Under Virginia law, burglary is breaking into a home or building to commit a larceny or other crime. Burglary is an extremely serious felony offense that is vigorously punished. A conviction could carry a penalty up to life in prison, depending on the circumstances.
After being charged with burglary, it may be in the best interest of the defendant to seek an experienced Fredericksburg burglary lawyer. A seasoned attorney may be able to help you better understand your case and what options you may have in court.
Burglary charges are rigorously pursued by all prosecutors because of the significance of the charge. A burglary offense, whether at a vacant home or business, may cause extreme concern for prosecutors interested in protecting personal property. A prosecutor might also find reasons to treat a case with more severity because of how invested they tend to be in protecting members of the public from possible danger.
To prove someone guilty of trespassing, a prosecutor needs to show that the person intended to enter an area that did not belong to them or that they stayed on land belonging to another individual without the landowner’s consent. To prove a burglary, the prosecutor is not required to show that the alleged defendant did not have permission to be there. The state’s attorney must demonstrate that the person broke into a home or other building and entered it with the intent of committing a felony after entering.
Additionally, there is an enhanced penalty in Virginia for burglary if someone breaks into a dwelling for the purpose of committing murder, rape, robbery, or arson. If an individual is armed with a f at the time of entry, even if only to commit a larceny, that person could be guilty of a more serious felony.
There are several differences between burglary and trespassing. Most importantly, trespassing is a misdemeanor, with a maximum punishment of one year in prison. Burglary is a more serious offense with a maximum punishment for a simple burglary of 20 years in prison.
When an individual is charged with burglary or attempts burglary and causes damage to the property they attempt to break into, that person could be charged with additional offenses and face additional charges. It is likely they may be required to pay damages to the person’s property in the form of restitution.
If you have been charged with a burglary, it may be in your best interest to hire counsel with experience handling theft charges. A Fredericksburg burglary lawyer may be your best bet in discovering what your options are in court.
A skilled defense attorney could carefully analyze the evidence against you and exploit any holes in the prosecution’s case. During any interviews with law enforcement, an attorney could help you avoid self-incrimination and assert your rights. Call today to schedule a consultation.
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