Elements of a crime are the component parts of a crime. The prosecution must prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt to establish the criminal liability. For example, “burglary” is defined as the act of (1) breaking; (2) and entering; (3) into the abode of another; (4) at night; (5) with the intent to commit a felony therein. Each of those five parts is an element of the crime of burglary which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to establish that the defendant committed burglary.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]