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Virginia Burglary Lawyer

Burglary is a serious theft charge. It is more serious than petty larceny or the simple taking of property and it involves a penalty of active jail time. If there is a weapon or an abuse, the minimum could be 20 years in prison. It is pretty serious and involves a person’s loss of liberty and for that reason, somebody should definitely have an attorney by their side. It is not one of those types of charges where a person can represent themselves. It is definitely something that a person needs representation by a qualified theft attorney.

There are severe consequences that someone can face for burglary charges. It is essential that someone attains an experienced attorney who understands the local laws. If you are facing burglary charges, it is imperative that you speak with a Virginia burglary lawyer right away.

Legal Definition of Burglary

Burglary is a type of a theft crime that prosecution takes very seriously. It entails entering the dwelling or a house with the intent to commit larceny, assault, battery, and any other type of crime. This includes breaking and entering a dwelling with a Mens Rea or in a mental state of committing a felony inside.

The evil that burglary is trying to get at is the breaking of the dwelling and the breaking and entering are complete upon any point of the defendant or the assailant crossing over to that dwelling. Putting an arm through a window with the intent would constitute a burglary.

Potential Penalties Associated

There are several severe penalties associated with burglary. Some people may understand that a person has to actually break, open a door, and go in, and any type of breaking of the window the intent to commit a felony would qualify as a burglary. A Virginia burglary lawyer understands that the penalty is not less than one and not more than 20 years in prison.

However, if a deadly weapon is used then it is elevated to a Class 2 felony and then the penalty for that would be life in prison or 20 years in prison. The 20 years becomes the minimum, it has to be a life in prison or 20 years, so those are the standards with a Class 2 felony. Using a deadly weapon qualifies as an aggravation to the charge of a Class 2 felony.

Burglary and Trespassing

There is a difference between burglary and trespassing. The locus in quo or the place where burglary takes place is the dwelling or house, it has to be a building and not just any building, but a building used as someone’s place of abode. Trespass is the physical intrusion on someone else’s property that could be land, a farm, a store, and things like that.

That would be where trespass is invoked, so to look at it from a certain angle burglary is a small subset of trespass with the added element of committing a felony inside. Burglary has to occur in a dwelling or a house and it has to be done with the intent to commit a felony. It is the physical intrusion on that land that gets a person to be charged with trespass, the crime is complete once someone physically intruded on someone else’s land.

That is not the same with burglary, if they entered into a dwelling, for instance, because of a storm and someone is homeless and they are trying to find a place to stay, it is not burglary because it is not done with the intent to commit a felony. Trespass is a lesser crime and it is complete at the physical intrusion level. An experienced Virginia burglary lawyer can help someone create a defense strategy.

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