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New York Penal Law § 140.30: Burglary in the First Degree

New York Penal Law § 140.30: Burglary in the First Degree

At Spodek Law Group, we understand the seriousness of being charged with burglary in the first degree under New York Penal Law § 140.30. As one of the premier criminal defense law firms in the country, we have the experience and expertise to aggressively defend your rights if you are facing this grave accusation.

What Constitutes Burglary in the First Degree?

Under New York law, a person is guilty of burglary in the first degree when they knowingly enter or remain unlawfully in a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime inside, and when in the course of committing the offense, they or another participant in the crime:

  1. Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or
  2. Causes physical injury to a person who is not involved in the crime; or
  3. Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument; or
  4. Displays what appears to be a gun or firearm.

Let’s break this down. To be convicted of first-degree burglary, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  • Entered or stayed in a building unlawfully (without permission or authority)
  • The building was a dwelling (a place where people typically lodge overnight)
  • You intended to commit a crime inside
  • You or an accomplice possessed a weapon, injured someone, threatened to use a dangerous instrument, or appeared to have a gun

Burglary in the first degree is the most serious burglary offense in New York, classified as a Class B violent felony. A conviction can result in a lengthy state prison sentence of up to 25 years. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to have a skilled criminal defense attorney in your corner if you’ve been charged with this crime.

Defending Against First-Degree Burglary Charges

While the consequences of a first-degree burglary conviction are severe, you are not without options. Our battle-tested attorneys at Spodek Law Group will meticulously examine every aspect of your case to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments and build the strongest possible defense.Some potential defenses against first-degree burglary charges include:

  • Lack of intent: The prosecution must prove you intended to commit a crime inside the dwelling. If you had no such intent, that is a valid defense.
  • Consent: If the owner or occupant of the dwelling gave you permission to enter, you were not there “unlawfully.”
  • Mistaken identity: The prosecution has the wrong person. You have been falsely accused or mistakenly identified by a witness.
  • Illegal search: If the police violated your constitutional rights in obtaining evidence against you, that evidence may be suppressed.
  • Affirmative defenses: Specific to the aggravating factors, you may have an affirmative defense if the gun displayed was unloaded or incapable of causing death or serious injury.

Every case is unique. When you hire Spodek Law Group, we will leave no stone unturned in investigating the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your burglary arrest. Our goal is always to achieve the best possible outcome, whether that means getting the charges dismissed, winning an acquittal at trial, or negotiating a favorable plea bargain to reduce the charges and minimize the consequences.

Why Choose Spodek Law Group?

Facing criminal charges is a frightening and stressful experience, especially when the allegations are as serious as first-degree burglary. You need and deserve an attorney you can trust to fight for your freedom and your future. So why choose us? Here are a few reasons why clients put their trust in Spodek Law Group:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Unmatched experience: Our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling complex criminal cases at the state and federal level. We’ve successfully defended clients against every type of burglary charge. There’s no scenario we haven’t seen before.
  • Client-focused service: We treat every client with the utmost respect, compassion and professionalism. We take the time to listen to your story, answer all your questions, and keep you informed at every stage of the legal process. Your best interests always come first.
  • Aggressive advocacy: We are tireless advocates for the accused. Our attorneys include former prosecutors who understand how the other side thinks. We will work around the clock to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and fight for the justice you deserve.
  • Proven results: Our track record speaks for itself. We have achieved countless dismissals, acquittals, and favorable resolutions for clients charged with burglary and other serious felonies. While no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome, we can promise to do everything in our power to win your case.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for burglary in the first degree in New York, don’t wait to get help. Contact Spodek Law Group today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We are available 24/7 to take your call and begin building your defense. Remember, you have rights, and we are here to protect them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the difference between burglary, robbery, and theft?A: While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to distinct crimes. Burglary involves unlawfully entering a building with intent to commit a crime inside (not necessarily theft). Robbery is forcibly stealing property directly from a person. Theft is stealing property, but without the use of force or illegal entry that characterize robbery and burglary.

Q: Can I be charged with burglary if I entered through an open door or window?A: Yes. Burglary does not require “breaking and entering.” If you knowingly enter or remain in a dwelling without permission, even through an unlocked door or window, you can still face burglary charges if you had intent to commit a crime inside.

Q: What if I was intoxicated and didn’t know what I was doing?A: Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to burglary in New York. However, if you were so intoxicated that you could not form the required intent to commit a crime, lack of intent may be a viable defense. This is a complex issue that requires thorough analysis by an experienced attorney.

Q: What if the police coerced me into confessing?A: If your constitutional rights were violated during police interrogation, any statements you made may be inadmissible as evidence against you. This includes if the police failed to read your Miranda rights, denied your right to an attorney, or used coercive tactics to elicit a confession. If you believe your rights were violated, inform your attorney immediately.

Q: Can I get probation for first-degree burglary?A: Unfortunately, first-degree burglary carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 5 years in New York. The judge does not have discretion to sentence you to probation, even if you have no prior criminal record. However, an effective defense attorney may be able to get the charge reduced to a lesser offense that does allow for a probationary sentence.

Choose Spodek Law Group for Your Burglary Defense

At Spodek Law Group, we are committed to providing the highest quality criminal defense representation to each and every client. We understand what’s at stake when you’ve been charged with a serious felony like burglary in the first degree. Your freedom, your family, your livelihood, and your reputation are all on the line.That’s why we fight so aggressively and passionately on behalf of the accused. We believe in the fundamental principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we will work tirelessly to hold the prosecution to its burden of proof. With our team of experienced trial lawyers and former prosecutors on your side, you can feel confident that you have the best possible chance of beating the charges and clearing your name.

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