What would be all possible charges that could be filed in this scenario:

A person breaks a window, enters the house through the window, takes $1000 worth of computer equipment, and leaves through a door.

  • 1
    Laws vary between jursdictions. Actually include where this is happening. Feb 27, 2021 at 23:47
  • Thanks, sorry, added to question. Feb 27, 2021 at 23:50
  • Thanks, I added the tags for you. Feb 27, 2021 at 23:51
  • There's no breaking and entering tag, which I thought was odd Feb 28, 2021 at 0:09
  • 1
    I created such a tag Feb 28, 2021 at 1:25

3 Answers 3


In addition to New Mexico 30-16-3 Burglary, NM charges could include:

  • 30-16-1 Larceny. "Larceny consists of the stealing of anything of value that belongs to another." (Possible penalties depend on the value of the thing(s) taken.)
  • 30-14-1. Criminal trespass "Criminal trespass consists of knowingly entering or remaining upon posted private property without possessing written permission from the owner or person in control of the land. ... Criminal trespass also consists of knowingly entering or remaining upon the unposted lands of another knowing that such consent to enter or remain is denied or withdrawn by the owner or occupant thereof. ... Any person who enters upon the lands of another without prior permission and injures, damages or destroys any part of the realty or its improvements, including buildings, structures, trees, shrubs or other natural features, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and he shall be liable to the owner, lessee or person in lawful possession for civil damages in an amount equal to double the value of the damage to the property injured or destroyed."
  • 30-15-1. Criminal damage to property. "Criminal damage to property consists of intentionally damaging any real or personal property of another without the consent of the owner of the property. "
  • 30-45-5. Unauthorized computer use. "A person who knowingly, willfully and without authorization, or having obtained authorization, uses the opportunity the authorization provides for purposes to which the authorization does not extend, directly or indirectly accesses, uses, takes, transfers, conceals, obtains, copies or retains possession of any computer, computer network, computer property, computer service, computer system or any part thereof"

If the computer is later taken across a sate line, there could also be a Federal charge of transporting stolen property.

  • So no federal charges, only state, i.e. it only would go federal if more than one state becomes involved somehow (including your example)? Feb 28, 2021 at 1:13
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    @Al Lelopath If the thief later used the computer, there could possibly be a charge under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). If ID info stored on the comp was accessed, there might be a Federal ID theft charge. But those are more speculative. Feb 28, 2021 at 1:17

In this would include 30-16-3 Burglary

Burglary consists of the unauthorized entry of any vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, dwelling or other structure, movable or immovable, with the intent to commit any felony or theft therein.

A. Any person who, without authorization, enters a dwelling house with intent to commit any felony or theft therein is guilty of a third degree felony.

B. Any person who, without authorization, enters any vehicle, watercraft, aircraft or other structure, movable or immovable, with intent to commit any felony or theft therein is guilty of a fourth degree felony.)


Assuming the mens rea and actus reus are there, in this would be burglary contrary to s.9 of the Theft Act 1968 which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years (although highly unlikely in this scenario).

(1) A person is guilty of burglary if—

(a) he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or

(b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.

(2) The offences referred to in subsection (1)(a) above are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of a building in question, of inflicting on any person therein any grievous bodily harm therein, and of doing unlawful damage to the building or anything therein.

And the broken window would be contrary to s.1(1) Criminal Damage Act 1971 which is 6 months maximum in prison and/or maximum fine of £2,500 if the damage is less than £5,000 (just under $7,000).

A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.

  • mens rea: yes, the intent is there. actus reus: I'm not quite getting this, in that yes, he committed the crime otherwise the subject would not come to fore. Feb 28, 2021 at 1:26

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