Amber Ladner Wins Burglary Appeal – Alabama burglary charge reversed on appeal by Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Amber Ladner of Bradford Ladner LLP. succeeded in getting our client’s Alabama burglary conviction reversed on appeal at the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. The client was charged with burglary in connection with an vacant house. The house had been purchased by a local airport authority and was scheduled to be demolished. Local police charged the client with 3rd degree burglary, a class C felony which can result in jail time up to 10 years. Alabama’s burglary statute makes it illegal to break and enter in to a “building” in order to commit a theft. In this case, the Alabama burglary conviction was reversed on appeal because the court of appeals decided that the abandoned house did not qualify as a “building.”
On appeal, Ladner argued that the the house was not a “building” because the Alabama statute defined a building as a structure that could be used as a place to live, a place to do business, or a place to store property. In this case, the house was empty and scheduled for demolition. Therefore, argued Ladner, the house could not be used for the purposes listed in the statue. After reviewing appellate briefs and hearing oral argument from Ladner, the Court issued its opinion on 12/14/2012 in which the burglary conviction was reversed on appeal and a judgment rendered in our clients favor.
The appeal is particularly significant because it was a case of first impression, meaning that the Court of Criminal Appeals had never decided the issue prior to hearing this appeal.