What Is Burglary?
Burglary is defined as the act of entering a building or home unlawfully with the purpose of stealing or committing a felony. It is important to note that you can be charged with burglary even if you do not steal anything. For example, if you break into someone’s home and you run before the police arrive, then you can still be charged with burglary.
You could also be charged with trespassing, which will carry a lesser punishment. However, you will only be charged with trespassing if you entered a dwelling without using weapons or force. You could also be charged with trespassing if you stay in a building after being asked to leave.
Penalties for Burglary
You could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. The type of burglary that you commit is one of the factors that will determine the type of charge and punishment that you get. Burglary can be a first-degree or second-degree crime.
First-degree burglary is a more serious crime. You will likely be charged with first-degree burglary if you break into a residence. In addition to houses, floating homes, hotel rooms, trailer coaches and boats can be classified as residences. Second-degree burglary occurs when a person breaks into a building that is not classified as a residence. This includes places like stores and warehouses.
First-degree burglary is also always classified as a felony. Second-degree burglary is a wobbler crime, which means that it can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. The other factors will be taken into consideration when the judge determines the penalties include the following.
You could spend several years in prison if you commit first-degree burglary. You may only serve a few months in jail if you are charged with second-degree burglary. However, you could be sent to prison for second-degree burglary. Other punishments include probation, criminal fees, fines, rehabilitation programs and mandatory counseling.
Defenses That Can Be Used for Burglary
Innocence is one of the potential defenses that can be used for burglary. However, innocence is something that can be difficult to prove. This often relies on things like witness testimony and a good alibi. An attorney can talk to witnesses and prove that there was no way that you could have committed burglary.
Intoxication is another potential defense that can be used. Your attorney can argue that the alcohol impaired your judgment. You may not be able to get your charges dropped completely. However, there is a possibility that you may be able to get them reduced.
Lack of intent can also be used as a defense. Your attorney can argue that even though you were in the building, you did not intend to commit a crime. Additionally, entrapment is a possible defense. Your lawyer can try to convince the court that someone else forced you to commit the crime.
Entrapment is another defense that can be hard to prove. However, if there is sufficient evidence, then this defense can likely be used in court.
Get in Touch With a Burglary Lawyer
The best thing that you can do if you are facing burglary charges is to consult with an attorney. The main goal of your attorney is to reduce the potential consequences that you are facing. It doesn’t matter whether you are facing first or second-degree burglary charges.
Your attorney will talk about all of the details of your case during the consultation. They will let you know about the laws in the area. They will also inform you of the rights that you have.
There are many elements that have to be proven in a burglary case. There is an element of reasonable doubt in every case. If there is not enough evidence to prove that you broke into a dwelling, then the charges can be dropped. Your attorney can make sure that you are fairly represented. They will defend your freedoms and rights.
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