Hampton Roads Burglary Lawyer 

Burglary is breaking into a house, dwelling, or a property that belongs to another person with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary charges are serious and can have long-term consequences. Burglary is typically charged with the intent to commit larceny or another violent crime which can lead to aggravating factors and heightened penalties.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the burglary, contact a professional Hampton Roads burglary lawyer today. A skilled theft defense attorney can help you pursue a defense strategy.

Treatment of Burglary Charges

Burglary is treated seriously because most of the time burglary involves a home invasion. A person breaks into a home, but there may not be people in the house. Depending on how it happens, the case could turn violent or deadly, so prosecutors will treat these very seriously. The Virginia sentencing guidelines on burglary do not demand lengthy jail sentences, but they still can result in lengthy sentences.

Proof by Prosecution

The prosecution has to show that the accused broke into a dwelling, house, building, vehicle, or property. A person broke in and entered and it can be as simple as pushing an unlocked door open. The person does not have to kick a door in and the door does not have to be locked. If a person moves that door at all, it can be considered breaking and entering. Depending on what type of robbery or what type of burglary, they may have to show that the person was intending to commit another crime.

In a common-law burglary, a prosecutor has to show that the person broke in order to commit some other crime. It could be that the person broke in with the intent to steal items from the house. It could be the person broke in with the intent to use something in the house. It could be that the person broke in order to harm the people in the house.

Burglary vs. Trespassing

Trespassing does not require breaking in. Trespassing is where a person is on the property of another person without permission, whereas with a burglary the person was doing more than just being on the property. The person entered a building without permission and intended to commit another crime.

For trespassing, a person may have been merely standing in the yard. If the person was not supposed to be there, it is considered trespassing. For example, if the person breaks into a house and just stands at the front door, it may not be considered burglary because there is no intent to commit a larceny or any other crime because the person is just there. It can be confusing, so contact a Hampton Roads burglary lawyer who can clarify the concepts.

Damage to Property by Burglary

Damage to a property through burglary can be a separate charge. Depending on how exactly the property was damaged, it can be the destruction of property. For example, if a person kicked a door to break into a house, that destruction of property is probably going to be considered part of the burglary, not a separate count. If while the person is in the house, they break a lamp, that destruction of the lamp would be a theft or destruction of property charge. Depending on the value of the lamp, it could be a felony or it could be a misdemeanor.

Degrees of Burglary

There are a couple of different degrees of burglary. There is common-law burglary, which is how burglary was defined when the laws were first established. Common-law burglary is breaking into a dwelling or house of another is a Class 3 Felony. There are statutory felonies that cover a lot of the holes. Those are also considered Class 3 felonies.

A statutory burglary is when a person commits a misdemeanor in the action of burglary. Those are Class 3 felonies, so they carry up to 20 years in prison. If a person uses a deadly weapon, like a gun or a knife, it is a Class 2 felony, which carries up to 40 years in prison.

Hiring a Hampton Roads Burglary Lawyer

Burglary is a felony in Virginia that can carry up to 20 years in prison.There are a number of different possible charges that it can be reduced or amended to and there is quite a bit that the Commonwealth has to prove.

A person needs an experienced lawyer who can help them sort through the different types of burglary and make sure that the Commonwealth can prove what it is they are claiming the person did. An inexperienced lawyer might not notice some of the nuances between all the charges. Contact a professional, experienced Hampton Roads burglary lawyer today.