Elite Lawyer

Burglary Attorney Overview

Lawyer Representation in Cases Involving Breaking and Entering

In the United States, people have the right to safety and security on their personal property, and the law identifies certain crimes that threaten this right. These crimes are known as property crimes, and burglary is one common criminal charge that a person may face if they illegally enter another person's property.

If you are facing charges related to burglary or any other property crimes, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A skilled lawyer can help you understand the laws in your state, your potential defense strategies, and your best options for minimizing the consequences of the charges.

Legal Elements of Burglary

While each state has its own laws regarding burglary, the crime is typically defined as breaking and entering another person's property (including a home, business, or other structure) with the intent of committing a crime, and it is typically charged as a felony, which can be punished by substantial fines and more than one year in prison. Breaking and entering can include using physical methods to enter a building or gaining entry through threats or coercion. Breaking and entering can only occur if a building or property is closed to the public at the time of the unauthorized entry.

Notably, burglary occurs if a person intends to commit a crime after breaking and entering, so they may be charged even if criminal activity did not occur following a break-in. Common types of crimes which are committed during burglary include theft and vandalism. If certain aggravating circumstances occur, such as harming or threatening to harm someone during the course of the burglary, more serious charges may apply.

The type of structure that is broken into can also affect whether a person is charged with burglary. State laws usually define burglary as occurring in buildings or property used to house people or animals or to provide shelter for property. Burglary may also occur in cars, boats, or freight containers. A fenced-in area may or may not be considered a structure where burglary can occur, depending on how it is used, and breaking into an abandoned building will typically not be considered burglary.

If you have been arrested and charged with burglary, an experienced attorney can help you determine your best options for defense. Possible defenses may include demonstrating that you had permission to enter a building or structure, that you did not intend to commit a crime, or that you were threatened or coerced into performing the illegal acts.

Back to Top