Possession of Burglarious Tools

Possession of burglarious tools is a serious crime that carries the possibility of a state prison sentence upon conviction.

Elements of Possession of Burglarious Tools

In order to convict a defendant of possession of burglarious tools, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The defendant intentionally possessed an implement or a tool;
  2. Such an implement or tool could reasonably be used to break into a room, building, safe or vault, or a place where valuables are kept;
  3. The defendant knew the implement or tool could reasonably be used for that purpose; and
  4. The defendant specifically intended to steal from, or commit a crime in, that place.

Items commonly used for innocent purposes, such as chisels, screwdrivers, or kitchen knives, can be considered “burglarious tools” if they can be used to break into a room, building, safe or vault, or a place where valuables are kept, and the items are possessed for that reason.

An attempted break-in is not necessary to convict a defendant for possession of burglarious tools. The crime is completed upon the defendant’s possession of the burglarious tools.

Common Defenses and Defense Strategies

Possesion of burglarious tools cases can be defended in a variety of ways.

  • Defendant’s Intent – The Commonwealth is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew the tool could reasonably be used to break into a structure and the defendant specifically intended to use the tool in that manner. If the tool could be used in a lawful manner, it is sometimes difficult for the Commonwealth to prove that the defendant intended to use the tool unlawfully. Attorney Spring will present any alternative theory to the jury at trial, including whether the tools could have been used for the defendant’s employment. Any item that qualifies as a burglarious tool can typically be found in a contractor’s work truck.
  • Motions to Suppress – These types of items are ordinarily discovered when the police are searching a suspect’s clothes or bags. There is almost always a question of whether the police were justified in conducting a search of the defendant, which will almost always be done without a warrant. Attorney Spring will file motions to suppress the allegedly illegal items in cases where the police conducted questionable searches.

Given the serious consequences that result from a conviction for possessing burglarious tools, you should hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney who has experience in litigating these types of cases. Attorney Chris Spring prosecuted these cases earlier in his career when he served as an assistant district attorney and since becoming a defense attorney, he has successfully defended individuals charged with this type of case. Having tried more than 150 cases before Massachusetts juries in both district and superior court, Attorney Spring has the necessary experience to guide you through the criminal justice system and present your side of the story to a jury. As with any crime, you should never speak to the police without first consulting with a criminal defense attorney to explore all of your options.

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