If you have been charged with a crime of burglary, then you were charged with entering a building with the intent to commit a crime. This can be a very broad crime, as you can tell just from the description, with some of the most common being robbery, assault, and even murder. Because most of these crimes are extremely serious and can cause severe harm to another, they are charged as a felony with a minimum penalty of a year in prison. But did you know that there are several different types of burglary, categorized by fourth, third, second, and first degree? Today we will help you understand each so you know a bit more about what charges you are facing.
Degrees of Burglary
Fourth Degree: Though it is not used in every state, some jurisdictions tens to use a fourth degree as a way to cover “intention” to commit a burglary. Here’s an example: Say that you are caught in an alleyway with tools to break into someone’s house, but you haven’t yet committed the crime. This is intent, and you could be charged.
Third Degree: This is a very basic form of burglary that carries the least amount of time in prison and usually falls under “unlawful entry,” where somebody enters a place without consent.
Second Degree: To be charged with second degree burglary, you must have been armed, caused injury to the victim, used a weapon, displayed a weapon, have a record of committing burglaries, or committed the crime at night.
First Degree: This is the most harshly charged burglary type out of them all and can carry a sentence of 15 years or longer in prison based on the circumstances. In many cases, it not only means that you entered a home or building, but that you used or threaten to use a weapon on another person.
As you can see, in some of these degrees of burglary, the crime was not yet committed. In others, the crime was committed and it was very serious and involved injury. Because each type of burglary is so different from the next, sometimes there are difficulties in sentencing. For these matters, call a criminal defense attorney who can help you along the way. We are waiting to hear from you.