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New York Burglary Frequently Asked Questions

When you enter someone else’s property or remain on someone’s property because you are planning on committing a crime, then you have committed the act of burglary. You do not have to physically break into a building or a piece of property in order to be charged. The only thing that you have to do is have some kind of intent on committing a crime of any kind while you’re on the property or in the building. Theft is sometimes confused with burglary, but you do not have to take something in order to be charged with burglary. Some of the crimes that you could intend to commit include stalking, kidnapping, and larceny. An example would be if someone entered a store and hid in the bathroom with an intent to take something from the store after it closed. You would then be charged with burglary because you planned to commit the crime after entering the building. Another example would be if someone were to get locked in a bathroom after the store closed but didn’t plan to take anything and tried to get help to get out of the room. An attorney can challenge the charge because you didn’t plan on taking anything and you were attempting to seek assistance to get out of the building.

Are There Different Degrees Of Burglary?
As with many other crimes in New York, there are different degrees of burglary that you can be charged with, such as third-degree or first-degree. Each charge carries a different punishment. Each burglary charge is considered a felony, which is why it’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney who can look at the evidence presented to determine if you planned to commit a crime or if the charge should not stand in court. First-degree burglary is punishable by up to 25 years in prison whereas third-degree burglary is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Third-degree burglary is the least serious offense. You will likely receive this charge if you only intend to commit a crime after entering a property or staying on the property after being asked to leave. Second-degree burglary involves any weapons or explosives that you plan to use to commit the crime while on the property. You can also be charged with this if you display any kind of gun or if you threaten the people inside with a weapon. In most situations, the property has to be classified as a dwelling instead of just an ordinary building. First-degree burglary involves using a weapon or explosive and causing some kind of physical harm to the people who are on the property. You can also be charged with first-degree burglary if you show a loaded gun that you intended to use. After being charged with burglary, you need to present as much information as possible to an attorney to show that you had permission to be on the property or that you did not intend to commit a crime once you entered the property.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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