Everyone desires a clean criminal record, but someone has to put in the work to prove your innocence. There are various defense routes that a qualified legal expert can explore before and during the trial.
Being charged with the offense of burglary doesn’t equal conviction. As long as you hire a Lemoyne criminal defense lawyer, you can regain control over your future. No matter the type of burglary crime the prosecution has presented against you, there is hope that someone skilled and knowledgeable can take care of it.
What Qualifies as Burglary?
Burglaries, theft, and robbery are sometimes used interchangeably – but the criteria used to charge and convict defendants are quite different.
For an offense to qualify as a burglary in Pennsylvania, it has to meet certain requirements:
- You entered a building unlawfully
- You intended to commit a crime
What are the Common Misconceptions about Burglary?
Burglary is often misunderstood, and there are several misconceptions that are misleading. Debunking those myths creates a better understanding of the nature of the crime.
It Must Include Theft
It is true that many burglars gain access to a building to steal, but it is not always the case. The mere intention to commit an offense when you get into the premises is enough for a burglary case.
You Must Have Completed the Crime
You can still be charged for burglary even if you didn’t end up committing the intended offense. For example, entering someone’s house through an open window to steal their bicycle, but you find the bike missing.
You Must Break into the Premises/Property
Gaining unlawful access to the building doesn’t have to be forceful in a burglary. Going in through a door or window that was left open is still an offense.
What Does the Judge Consider in a Burglary Case?
The DA is tasked with the responsibility of proving to the court that you are guilty and deserve to be sentenced.
Your verdict and the severity of the sentence will depend on whether or not:
- You intended to commit a crime
- The premises are occupied for overnight sleep
- Someone else was in the building at the time of entry
- You intended to or actually caused bodily injury to someone in the building
What Forms of Burglary Exist in Pennsylvania?
The circumstances surrounding the burglary incident determines how it will be classified. Understanding the terms used in describing the charges against you is critical in formulating the best defense.
This is where you go into a place to steal controlled substances.
It is when you commit burglary and assault a person or use a weapon in the incident.
Burglary of a Habitation
It involves burglary committed in spaces with sleeping quarters, for instance, at home and not in a store.
Can I be Charged for Burglary along with Other Crimes?
Burglary can only be charged along with other crimes if the other crime is a first or second-degree felony in Pennsylvania.
If you committed any other offense inside the unauthorized premises, the DA would have to choose between burglary and the other crime.
How is a Burglary Convict Punished?
Burglary is a serious offense in Pennsylvania, and it is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor in some cases. Convicts pay hefty fines and can serve long sentences. However, the questionable verdicts can be challenged by a skilled military defense lawyer in Lemoyne, PA.
Burglary in premises used for overnight accommodation is a first-degree felony. Also, burglary activity in unoccupied structures to steal a controlled substance is a first-degree felony. If you carried a deadly weapon to the burglary or assaulted someone, the crime falls in this category. Convicts can pay a fine of up to $25,000 and be imprisoned for up to 20 years.
You may be punished less severely if you are guilty of burglary in unoccupied buildings. Also, if you have had prior convictions of this crime, the sentencing falls here. As a second-degree felony, the prescribed jail term is up to 10 years, and the fine is up to $25,000.
If you didn’t end up stealing anything or harming anyone during the burglary incident, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. The sentence is usually up to 10 years in jail.
These are burglaries that take place in homes or business premises that have been fenced in – especially if the accused didn’t actually steal anything. You can be locked up for up to 3 years if convicted.
What Burglary Defenses Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Use?
A good defense is all you need to prove your innocence and be freed from burglary charges in Pennsylvania. Here is how a skilled Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer can save you from prison and hefty charges:
You Were Licensed or Privileged to Enter the Premises
If a friend invited you to their house, you can’t be charged for burglary because you were rightfully there.
It Was Public Property
If everyone is usually allowed to access the premises, you could argue that it is public property.
You can have burglary charges dropped if you argue that the premises were abandoned.
It is not easy for the prosecution to prove beyond doubt that your intention for entering the building was to commit a crime. And an experienced Lemoyne burglary defense lawyer can use this to your advantage.
Get Valuable Advice and Legal Counsel for Your Burglary Case
Call a skilled Lemoyne criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested to ensure that your civil rights are protected in Pennsylvania. The legal counsel will represent you at the arraignment and bond hearing to ensure that you are released as you await trial.
At the pre-trial stage, you will need the Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney to bring forth motions of defense to the prosecution. And if they are convincing enough, they can drop the charges or reduce them. Remember that your freedom lies in your burglary lawyer’s ability to dispute the prosecution’s allegations skillfully and cross-examine witnesses. Schedule a free consultation today to get started.