Salisbury Burglary Lawyer
Salisbury takes burglary charges very seriously, and the penalties upon conviction can be harsh. Consequently, you want a skilled defense attorney representing you throughout your case. A Salisbury burglary lawyer can help you assemble a good defense to your charge and represent you during all court proceedings.
The law defines burglary as breaking and entering a structure with the specific intent to commit a crime therein. While the underlying crime is sometimes theft, other crimes, including assault, also qualify.
In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. A burglary attorney in Salisbury can examine the circumstances surrounding a criminal charge and assess the potential strength or weakness of the prosecution’s case.
Degrees of Burglary
The law divides burglary into various degrees of seriousness, with first-degree burglary being the most serious. Those degrees are as follows:
- First-degree burglary – The prosecution may charge the accused with first-degree burglary for breaking and entering a dwelling (e.g., a home), with the intention of committing a crime of violence or theft therein
- Second-degree burglary – The prosecution may charge the accused with second-degree burglary for breaking and entering a warehouse or storage facility to commit a crime of violence, theft, or arson therein
- Third-degree burglary – The prosecution may charge the accused with third-degree burglary for breaking and entering someone else’s dwelling while intending to commit any crime therein
- Fourth-degree burglary – The prosecution may charge the accused with fourth-degree burglary for merely breaking and entering or for simply intending to commit a theft while on someone else’s property (i.e. without actually breaking or entering)
Potential Consequences of a Burglary Conviction
If the prosecution can prove that the accused is guilty of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt and secures a conviction, the accused will face very serious penalties and consequences.
A first-degree burglary conviction can result in a maximum of 20 years incarceration (i.e. for breaking and entering a dwelling while intending to commit a theft therein). The maximum period of incarceration increases to 25 years if the accused intended to commit a violent crime therein (i.e. a felony home invasion).
Similarly, a second-degree burglary conviction can result in a maximum of 15 years’ incarceration if a storehouse is involved, and the accused intended to commit violence, theft, or arson therein. That penalty increases to 20 years – as well as a maximum fine of $10,000 – if the accused broke into the storehouse with the intention of stealing a firearm.
A conviction for third-degree burglary can result in a maximum of ten years’ incarceration. A fourth-degree burglary conviction may result in a maximum prison sentence of three years.
Defending a Burglary Charge
When it comes to fighting a burglary charge, the accused may have several options available to them. First, the accused may allege that at the time of the burglary, they did not have the necessary criminal intent to commit the burglary. For example, they may have entered the structure without ever intending to commit a crime therein.
The accused may also allege that the property owner gave their consent for the accused to enter onto the property. The accused may also say that they entered the property under threat, coercion, entrapment, or duress.
A burglary attorney in Salisbury can help you formulate a defense that fits the circumstances of your case.
Reaching Out to a Salisbury Burglary Attorney
In addition to a possible prison sentence and fines, a burglary conviction can make life extremely unpleasant. A conviction on your record may severely limit your education and job prospects and can even determine where you will live.
A Salisbury burglary lawyer can help you defend your case at every stage of the proceedings and advocate for you during trial and sentencing hearings.