New Jersey Burglary Defense Lawyers
In New Jersey, burglary and theft are two distinct types of crimes. Burglary, defined at N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, is when a person unlawfully enters, trespasses upon, or remains in any kind of structure, research facility or utility company property, with the purpose to commit an offense therein. Burglary is generally a crime of the 3rd degree, which carries a possible penalty of 3 to 5 years in prison, a fine up to $15,000, and other penalties. Burglary becomes a 2nd degree crime if the defendant is armed (even if he doesn’t use the weapon) or if he injures or threatens to injure anyone. This increases the possible penalties to 5 to 10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines.
Notice that the person does not have to steal anything to be guilty of burglary, but the prosecutor does have to prove that the defendant intends to commit some kind of crime. If the person does not intend to commit a crime, then they are simply trespassing. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3, unlawfully entering or remaining in a house, research facility, school, utility company property, and other similar properties is a 4th degree crime; otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense. It is a petty disorderly persons offense if the actor simply ignored a “posted” or “no trespassing” sign and entered property. Also, peering into someones window into their home is a 4th degree crime.
Theft, also known as larceny, is a separate crime – essentially is means that the person took money or property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner thereof. The more valuable the stolen property, the more severe the penalties. Theft is a 2nd degree crime if the property is valued above $75,000, or if the theft is by extortion, of if more than 1 kilogram of drugs are stolen, or if the thing that is stolen is human remains (i.e. a casket or urn containing ashes). Theft is a 3rd degree crime if the property is valued at $500 to $75,000, or it is a firearm, car, boat, plane, horse, or companion animal, or if it is some other kind of special property, like prescriptions, an access card, ingredients to make methamphetamine, research animals, etc. Theft is also a 3rd degree crime is the property, regardless of value, is stolen from the victim directly (i.e. a mugging, also known as robbery in other jurisdiction). If the property is valued at $200-$500, then it is a 4th degree crime, and it is a disorderly persons offense if valued at less than $200.
Burglary/Theft Criminal Defense Lawyer Approach (Why Us?)
A person charged with burglary or theft could be facing a sentence of many years in prison along with high fines and other penalties. If you are charged with such a crime you will need a lawyer to protect your rights. Even if only charged with a “minor” larceny charge, we still counsel our clients to take the matter seriously because a conviction or guilty plea could seriously affect a person for years into the future. Our firm will fight vigorously for you and help you achieve the best results for your arson case. We are skilled at analyzing the evidence that the state intends to use against you and we fight to exploit any holes in the prosecutor’s case. We also spend a considerable amount of time in negotiating with the prosecutor so that our client’s get the best plea offers possible. Once a plea offer is made, we counsel our clients about whether it makes sense to accept a plea offer or take their case to trial, where the prosecutor would have to prove all of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Burglary Criminal Defense Lawyer Free Consultation
If you are charged with any crime, please call us right away for a 100% FREE CONSULTATION, on the phone or in our office. We will review the court documents with you and advise you on what we can do to help you. Remember, the prosecutor’s job is to put people charged with crimes in jail. The prosecutor will not simply listen to your side of the story and drop the case against you. It is important to be represented by a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Please contact us today!
Raff & Raff, LLP
Attorneys at Law
30 Church Street
Paterson, NJ 07505
Tel: (973) 742-1917
Fax: (973) 742-2454