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The crime of Burglary is defined as entering the dwelling house of another unlawfully to commit an illegal act. An example of this offense would be where someone enters the home of another and steals valuables. A Bronx Burglary Lawyer can explain that there are three degrees of this crime. Which degree will apply will depend on the particular circumstances of the case. If you or a loved one has been charged with this or other theft crime such as Robbery, credit card fraud or Petit Larceny, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. If convicted, the penalties for these offenses are serious. Speak with the legal team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for legal advice and a free consultation.
In the State of New York, burglary is defined in Article 140 of the Penal Law. There are three degrees of this offense, first degree burglary (Penal Law 140.03), second degree burglary (Penal Law 140.25) and third degree burglary (Penal Law 140.02). There is also a related offense called Possession of Burglar’s Tools (Penal Law 140.35).
Third Degree Burglary
The crime of burglary in the third degree is classified as a felony offense in New York. If you are convicted, the minimum punishment is one to three years in prison. The maximum sentence can range from 2.3 years to 7 years in prison. In certain cases, the judge can impose an alternative sentence if the accused entered a building and not a home to commit the crime.
Second Degree Burglary
Second degree burglary is considered a Class C violent felony. If you are convicted, the minimum punishment for this crime is 3 ½ years in prison. The maximum sentence is up to 15 years in prison. This crime is charged when:
- An individual knowingly enters a home and remains there with the intent to commit a crime;
- A person commits a burglary in a building and someone is hurt during the commission of the crime;
- A person commits a burglary in a building, and they or an accomplice is in possession of a weapon and displays it.
First Degree Burglary
First degree burglary is considered a Class B violent felony. If you are convicted of this offense, the minimum sentence is 5 years in prison. The maximum sentence is 25 years in prison. This is a very serious charge, and is thought to be on the same level in severity as an attempted murder charge. This crime is committed when:
- The defendant commits a burglary in a home and:
- Is armed with a weapon;
- Is in possession of Burglar tools;
- Or harms another person.
Possession of Burglar’s Tools
The crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor. The minimum sentence is an alternative punishment that can allow the defendant to avoid jail time. The maximum sentence is one year in jail. This crime is committed when:
The defendant is in possession of any tool or instrument that can be used to commit a burglary, and the surrounding circumstances indicate that the defendant intended to use the items for an illegal purpose.
While the crime of burglary can be the sole charge involved, often there are additional charges which can include:
- Grand Larceny (NY Penal Law Article 155);
- Assault (NY Penal Law Article 20);
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property (NY Penal Law Article 165);
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon (NY Penal Law Article 265).
If you have been charged with a theft crime, it is important to seek legal guidance right away to ensure that your rights are protected. We have offices located throughout New York, including locations in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. We also have locations in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island, and Westchester County. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW.