A burglary charge is associated home invasion and this is why New Jersey and county prosecutors take the crime so seriously. In furtherance of this stance, the state has made burglary a Graves Act offense, if a firearm was involved during the course of the burglary or immediately after. Under the act, this means that, if convicted, you will have to serve a mandatory term of incarceration without being eligible for parole. Moreover, The No Early Release Act (“NERA”) applies to second degree burglary convictions since it is a crime of violence. Defendants convicted of NERA crimes must serve 85% of the remaining sentence before being eligible for parole or early release. An experienced criminal attorney can help navigate the court system and work with the County Prosecutor’s Office to help avoid these penalties mentioned above. Proetta & Oliver is exclusively committed to defending clients for criminal and municipal court charges including burglary throughout New Jersey. In past burglary cases, we have secured our clients admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention, which results in no conviction and no incarceration upon completion.
The New Jersey statute for burglary is provided below, in pertinent part, for your reading convenience:
§ 2C:18-2. Burglary
a. Burglary defined. A person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein he:
(1) Enters a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof unless the structure was at the time open to the public or the actor is licensed or privileged to enter; or
(2) Surreptitiously remains in a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so.
b. Grading. Burglary is a crime of the second degree if in the course of committing the offense, the actor:
(1) Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
(2) Is armed with or displays what appear to be explosives or a deadly weapon.
Otherwise burglary is a crime of the third degree. An act shall be deemed “in the course of committing” an offense if it occurs in an attempt to commit an offense or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission.
Degree The Act The Penalty
Enters a building with intent to commit a crime inside
3 – 5 years in prison
Someone is injured during burglary or armed defendant
5 – 10 years in prison; presumption of mandatory incarceration
Elizabeth NJ Burglary Criminal Attorney
As the above statute clearly illustrates, the crime of burglary is completed the moment a defendant enters a structure with intent to commit a crime inside enters a structure. Therefore, even if a defendant does not commit a crime once he gets inside the building it is still a burglary. This dispels a lot of common misconceptions that if you didn’t take anything it’s not a burglary.
“Structure” for purpose of Burglary – House, Commercial or Office Building, Car, Truck, or even a Boat
Defending a burglary case can often be very technical and complicated and normally takes an experienced criminal defense lawyer to litigate the various legal issues. Founding attorney, William Proetta, Esq. has handled thousands of criminal and municipal court charges during his career including many burglary cases throughout New Jersey. We represent clients charged with burglary in Plainfield, Springfield, Roselle Park, Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Fanwood, and Westfield. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced burglary defense lawyer then please contact our Cranford office at (908) 838-0150 for an initial consultation.
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