Camden County NJ Burglary Lawyer
Criminal Attorneys Assisting Clients Charged with Burglary throughout South New Jersey
What is burglary? Believe it or not, the answer is more complex than one might assume. In New Jersey, burglary is often confused with trespassing and other theft crimes. Although the nature of these offenses is similar, the specific requirements for each charge are distinct. Under New Jersey law, trespassing simply means that a person enters or remains in a structure where he or she is not permitted to be. Whether the property is private, locked or gated, or signage indicates that a person should not be there, disregarding such indications is considered trespassing. On the other hand, theft in New Jersey requires the unlawful taking, through various means, of money or property that does not belong to you. A theft crime means that you actually obtain something with the purpose of depriving its owner of it. This can refer to any number of things, including a prescription pad or blank, credit cards, checks, a motor vehicle, jewelry or other items, or even a person’s identity. As for burglary, these charges exists where trespassing and theft intersect. In other words, when a person enters or remains in a structure with the intent to commit a theft, he or she commits burglary. It is important to note that the actor need not actually commit theft, but simply have the intention to do so, to be charged with burglary under New Jersey law.
Criminal defense attorney William Fay has been zealously advocating for individuals accused of burglary and other criminal offenses in Southern New Jersey for years. With a his passion for protecting the rights of his clients and a breadth of knowledge and experience in criminal law, Mr. Fay has achieved countless successes in courts throughout Camden County, including those in Cherry Hill, Berlin, Pine Hill, Waterford, Winslow, Voorhees and Gloucester Township. When Mr. Fay takes your case, you enter into a dynamic attorney-client relationship, as he walks you through the entire legal process and fights for the best possible outcome. To discuss your case with Mr. Fay today, contact his offices at 609-832-3202 for a cost-free consultation.
Burglary Lawyer in Haddon Twp NJ
The New Jersey Criminal Code outlines burglary offenses in section N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, stating the following:
a. A person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein or thereon he:
(1) Enters a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof unless the structure was at the time open to the public or the actor is licensed or privileged to enter;
(2) Surreptitiously remains in a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so; or
(3) Trespasses in or upon utility company property where public notice prohibiting trespass is given by conspicuous posting, or fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
Grading of Burglary Charges in New Jersey
Burglary is a crime of the second degree if in the course of committing the offense, the actor:
(1) Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
(2) Is armed with or displays what appear to be explosives or a deadly weapon.
Otherwise burglary is a crime of the third degree. An act shall be deemed “in the course of committing” an offense if it occurs in an attempt to commit an offense or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission.
Burglary Penalties in New Jersey
Burglary can be classified as a second or third degree crime, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. Typical burglary offenses are considered third degree crimes, which are punishable by a New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 3 to 5 years. However, burglary is enhanced to a second degree crime, which may result in a 5 to 10-year term of incarceration if the actor injures or attempts to injure anyone, or is armed with a weapon.
Possession of Burglary Tools 2C:5-5(a)
In addition to being charged with burglary, many people in these cases also find themselves facing charges for related burglary crimes. One of the most common related charges is a charge for possession of burglary tools. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:5-5(a), it is against the law for an individual to possess any engine, machine, tool, or implement that is commonly used for an offense involving forcible entry into premises. This means that if you attempt to pick a lock while breaking into a home, you could be charged with both burglary and possession of burglar’s tools. While burglary is always classified as a felony and can result in prison time, possession of burglary tools is typically classified as a disorderly persons offense and is punishable by a maximum sentence of six (6) months in jail. The one exception to this is if the offender manufactured the burglar’s tools or published plans on how to manufacture the burglar’s tools. Then, the charge is classified as a fourth degree felony, which carries a possible sentence of 18 months in prison.
NJ Car Burglaries
Another common burglary crime is car burglary. While some burglaries occur at houses, apartments, and other residences, a lot of burglaries involve motor vehicles. Both home burglaries and car burglaries are addressed by the same criminal statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, and they both carry the same penalties. This is because the statute prohibits individuals from unlawfully entering a structure or remaining in a structure, and “structure” is defined broadly to include motor vehicles. This means that you can be charged with a felony-level offense for car burglary if you break into a motor vehicle for the purpose of stealing something inside, or even if you unlawfully enter a motor vehicle and then sleep inside. A conviction on car burglary charges could result in you being sentenced to 3-5 years in prison.
Contact our Winslow Burglary Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been charged with burglary in Camden County or elsewhere in South Jersey, you need an aggressive and highly knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer on your side. Contact our firm at 609-832-3202 for additional information and a cost-free consultation.