A burglary charge is quite serious, but it’s not impossible to defend yourself against such accusations. A Queens theft crime lawyer can look at your case and figure out the best possible way to poke holes in a prosecutor’s case. The burden of proof is on the state here, and they have to prove some specific allegations before you can be convicted of burglary.
Burglary charges can be filed when you trespass on a property, knowing it is unlawful, while you have the intent to commit a crime there. The prosecution has to prove that both of these things were true at the time you were found and arrested.
There are three degrees of burglary:
Third degree: This is a Class D felony that could get you up to one to seven years in prison. A fine of up to $5,000 can also be charged.
Second degree: A conviction for this Class C felony can land you in jail for up to 15 years.
First degree: The Class B felony ups the maximum prison sentence to 25 years.
Generally, a burglary charge can be upgraded to the second or first degree if a defendant is armed with deadly weapons or explosives. They can also be charged with a more serious crime if someone was injured while the crime was allegedly being committed.
There are usually a few options for defending yourself from a burglary charge. Some common defensive tactics include:
Claiming innocence: You did not commit any of the acts you are accused of. Your attorney just needs to create reasonable doubt and make it seem like the prosecutor’s case against you is not as airtight as it may have looked initially. To do this, your lawyer may put forward an alibi for you, attack the credibility of a prosecutor’s witness, or offer their own theory of how the crime occurred.
A lack of intent: You have to have intent to commit a crime in order to be charged with burglary. Your lawyer can say that you were on the property, but there was no intent to steal anything. Sometimes intoxication or mental illness can be used as an excuse for why you were somewhere that you should not have been.
You had permission to enter: Yes, you were in a building or dwelling like the prosecutor said you were. However, you actually did have permission to be there. This is no unauthorized breaking and entering after all. This can also work when a defendant believed that they had permission to enter a building, but they were mistaken.
If you want to learn more about what our experienced defense attorneys can do for you, contact Vasiliou Law. We can schedule a free consultation and take some time to go over your case. We are ready to help you find the right defensive strategy and fight back against these charges.