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Burglary Lawyers Lawyers

Burglary Lawyers – What You Need to Know

Facing burglary charges? Don’t panic – but do act fast. Having the right burglary lawyer on your side can make all the difference. We’re here to walk you through it.

What is Burglary?

Burglary is when someone enters a building illegally with intent to commit a crime inside – usually theft, but it can be other crimes too. The “breaking” part doesn’t necessarily mean smashing windows; just entering unlawfully counts.The penalties for burglary vary a lot based on the specific circumstances. Stuff like whether it was a home or business, if anyone was present, if a weapon was involved, your criminal history, etc. But generally, burglary charges are pretty serious – we’re talking potential jail/prison time and big fines. So you’ll definitely want legal representation.

Why Hire a Burglary Lawyer?

Look, the justice system is complicated AF. You don’t want to try navigating this alone. An experienced burglary attorney knows all the ins and outs of these cases. They can find holes in the prosecution‘s case, get charges reduced or dismissed, prevent you from getting railroaded, and give you the best shot at avoiding harsh penalties.Plus, having a lawyer shows you’re taking this seriously. It looks way better than just rolling up to court alone. Judges see pro se (self-represented) defendants as a hassle – you want someone there advocating properly for you.

What to Look For

So how do you pick the right burglary lawyer? Well, obviously you want someone with a ton of experience handling cases just like yours in your jurisdiction. Don’t just go with a general practice attorney or public defender if you can avoid it.You’ll also want to find someone you actually vibe with and can be 100% honest with. This person‘s gonna be dealing with the most stressful, personal stuff in your life – you need to trust them.Finally, be upfront about fees from the start. Burglary cases can get pricey with all the motions, investigations, and potential trial. But having to pay more later is way worse than knowing what you’re in for.

Common Burglary Defenses

A good burglary defense lawyer will explore every possible angle to get you off or reduce charges. Some common strategies include:

  • Mistaken Identity – If the evidence identifying you is shaky, your lawyer can work to cast reasonable doubt.
  • No Intent – Maybe you actually did enter the property, but not to commit a crime inside. There has to be intent for burglary charges.
  • Ownership Interest – If you legitimately had some ownership or property interest in the place you entered, that can negate burglary charges.
  • Consent – Similarly, if you reasonably believed you had permission to enter, that undercuts the “unlawful” part of burglary.
  • Voluntary Intoxication – If you were severely impaired and didn’t form the required intent, that could be a defense.
  • Duress – If you only committed the alleged burglary because you were being directly threatened or coerced, a lawyer can argue duress.

The right defense strategy depends heavily on your specific situation. That’s why having an experienced attorney to properly strategize is crucial.

 Burglary Penalties and Sentencing

Okay, let‘s get to the part you’re probably most worried about – what kind of sentence am I looking at here if convicted of burglary?Well, there‘s a huge range of possibilities. The absolute worst-case scenario for aggravated burglary of a residence would be 10+ years in prison in some states. But for a first-time offense of simple burglary, you could just get probation with no jail time.A lot depends on your prior record, the specific crime(s) you‘re charged with, and whether there were any aggravating factors like use of a weapon. Prosecutors may also pursue different charges that carry different penalties.Your lawyer‘s main job is to get you the absolute minimum sentencing possible by limiting charges, providing mitigating factors about your circumstances, negotiating with prosecutors, etc. Don’t just plead out without having them go to bat for you first.

Burglary Diversion Programs

One option your burglary attorney may explore is getting you into a diversion program as an alternative to standard prosecution. These programs typically involve things like:

  • Community service
  • Restitution payments
  • Counseling or treatment
  • Probation supervision

Successfully completing a diversion program can get the charges completely dismissed and keep the whole thing off your record. But not everyone qualifies – it usually requires a clean record, no aggravating factors, and a motivated defendant.Your lawyer will know if diversion is a possibility in your jurisdiction and can advocate for you to get that opportunity if eligible. It‘s a great option to avoid the collateral consequences of a burglary conviction if you can swing it.

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