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Mercer County Burglary Lawyers
Forceful Criminal Defense Attorney Vigorously Defends Clients’ Rights in New Jersey Burglary Cases
If you have been arrested or investigated for burglary charges in New Jersey, you likely have a number of questions focused on what the prosecution must prove to convict you of burglary, and the types of potential penalties can result. Burglary, which used to be known as “breaking and entering” is often a misunderstood crime, and many believe that burglary must involve some sort of theft crime. While many burglary cases do involve a theft or attempted theft, proving this element is not at all required—any type of criminal offense will be sufficient, making burglary a much more broadly applicable crime than most believe.
At the Davis Law Firm, our experienced team of burglary defense lawyers put all of our resources to work so that we can create the strongest possible defense strategies for all of our clients who have been accused of burglary. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including in Mercer County and beyond. Remember that your initial consultation is free, so you take no financial risk by consulting with one of our lawyers about options and possible defenses in your case.
The Crime of Burglary in New Jersey
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, burglary is essentially the crime of entering or remaining in some type of structure without permission and with the intent to commit some other type of offense. The prosecution can prove that you committed the crime of burglary even if you did not illegally enter the structure in question—simply remaining in a structure when you were no longer legally permitted to be there is sufficient. Burglary is punishable in New Jersey as a second degree offense, meaning that up to ten years in prison can result, if:
- The accused individual purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, or attempts or threatens to inflict, bodily injury on another person, or
- Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon, or displays what appears to be explosives or a deadly weapon.
In all other cases, burglary is punished as a third degree offense, meaning that the convicted individual can be sentenced to three to five years in jail and responsible for up to $15,000 in monetary fines.
Accused of Burglary in Mercer County? You Need a Battle-Tested Burglary Lawyer in Your Corner
It is not necessary that you be accused of breaking into a residence to be convicted of burglary in New Jersey. Any type of structure will suffice, and this term is interpreted loosely to include even motor vehicles and boats, as well as:
- Office buildings,
- Research facilities,
- Retail stores,
- Garages and barns,
- Hotel rooms.
The prosecution does not even have to prove that you actually stole an item to convict you of burglary in New Jersey—as long as they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you entered or remained in the structure with the intent to commit a theft or any other type of criminal offense, conviction is possible. The burglary offense is also prosecuted in addition to other criminal charges that may apply, including robbery or violent crimes.
Intent is typically proven by examining all of the circumstances of the case, and can be inferred by the accused person’s actions. For example, if a person runs into another person’s garage while being chased by the police, the courts can assume that the person was attempting to elude the police when he or she entered the structure.
Because of this, it is critical that you obtain the advice of a skilled burglary defense lawyer to maximize the possibility of obtaining reduced or dropped charges in your case. At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, our burglary defense lawyers are determined to establish weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against our clients who have been accused of burglary in Mercer County, and will fight to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and pursue a dismissal if at all possible in your case.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With an Experienced Mercer County Burglary Defense Lawyer Today
At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, we believe in our fight to uphold our clients’ rights throughout the criminal justice process in Mercer County and throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Regardless of whether this is your first offense or you already have a criminal record, you need a trustworthy and experienced lawyer by your side to advocate on your behalf.
If you have been accused of committing burglary, call our offices or complete this secure online form, to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today. Our offices are conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619. We accept major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard and Discover.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mercer County Burglary
Unfortunately, this is a common misconception and is not a defense to the crime of burglary. Almost all states, including New Jersey, have eliminated the requirements that you break and enter into another person’s home at night to be convicted of burglary. Under current law, entering or remaining in any structure without permission, and with the intent to commit any other criminal offense, will be sufficient for the prosecution to convict you of burglary. In fact, the current statute specifically references structures such as research facilities and public utilities, and the interpretation of what constitutes a structure is extremely broad.
If the prosecution is able to establish that you were present after closing (in other words, when you no longer had permission to be in the store) with the intent of committing some other type of crime, they may be able to convict you of burglary. You do not have to enter illegally, it is enough that you remained beyond the hours when the store was open to the public.