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Is burglary a felony?

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Felonies, Theft & Economic Crimes |

Burglary charges involve someone accused of illegally entering a building or accessing a locked space through the use of force. Their intent is to commit a crime. The crime may involve the theft of property or assault of the occupant. There are different degrees of burglary charges with different penalties. The degrees are based on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. They are all considered felonies and involve time in state prison.

Third-degree burglary

This Class 5 felony generally involves the theft of something. The burglary charges are often paired with a theft charge. The penalties include 1 – 3 years in prison. The charge’s penalties are elevated to Class 4 if the theft involves illegal drugs or controlled substances.

Second-degree burglary

This more severe charge involves unlawfully entering a building with the intent to stay and, rather than take the property, commit a crime against the occupant. It is a Class 4 felony if it involves a commercial or industrial space. It elevates to Class 3 when the space is residential. The charges involve up to 6 years in prison.

First-degree burglary

This Class 3 felony (elevated to Class 2 if drugs are involved) is the most serious burglary charge. It involves the accused knowingly entering the property unlawfully and remaining there. They also assault the occupant using, possessing or threatening to use a deadly weapon. The penalties involve 4 to 12 years in prison and fines up to $750,000.

The accused can fight these charges

There are many defenses that the accused’s attorney can employ to possibly reduce or dismiss the charges ideally. It can involve returning the goods removed, mental health issues, intoxication, or other mitigating factors. When facing these charges, the defendant needs to advocate for themselves with the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can help ensure the best possible outcome.