Burglary is a serious felony in Virginia, and is punishable by extensive jail time. If you have been charged with burglary or a burglary-related offense, you will need to consult a Fairfax burglary lawyer as soon as possible. Call today to schedule a consultation with a theft attorney in Fairfax.
There are several elements, or components, of burglary crimes that the prosecutor must prove in order to convict you. A Fairfax burglary attorney can begin investigating the allegations and evidence against you as soon as you are charged with the offense, and can advise you as to whether your actions have actually constituted burglary or a related crime.
The crime of burglary is very specific under Virginia Code 18.2-89 and requires you to have broken and entered into someone’s home at night, with the intent to steal or commit a felony. Because the law is written very narrowly, many burglary-like offenses – such as breaking into someone’s house during the day, or entering a home at night through an unlocked door with the intent to steal things – would not actually be considered burglary under the law.
For this reason, Virginia also has prohibitions against so-called statutory burglary, or burglary-like offenses, and the penalties for these are in many cases just as severe as those for burglary.
Under Virginia Code 18.2-90 and 18.2-91, a person commits statutory burglary by entering a home at night without breaking into the structure, breaking and entering during the day, entering at any time – with or without breaking – and concealing himself inside or in an adjoining structure, so long as the person also has an intent to commit assault, battery, murder, rape, violent robbery, arson, or any other felony, or steal things while inside the home.
For the purpose of statutory burglary, a home need not be a house or apartment. Any structure used as a dwelling, such as a boat, vehicle, trailer, or railcar, could be considered a home.
Burglary, statutory burglary and other burglary-related offenses, such as possessing burglary tools with the intent to commit burglary, or breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor, are all serious felony offenses requiring the assistance of an experienced Fairfax burglary lawyer.
Burglary is a Class 3 felony carrying a penalty of five to 20 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. Being armed with a deadly weapon raises the offense to a Class 2 felony, punishable by 20 years to life in prison, in addition to the fines, and this applies whether the burglary was a standard or statutory offense.
No matter what type of burglary offense you have been charged with, a Fairfax burglary lawyer can help. The sooner you consult your burglary attorney in Fairfax, the more time your lawyer will have to mount a strong defense on your behalf.
Being charged with a burglary-related crime is frightening, but having a burglary attorney in Fairfax fighting on your behalf to clear your name or have the charges reduced can give you some measure of comfort during the legal process. Call our firm today to conduct your free initial legal consultation with our friendly team.
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