New York Burglary Lawyer

Burglary is one of the most serious yet often misunderstood crimes covered under New York Penal Law. Any time a person enters another building with intent to commit a crime, it can be considered a burglary regardless of what that person does after they enter—even if they ultimately do nothing at all.

A New York burglary lawyer could represent someone facing allegations of any degree of burglary in New York’s criminal courts. Experienced theft attorneys can work to defend your innocence and contest the prosecution’s case at every stage of the proceedings.

How does New York Define a Burglary Offense?

New York’s burglary laws are listed in New York Penal Law Article 140. There are three degrees of varying severity of burglary in New York law based on the circumstances of the entry, each with unique qualifying aspects and associated penalties.

All degrees of burglary charges share a common core of fact: a person unlawfully enters another’s building with the purpose of committing a crime. The seriousness of the charges depends upon the type of building and any items that the defendant was carrying at the time of entry.

Outlining First-Degree Burglary Offenses

In order to be considered first-degree burglary, New York Penal Law §140.30 mandates that the event must meet the elements of third and second-degree burglary, and in addition the building entered must be a dwelling. 

If someone breaks into a house while holding a knife with the intent to steal a television, this could be considered burglary in the first degree. These charges are class B felonies, the penalty for which can include up to 25 years in jail.

Difference Between Second and Third Degree Burglarizing

Burglary in the third degree, as per New York Penal Law §140.20, is the most basic form of burglary. It simply requires the State to prove someone knowingly entered a building with the intent to commit a crime. It is classified as a Class D felony punishable by three to seven years. The defendant does not need to actually commit this crime when they do so. For example, many people face burglary charges if they break into a store but leave because of the police. They cannot face theft charges, but the state can infer they intended to steal. As a New York burglary lawyer has seen, this intent is the essence of a burglary theft offense.

Burglary in the second degree carries the same basic definition of third-degree burglary but adds on aggravating factors, according to New York Penal Law §140.25. If the defendant has a weapon, causes injury to a person during the crime, or displays a firearm, the charge is a second-degree crime. This is a class C felony carrying a maximum of 15 years in prison.

How a New York Burglary Attorney Could Help

Any burglary charge is a felony that may carry a mandatory jail sentence, create a permanent criminal record, and has the potential to permanently change a person’s life. The severity of these consequences underscores the vital role a New York burglary lawyer could play in your New York burglary case. An attorney could examine the facts behind every case, listen to the story, and create a unique defense strategy. Every state of the proceedings is important. Call now to get started on your case.