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New York Burglary Frequently Asked Questions

What is burglary in New York?

Burglary is a crime that involves entering the property of another person or unlawfully remaining on property for the purpose of committing a crime. This means that in order to face a charge of burglary it is not required that you break into the property. If you remain on the property after you are no longer authorized to be there, and you do so with the intent to commit a crime, then you would have committed the crime of burglary. 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.

For example, Katherine and her daughter, Anastasia, were shopping at a department store. Right before closing they entered to ladies room. A few moments later the lights went out in the store and the doors were locked. Katherine and Anastasia exited the ladies room and yelled, “hello! hello!” in an attempt to find someone who would let them out. Instead, security arrested them and accused them of attempting to steal from the store. The women will likely not be convicted of burglary as there is no evidence that they had intended to commit a crime.

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.

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
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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