In the light of increasing crimes in NY, pertinent laws have become more stringent and definitions have been updated to better define burglary. Under N.Y. Penal Law section 140.00, 140.20, a person will have committed burglary if they enter a building without prerequisite permission and with the intent of committing a crime once inside.
At a superficial level, a building might imply a structure such as an office or a home, but in NY laws, it also entails boats, trailers or other structures used for living or carrying out business. This is one of the most serious felonies in the criminal court circuit of NY because it is treated as a violent crime even when the offender is not armed or even when no one is in the building.
Charged with Burglary
Due to the harsh penal laws, it is crucial for a person charged with burglary to retain legal representation. At the Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel in NY, we have represented thousands and you can leverage this experience by retaining us as your legal counsel.
There are three burglary classifications, namely:
Burglary in the Third Degree
This is a Class D felony and it applies when a person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with an intent to commit a crime therein. Minimum punishment is one to three years in jail with a maximum punishment of two and half years to seven years in jail. Under extenuating circumstances, a judge can give a lesser or no jail time at all which again depends on defense by your attorney.
Burglary in Second Degree
This is a class C violent crime in NY with a maximum punishment of up to 15 years and a minimum of three and half years. It is applies when:
- A person knowingly enters a home or remains there unlawfully with intent to commit a crime.
- Where a person commits a burglary in a building which is not a home and someone is injured.
- Where a person commits a burglary in a building and they or someone abetting their crime possesses a weapon or something appearing like one.
Burglary in First Degree
This is the most serious crime under burglary laws and is classified as a Class B violent offense in NY carrying a minimum punishment of five years and a maximum of 25 years in jail. It is commonly charged where:
- A person commits a burglary in a home and is armed with a weapon or causes injury to a person in the course of the crime.
We appreciate the intricate nature of this classification, and at The Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel, we shall help you or a loved one sail safely through these complexities during the course of the case.
Burglary vs. Robbery
These two are commonly confused more so because the media sensationalizes them to a point where they merge. While they both involve theft, circumstances around each help bring out the difference perfectly.
Legally speaking, robbery in NY is defined as taking something that has value from someone by using intimidation, force or threats. Burglary on the other hand entails unlawful entry into a structure to commit theft.
The only similarity which however leads to more confusion is in the accession of both crimes through Class D, C and B felonies as seriousness of each of the crimes intensifies.
Charged with Burglary First Offense
With an experienced attorney, you can get your charge dropped or sentence reduced as a first offender. You can also get partial sentencing, mandatory community service or join a rehabilitation program.
Burglary laws are hard to understand, and if you or a loved one is struggling in the corridors of justice, you should contact the Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegal for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We will help you through the court process to ensure you get the best option on the table.