein. Often a prosecutor combines the circumstantial evidence of the suspect’s activities and location at the time of the arrest to try to make their case. If the accused is found lurking in the shadows of buildings late at night with the tools in a backpack, the total circumstances and what could be implied from the events will become part of the court case against the defendant.

Punishment For Possession Of Burglar’s Tools In Michigan

A conviction on the charge of possessing burglar’s tools, a felony crime in Michigan, can lead to a sentence of up to ten years in prison. Because other crimes are often charged at the same time as the burglary tools charge, the potential exists for an even greater prison sentence if found guilty of more than one felony.

Defenses To Charges Of Possession Of Burglary Tools

The obvious fact is that most items that can be used to support charges of possession of burglary tools also tend to be common tools and implements used for all sorts of reasons beyond being used to break and enter into a secure place. This gives the prosecutor even more challenges in proving criminal intent, especially when the defendant has a capable defense attorney who can put the events of the incident into context and explain the situation as a non-criminal event.

Defenses that might be brought to bear against the charges might include procedural objections to the form and nature of the arrest if law enforcement officers exceeded their authority or took actions without adequate probable cause or a valid warrant. There may be questions of mistaken identity if the charges rely on witness identification of the defendant as the person who possessed the burglary tools at issue. Questions of how evidence was obtained may be used to limit or restrict the prosecutor from introducing certain items or objects into court to support the case. A skilled defense attorney is your best guide to the defenses that may apply in a particular case.

Get Serious Legal Help For Serious Legal Issues

The capable Michigan defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Ravi R. Gurumurthy, PLC have defended countless cases of criminal charges. We know how prosecutors and law enforcement go about their business and the weak spots in their cases where we can raise doubts and make arguments concerning the events in question. Call today at 231-577-1580 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and get answers for your case.


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