Understanding Burglary Charges
Being charged with theft or burglary can have serious consequences. If you are convicted, you may face imprisonment, fines, and a permanent criminal record that can negatively impact your future employment, housing, and other opportunities. It is essential to take these charges seriously and seek legal representation from our former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense attorney at Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn.
In some jurisdictions, including New York, crimes are classified into first, second, and third-degree categories based on severity. First-degree crimes include more significant penalties and longer prison sentences. Minor crimes may be placed in lower tiers and typically are punishable by shorter prison sentences or alternative measures.
In New York, a person may be charged with the maximum penalty for their crime with the addition of less severe crimes. This means someone who has committed a burglary in the first degree could also be subject to charges for burglary in the second or third degree or criminal trespass.
What Is Attempted Burglary?
criminal law, an attempt is an act that is executed with the intent to follow through with a crime but which falls short of completion.
Attempted burglary is a crime that occurs when a person tries to enter a building or other structure with the intent to commit a crime once inside but fails to gain entry or complete the intended crime. For instance, if a person tries to break into a home by picking the lock and is caught by the police before entering, they could be charged with attempted burglary.
Burglary in the Third Degree
Burglary in the third degree is a class D non-violent felony involving unlawful entry or attempted entry into a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime. It is usually classified as a less serious form of burglary than first or second-degree burglary. It is punishable by up to seven years in prison and various other fines or penalties.
Burglary in the Second Degree
Burglary in the second degree is a class C violent felony involving the same components as third-degree burglary. However, to be charged with second-degree burglary, a person will have unlawfully entered a residential home or a building with deadly weapons. It may also be charged when a defendant enters a building while threatening someone with a weapon, displays an object seen as a gun or firearm, or causes physical injury. Burglary in the second degree holds a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and other potential punishments or fines.
Burglary in the First Degree
Burglary in the first degree is a class B felony. Similar to second and third-degree burglary, first-degree burglary involves entering a residence with the intent of committing a crime. This charge is classified as first-degree when the individual is equipped with a deadly weapon, threatens or uses a weapon, displays a firearm, or physically injures someone. Burglary in the first degree holds a penalty of up to 25 years in prison and various other potential punishments or fines.
Theft vs. Burglary
Theft is a criminal offense referring to the unlawful taking of another person’s property. Theft can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the property and the circumstances. Burglary involves unauthorized entry into a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime, usually theft.
The Definition of Criminal Trespass
Trespass refers to entering someone else’s land without permission or the legal right to be there. It can also refer to the act of remaining on someone else’s land after being asked to leave or interfering with the possession of the land in some other way. Similar to burglary, trespassing charges also have three tiers.
Trespass in the Third Degree
Trespass in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 90 days in jail. Third-degree trespass involves someone willingly entering or remaining in a building or on a property that is fenced in, such as a school or railroad yard, without permission or right to be there.
Trespass in the Second Degree
Trespass in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor that results in up to a year in prison. It refers to entering a residence unlawfully where registration under Article 6 (c) of the Correction Law is required.
Trespass in the First Degree
Trespass in the first degree is a class D felony, facing up to seven years in prison. This involves entering or remaining without permission or right in a building under aggravating circumstances, meaning the person is armed with a deadly weapon, firearm, explosive, or ammunition, or if they know that their partner in the crime is armed with one of the above.
What to Do If You’re Accused
If you have been accused of burglary or trespassing, you will be interviewed by law enforcement, and you should invoke your right to remain silent until you can speak to your attorney. If you speak without an attorney present, you risk being misunderstood or misreported, contributing to the case made against you.
What to Do After a Charge
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, such as a burglary or a trespass crime, it is imperative to consult a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. A conviction of any nature, whether a misdemeanor or felony, can change the trajectory of your life. Preparing your defense with an attorney advocating for you is crucial to the outcome of your case.
Juveniles and Youthful Offenders
In some instances, a minor that is 16 years old or younger may be tried as an adult when the nature of the crime is severe enough. However, this may take place in juvenile court. Youthful offenders that are nine years old or younger may be subject to “youthful offender treatment,” which means they will be sentenced but will not receive a criminal record.
Get the Legal Representation You Need
Schalk, Ciaccio & Kahn criminal defense attorneys are here to help you defend your rights and protect your freedom if you have been charged with burglary or trespassing. We will carefully review the circumstances of your case and develop a strong defense strategy to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and arguments. Contact our firm today to discuss the specifics of your case.