This week we learned about the elements of property crimes that the prosecutor must prove at trial. Based on the following fact patterns what would you charge the offender with if you were the prosecutor?
A man goes out with his friends drinking for his birthday at a campground. The party gets a little wild as the result of alcohol consumption. The man becomes sick during the event due to his level of intoxication and lays down out of the view of his friends. Later that evening his friends drive off in their vehicles and leave him behind. He is highly intoxicated and becomes very cold as a result of the night air.
He wanders up to the residential community adjacent to the campground and starts to pull on doors attempting to find a place to warm up and sleep off his intoxication (at this point it is about 3:00 am). The man is aware that the homes he is attempting to enter do not belong to him. He finds a sliding glass door unlocked and goes inside a house. Once inside he finds a blanket and falls asleep on the living room couch.
In the morning, he wakes up and tries to call his friends on his cellular phone to come pick him up. The homeowner, who is getting ready for work, hears him talking in the living room area. She finds him in the living room and tells him to stay there until the police arrive. The man waits for the police. He does not try to run, take property, or injure the home owner. (These facts are similar to an actual call that I received as a police officer.)
Part 2 - Would your answer change if the offender had entered the home with the intent to take the lady's purse containing $1,000 in cash and left the home with the purse? Why or why not?