Types of Burglary Charges

Burglary is always a felony, but the level increases depending on the place that was entered. Burglary of a Dwelling (residence) is a second degree felony and scores a prison sentence, even for a first offense.

Burglary of a Structure (building, shed, etc) and Burglary of a Conveyance (car) are third degree felonies. These offenses can be enhanced if they were occupied at the time of entry or if a firearm was carried (or even stolen from inside).

Burglary not only encompasses the place itself, but often the area surrounding them, called “curtilage”. Curtilage can include the area inside a fence surrounding the property or anything under the roofline, in the carport, or porch.


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Defense of a Burglary Charge

Defenses to burglary may vary widely, depending on the events leading to the arrest. Often, everyone in a car is charged with burglary even though some occupants had no knowledge of the crime. Possession of recently stolen property can lead to a burglary charge even though it was recently purchased or given as a gift. Sometimes, property is entered just for shelter and not to commit a crime. Mistaken identification and untruthful testimony can also result in an unwarranted burglary charge.

A knowledgeable attorney can investigate all the circumstances of a burglary accusation to mount a strong defense. Careful analysis of the physical evidence, testimony, and the law may lead to an acquittal. Filing motions to suppress unlawfully gained evidence from a search or from an uncounseled confession can lead to a better result for the client.


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