Charges associated with burglary include breaking and entering, criminal trespass, and possession of burglary tools. Like many other theft charges, burglary can be classified in different ways and is associated with incarceration. A burglary charge can threaten your life, so it is necessary to contact an experienced criminal attorney, Mark Yampaglia as soon as you have been accused of burglary. He can evaluate the seriousness of your situation and develop a strategy to defend you.
What is a Burglary?
Every state defines burglary differently. In general, burglary is described as unlawfully remaining or entering a building with the intention to commit a crime. Although similar, criminal trespass and theft shouldn’t be confused. Criminal trespass is a less severe charge than burglary and doesn’t require a crime to be committed. For a prosecutor to win a burglary case, they must be able to prove that the defendant entered a building unlawfully and did so with the intention of committing a crime. However, it is important to remember that a burglary charge becomes punishable as soon as a person enters a building unlawfully, even if they never get a chance to commit the crime.
Burglary also differs from theft because burglary requires there to be an intent to commit a crime once a person is in a building or domicile. It also dictates that the person unlawfully entered a home or building and was not invited in. A theft charge doesn’t require pre-meditation and can be issued even if a person was invited into the building where the theft occurred.
Burglary Charge Penalties
Due to the nature of the crime, burglary cases are associated with serious penalties. In most situations, a defendant found guilty of burglary will receive jail time. Because burglary charges are often filed in conjunction with other charges, a person convicted of burglary could be convicted of many crimes with jail sentences for each. Other factors that contribute to the seriousness of a burglary charge include:
- Whether a victim was injured (someone that was not involved in the crime)
- What the intention of the defendant was when they entered the building
- Whether a weapon was used
- Threatens to use an explosive or weapon
Defend yourself against burglary charges by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney will help you with the following legal steps.
- Pleading Requirements
During pleading requirements, a prosecutor will reveal the elements of his case against a defendant that will result in the type of burglary. At this time, a criminal defense attorney can contest the charges.
When it comes to discovery, a criminal defense attorney will make sure there are no issues with the prosecutor’s evidence. Regarding burglary charges, evidence usually revolves around surveillance camera footage, statements from witnesses, forensics, and testimony from police. A criminal lawyer will carefully examine all of this information and look for ways to provide a client with a viable defense. If the defendant was just present when a burglary occurred, a defense attorney might try to have charges reduced to criminal trespass, which is a lesser crime in most states. Sometimes, this is accomplished by presenting witnesses to the court. A witness testimony may be able to prove that a person was present in a building at the time of a burglary, but it was never their intention to commit a crime.
When a prosecutor attempts to increase the degree of burglary charges by claiming a weapon was used, or a victim was injured, a criminal defense attorney may be able to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case. For instance, was the weapon recovered? Was the victim truly injured? Both of these issues can be argued in court to make it more difficult for the prosecutor to provide his burden of proof.
Mark Yampaglia is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey. If you’ve been accused of this crime in either state, you should contact Mr. Yampaglia as soon as possible. Mr. Yampaglia will work to provide you with guidance and counsel that can result in an acceptable outcome.