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1st Degree Vs 2nd Degree Burglary What Are The Differences?

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Burglary can be a complex crime. There are different types of burglary. However, it is most likely classified as first degree or second degree burglary. Whether a weapon is used will also affect the charges.

How Does First Degree Burglary Differ From Second Degree?

First degree burglary is where a person enters a home or building with the intent to steal something. Second degree burglary is when a person aims to steal something from a structure that is detached from the home or building. For example, if a person tries to steal something from a shed, then they can be charged with second degree burglary.

The main difference between first degree burglary is the place the burglary takes place. Most people who commit first degree burglary also use a deadly weapon, such as a knife or gun. In fact, there are some places that will distinguish between first and second degree burglary by taking note of whether there is a weapon involved.

Punishment for First And Second Degree Burglary

You will have to appear before a judge if you have been charged with burglary. People who are charged with first degree burglary are typically punished more harshly. You may face up to 25 years if you are charged with first degree burglary. Twenty years is typically the maximum time for second degree burglary. You may also be ordered to pay fines and restitution.

It is important to note that there are many factors that will determine your actual punishment. For example, if the victim was vulnerable, then you may face a harsher punishment. If you have not had a previous criminal history and take responsibility for what you have done, then the judge may decide to give you a lighter sentence.

What Are Some Defenses That Can Be Used?

It is a good idea for you to hire an attorney if you have been charged with burglary. There are several defenses that can be used that can help you get off. If you are unable to get off, then you may be able to get a lighter sentence if the appropriate defense is used.

  • Insufficient evidence-There has to be a reasonable amount of evidence in order to charge someone with a crime.
  • Mistaken Identity-People are often accused of a crime that they did not commit because they are mistaken for someone else. This can easily happen if the person was wearing a mask, or it was dark outside.
  • Lack of intent-The prosecution has to be able to prove that the person intended to commit a burglary.
  • Reclaiming possessions of ownership-You can prove that you were not intending to steal. You were going to reclaim what was rightfully yours.

Consent is another viable defense. You can say that you had permission to be in another person’s home. Additionally, police misconduct is another defense that can be used. For example, if the police violates your Fourth Amendment rights, then you may get the charges dropped.

Why You Need to Hire An Attorney for Your Case

If you have been accused of burglary, then you will need to hire an attorney right away. Not only can you face jail time or fines, but you may also have a permanent criminal record. This can make it harder for you to get a job. It can also be harder for you to get custody of children.

You need legal representation because the punishments can be quite severe. Your attorney will let you know about all of the rights that you have. They can also prepare a list of defenses for you. They will aggressively fight on your behalf.

Your attorney will take the time to evaluate your case. They will then let you know about all of your options and put together the best defense possible. The attorney’s goal is to make sure that your case has the best outcome possible.

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