When most people think of “burglary” they probably immediately associate it with theft. While theft is commonly a component, it is not the only reason a person may be charged with burglary. If you are facing burglary charges, it is important to understand the three…
Theft and burglary are often used interchangeably, but while theft is typically a component of burglary, the reverse is not true. A person can engage in theft without being deemed a burglar.
Burglary involves entering a home or building with an intent to commit a crime. The person may be there to steal someone or even injure or kill someone through use of a gun, knife or other weapon. That’s what makes burglary more violent in nature than simple theft.
As such, burglary is considered a felony. A felony conviction can result in stiff penalties, especially in New York. There are several types of felony charges for burglary, depending on the severity of the crime.
What the Law Says About Burglary
Under New York State Law Section 140, there are three degrees of burglary. The least serious is burglary in the third degree, which is a Class D felony. This refers to someone entering a building with an intent to commit a crime. In this situation, the person is not armed with a weapon and is in a building other than a home.
Burglary in the second degree is more serious in nature. This is a Class C felony that involves entering a home, or entering a building while armed with a deadly weapon. If the person displays or threatens use of the weapon, or causes injury to someone inside the building, then this is second degree burglary.
First-degree burglary is a Class C felony, the most serious type of burglary. This involves entering a home with a deadly weapon. If the person displays, threatens or uses the weapon, this is first-degree burglary. Another element of this crime includes a person injured by the burglar.
Penalties for Burglary
Those convicted of any type of felony in New York will lose many of their civil rights. They will be unable to vote, possess a firearm, acquire a state or federal license, hold state office or serve on a grand jury. Those with a felony on their criminal record will also face difficulties looking for a job or suitable housing.
On top of that, they will face jail time. For a Class D felony, the jail sentence could range from 2-7 years. For a Class C felony, the sentence is 3 ½ to as many as 15 years in jail. Those convicted of a Class B felony will face 5-25 years in jail.
The courts will look at your criminal history when determining an appropriate sentence. If you have previous criminal offenses, your penalties may be stiffer. If this is your first offense, judges are more likely to be lenient.
Accused of Burglary? Contact the Law Offices of George Vomvolakis Today
A burglary charge can result in you becoming a convicted felon. This will cause you to lose many of your civil rights. Your life will change dramatically, as you will find it difficult to find housing and employment.
Act immediately to preserve your legal rights and retain the freedoms you enjoy. George Vomvolakis is a criminal defense lawyer who can defend you against the burglary charges you face. To request a free consultation, call us today at (212) 682-0700 or complete the online contact form.