Discussion 7

I’m trying to learn for my Law class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

Answer stated question and respond to 2 classmates

Stated Question

Interpretation of codified crimes continuously evolves as science and technology advance. For our criminal justice system to work, the concept of advocacy must exist at all levels and in all branches of the system and be as strongly argued for the government as for the criminal defendants. By having two disparate sides analyzing and arguing the same set of facts based on the same codification of law, the criminal justice system is, at its best, protecting the innocent and isolating the guilty.

For this discussion, it will be necessary to practice advocating for definitions of a simple element in a common-law crime—burglary.

Burglary is the unlawful entry into the dwelling place of another at nighttime with the intent to commit a felony.

The criminal justice system, for many decades, argued over the term nighttimeuntil the U.S. Supreme Court finally provided the final definition. Many jurisdictions removed the nighttime element from the crime to simplify prosecution.

What is your definition of nighttime? Why do you think your definition is correct? Use of various definitions of the element by state and the U.S. Supreme Courts is permissible but not required.

Please include the name of the person or question to which you are replying in the subject line. For example, “Tom’s response to Susan’s comment.”

Classmate1 Ronald

In the State of Ohio, the word “nighttime” does not even show up in the elements for Burglary. Per the Ohio Revised code section for Burglary, 2911.12, the elements are as follows:

(A) No person, by force, stealth, or deception, shall do any of the following:

(1) Trespass in an occupied structure or in a separately secured or separately occupied portion of an occupied structure, when another person other than an accomplice of the offender is present, with purpose to commit in the structure or in the separately secured or separately occupied portion of the structure any criminal offense;

(2) Trespass in an occupied structure or in a separately secured or separately occupied portion of an occupied structure that is a permanent or temporary habitation of any person when any person other than an accomplice of the offender is present or likely to be present, with purpose to commit in the habitation any criminal offense;

(3) Trespass in an occupied structure or in a separately secured or separately occupied portion of an occupied structure, with purpose to commit in the structure or separately secured or separately occupied portion of the structure any criminal offense.

(B) No person, by force, stealth, or deception, shall trespass in a permanent or temporary habitation of any person when any person other than an accomplice of the offender is present or likely to be present.

As you can see, the element of nighttime does not exist. All someone has to do is to trespass in an occupied structure with the intent to complete any criminal act.

In most instances, someone would think nighttime as anytime from dusk to dawn. For law enforcement purposes in Ohio, when obtaining a search warrant for nighttime service, file an affidavit, explaining the reason for a nighttime service. A judge or magistrate will not issue a nighttime warrant unless probable cause exists. We explicitly define in our search warrants the reason for the nighttime service, such as officer safety factors such as the number of people who may be present during nighttime hours, weapons available to those persons, or the amount of evidence suspected. We usually define the hours of nightitme for execution of the search warrant from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. Federal Criminal Rule 41 defines nighttime as the hours between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Each jurisdiction has their own definition but here in Ohio, the term “nighttime” does not show up as an element for a criminal offense.

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