At one point or another, we have all read a book or watched a movie about the perfect crime. It could be described as the best heist, the biggest payday or the ultimate final haul. It usually involves a team, experienced in the most expert burglary techniques, and an elaborate plan to get away scot-free.
And while it makes for a great story, it is unfortunately quite the tall tale when it comes to the actual act of burglary. In fact, in the state of New Jersey laws and penalties in regards to burglary are strict and harsh, respectively.
What Do You Need to Know If You’ve Been Charged with Burglary in New Jersey?
First, one of the most important things to know about burglary is the fact that you do not even have to be successful in your burglary attempt in order to be charged. In theory, you could break into a residence to steal something but leave empty handed and still be convicted of burglary.
This is because, under New Jersey law, burglary is defined as entering or remaining on a property that you have no lawful right to be on for the purpose of committing an offense. This can either mean you intentionally went to a property to commit an offense if you stayed somewhere you had entered legally with the intent to commit an offense. While most believe burglary to be solely a theft charge, it is important to note New Jersey applies it to the committing of an “offense.”
Generally, burglary is considered a third-degree crime and can carry a prison sentence between three and five years. In other cases, burglary can be considered a second-degree crime, which is punishable by a jail sentence between five and 10 years.
It is usually considered a second-degree crime if during the act of burglary you use a weapon, or inflict, attempt to inflict, or threaten to inflict bodily harm to someone. The second-degree crime penalty carries a fine up to $150,000 while the third-degree crime carries a fine of up to $15,000.
In addition, those found guilty of burglary may also have to pay restitution if the burglary resulted in property loss or damage. You would have to pay the victim or victims for their losses, so they can repair or replace any damaged or stolen property.
In the end, fighting a burglary charge can be challenging but it can be done. It will depend on the facts of your case, as well as the criminal defense attorney in your corner.
John Tumelty Offers Comprehensive Burglary Defense in Atlantic City, Brigantine, Margate, Ventnor, Longport, Atlantic, Cape May & Ocean Counties
That is why it is paramount that you consult experienced attorney John W. Tumelty of the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty in South Jersey. He has succeeded in getting charges dismissed or downgraded and can do the same for you.
Call 609-385-4010 or fill out our online contact form today to set up a free consultation and begin discussing your burglary case.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.