Burglary charges are serious and can lead to long-lasting negative consequences in all areas of your life, including employment, housing, finances, and relationships. If you or a loved one has been arrested on burglary charges, it is not in your best interests to attempt to defend your own case against the relentless questioning of a highly trained prosecuting attorney. To put the odds in your favor, it is critical that you take immediate action to retain an experienced burglary defense attorney to represent you in court.
What is the Legal Definition of Burglary?
Oftentimes, people make the assumption that burglary is no different from theft or robbery. However, from a legal standpoint, this is inaccurate. Burglary is its own specific offense separate from theft or robbery. So what constitutes burglary?
Under Pennsylvania law, the element of entering and/or unlawfully remaining within a building, with the intent to commit a crime while inside, has to be present. Without a building, there’s no burglary. It should be noted that the building in question may be a home, apartment, office building, restaurant, museum, research facility, or any other type of structure.
What are the Penalties for Burglary in Pennsylvania?
Burglary penalties in Pennsylvania are addressed by 18 Pa.C.S. § 3502. In Pennsylvania, a burglary is typically a 1st Degree Felony, which is an extremely serious charge. If the structure entered was empty for the night and no people were present (e.g. an office building closed for the evening with no security guards present), burglary is a 2nd Degree Felony.
The Pennsylvania penalties for a 2nd Degree Felony include a maximum of 10 years in prison, and $25,000 in fines. If the burglary conviction is classified as a 1st Degree Felony, the punishments become even harsher: a maximum of 20 years in prison, and $25,000 in fines.
Our Philadelphia Burglary Defense Lawyers Can Help
At Young, Marr & Associates, our team of criminal defense litigation experts is fully prepared to provide you with the best burglary defense lawyer available. We have represented individuals facing a wide array of burglary charges and related arrest charges for crimes that fall under state burglary laws, including felony theft, juvenile burglary, and other offenses. Our veteran team of burglary attorneys offers decades experience handling more than 10,000 criminal cases.
As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system. In addition to our experience as prosecutors, which allows us to anticipate the types of arguments that will be levied against you in court, we also enjoy long-standing professional relationships with local police departments, prosecutors, and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.
As the penalties make abundantly clear, a burglary conviction can have permanent negative effects on your finances, your freedom, and your reputation. If you have been accused of committing burglary in Pennsylvania, contact the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates immediately. You can also call us at (215) 701-6519 to reach our Pennsylvania offices.