Burglary

The crime of burglary applies to someone who is accused of entering a house or building with the intent to commit a crime. There is no requirement that the person actually commit a crime once inside, only that he entered with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary is one of the most common serious felonies found in criminal courts in New York. The burglary of someone’s home is treated a violent felony, even if the person accused was unarmed. It is also treated as a violent felony even if no one was home at the time, and even if no one was injured during the burglary.

Because the laws in New York are so harsh when it comes to allegations of burglary, it is critical that a person charged with burglary is represented by a criminal attorney who is experienced in handling burglary cases. Dietrich P. Epperson has defended, investigated, and (as a former assistant district attorney) prosecuted numerous burglary cases.

In New York, Article 140 of the Penal Law covers burglary charges. There are 3 levels of severity: (1) Burglary in the First Degree under Penal Law Section 140.30, (2) Burglary in the Second Degree under Penal Law Section 140.25, and (3) Burglary in the Third Degree under Penal Law Section 140.20. There is another common burglary-related crime, which is Possession of Burglar’s Tools under Penal Law Section 140.35. The crime of Burglary has its own legal terms and definitions, which are found under Penal Law Section 140.00.

Burglary in the Third Degree

Burglary in the Third Degree is a Class D Felony in New York. The minimum punishment is 1 to 3 years jail, and the maximum punishment is 2.3 to 7 years jail. There is also the possibility (under extenuating circumstances) that a judge can impose an alternative sentence where the accused can get less jail time, or possibly no jail time at all. Burglary in the Third Degree can be charged when:

  • A person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building (not a home) with the intent to commit a crime inside.

Burglary in the Second Degree

Burglary in the Second Degree is a Class C Violent Felony in New York. The minimum punishment is 3.5 years jail and the maximum punishment is 15 years jail. Burglary in the Second Degree is most commonly charged when:

  • A person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling (home) with the intent to commit a crime inside;
  • OR a person commits a burglary of a building (not a home) and someone is injured.
  • OR a person commits a burglary of a building (not a home) and he or someone helping him possesses a weapon, or displays what appears to be a weapon.

Burglary in the First Degree

Burglary in the First Degree is a Class B Violent Felony in New York. The minimum punishment is 5 years jail and the maximum punishment is 25 years jail. This is very serious charge, and is the same level of severity as an attempted murder case. Burglary in the First Degree is most commonly charged when:

  • A person commits a burglary of a dwelling (home)
  • AND either:
    • Is armed with a weapon.
    • Causes physical injury to another person.

Possession of Burglar’s Tools

Possession of Burglar’s Tools in a Class A Misdemeanor in New York. The minimum punishment is an alternative sentence where a person can avoid jail time, and the maximum punishment is 1 year jail. Possession of Burglar’s Tools can be charged when:

  • A person possesses any tool or instrument used for burglary or theft, under circumstances that show an intent to use it illegally.

If you or a loved one has been charged with committing burglary, the consequences of a conviction could change your life forever. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a New York City burglary attorney, call the law offices of Dietrich P. Epperson today at (347) 561-0025, or contact us online.