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New York Burglary Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Burglary?

Burglary involves unlawfully entering another person’s property for the purpose of committing a crime. It also is remaining another’s property after you are no longer authorized to be there, with the intent to commit a crime. While burglary is often associated with theft, an actual theft or an intended theft is not a necessary element to the crime of burglary. You must have the intent to commit any crime, including larceny, rape, kidnapping, stalking, or any other misdemeanor or felony.

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In New York Is Breaking and Entering the Same as Burglary?

In New York there is no such crime as “breaking and entering.” In order to commit burglary the defendant must only unlawfully enter or remain on the property of another. It is not necessary that the defendant break a door, window, lock, or anything else while attempting to enter the property. Simply walking through an open door or opening an unlocked door and walking into a building is sufficient.

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What Are the Penalties for Burglary?

A defendant convicted of burglary in New York could face one or more of the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment
  • Probation
  • Fines
  • Restitution

One of the most important factors used to determine the severity of punishment for burglary is the specific burglary offense of which the defendant was convicted. There are 3 burglary charges: burglary in the third, second, and first degrees. Each is a felony. However, aggravating factors will determine which burglary charge a defendant will face. If convicted of burglary in the first degree. The defendant will face up to 25 years in prison. Other aggravating factors that factor the charge or sentencing include:

  • The building is a dwelling
  • Defendant or another participant is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon or
  • Defendant or another participant causes physical injury or
  • Defendant or another participant uses or threatens use of dangerous instrument or
  • Defendant or another participant displays what appears to be firearm.
  • Prior criminal record, including prior convictions for burglary
  • Currently on probation

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What Is the Difference Between Burglary and Robbery?

Burglary occurs when someone unlawfully enters a place or remains in a place with the intent to commit a crime. On the other hand, robbery occurs when someone takes property from someone’s person. Robbery is a crime of theft, while burglary is not necessarily a crime of theft.

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Is Burglary a Felony?

Burglary is considered a serious crime and is a felony. There are three different burglary offenses in New York representing different levels of seriousness, based on factors such as the type of crime the offender intended to commit on the property, whether the offender was armed, and whether someone was injured. Each burglary offense, including possession of burglar tools, is a felony.

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Still Have Questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for Help

If you are under investigation for burglary or if you have been charged, you should immediately seek legal guidance from an experienced burglary attorney in New York. A criminal conviction will impact the rest of your life. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with burglary, grand larceny, assault, sexual assault, and other felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of burglary in the following locations: Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Bronx, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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