Daniel v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Appellant Desmond Daniel was convicted by jury of burglary after he was caught attempting to enter a house by removing a back door’s hinges. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s order denying Daniel’s motion for new trial. The Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari to address whether, in a prosecution for burglary, a defendant must present “other evidence negating any element of the crime of burglary” in order to receive a criminal trespass charge as a lesser-included offense in a burglary case. The Supreme Court answered that question in the negative: the defendant never assumes any burden to “disprove” any element of a criminal charge. But it is also true that an instruction on a lesser-included offense must be given only if the evidence warrants the instruction. The Court determined that standard was not reached here because there was no evidence at all before the jury to support Daniel’s requested for a criminal trespass charge. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals.