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Burglary, in criminal law, is the unlawful act of the breaking and entering, or remaining unlawfully in the premises (trespassing) of another with an intent to commit a felony within. If accused of burglary, you are likely to face any/all of the following consequences including heavy fines, jail time, and a tarnished reputation.
According to the NY legislature, a person commits burglary by entering or remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit any crime (felony or misdemeanor) inside. The word “building” is a broad term used here to represent “any structure, vehicle, or watercraft used for overnight lodging of persons, or used by persons for carrying on business therein.” Recently, prosecutors in NY charged a man for burglary in the third-degree for breaking into a plumbing company’s van and stealing plumbing tools from inside the van.
·Being armed with explosive or a deadly weapon
·Causing physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime
·Using or threatening the immediate use of a dangerous instrument, or
·Displaying what appears to be some type of gun or another firearm.
The law classifies this crime as a class B felony, which carries up to 25 years in prison and a fine.
Second degree burglary includes all instances of the crime, including commercial burglary and burglary of any structure other than a residence or inhabited dwelling, wherein an offender unlawfully enters or remains in a dwelling with intent to commit a crime. Second-degree burglary charges is applicable when the crime involves a building and the offender or an accomplice do any of the following:
· Possess an explosive or deadly weapon
· Cause physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime
· Use or threaten the immediate use of a dangerous instrument, or
· Display what appears to be some type of gun or another firearm.
Burglary in the second degree constitutes a class C felony, whereby a guilty party can receive up to 15 years in prison and a fine.
Third degree burglary includes knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime inside. Such an offense is a class D felony and carries up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine or double the amount the offender gains from the crime (which is the same fine-related penalty for all levels of burglary).
Two key elements that constitute third-degree burglary are: the perpetrator needs to enter or remain in a building where they do not have permission to be. And secondly, they must intend to commit a crime while in the building.
This intent to commit a crime is what escalates this charge from criminal trespass. Although apparently burglary in the third degree may be seen as the lowest tier of burglary charges, it is still a class D felony. You should take it very seriously, because if convicted, you can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
The felony conviction may have major consequences on your future, debilitating your ability to find work and impacting your immigration status.