Burglary defense attorneys are criminal lawyers who represent individuals accused of one or more burglary charges, which can include:
- Residential burglary (the breaking and entering into a residence)
- Commercial burglary
- Burglary involving the use of a deadly weapon
- Home invasion burglary
- Entering a vehicle, vessel or cargo container with the intention of stealing
Protecting Your Rights
It is the role of a burglary defense lawyer to protect the constitutionally guaranteed legal rights of someone who has been arrested for or charged with or convicted of burglary. Each state has different laws regarding burglary offenses, but the penalties in all states for burglary crimes are all harsh. The potential punishment for being convicted of a burglary includes:
- Jail and prison time
- Forfeiture of property
- Restitution of property to the victim
- A criminal record that can affect the rest of your life
Burglaries Count toward "Three Strikes"
In addition, burglary convictions count toward the 'three strikes' systems in states that use them. For example, a first-degree burglary conviction in California is a felony and thus a strike offense, which means that the convicted individual will have to serve at least 85 percent of his jail or prison sentence, and if he is convicted later of another felony, the sentence is automatically doubled, and at least 80 percent of it must be served. A third strike (felony) may result in an extremely long (even "life") sentence.
In most states, a burglary committed in someone's home (i.e., a residential burglary) is a first-degree burglary and a felony, because of the danger to the lives of people who reside there. All other types of burglaries (businesses, vehicles, etc.) are second-degree burglaries and may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. A burglary defense attorney will work to get a client's charges reduced or even dismissed.
Intent and Burglary
In some states, the prosecutor must prove that the accused had the intent to commit a criminal offense when he or she entered the building. In other jurisdictions, it doesn't matter whether there was intent or not. Your criminal defense lawyer will explain the elements of your burglary charge to you.
Talk to a Burglary Defense Attorney Today
If you are in trouble with the law regarding burglary, or if it is your family member in trouble, to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation contact a burglary defense lawyer today.