Burglary charges are a very serious charge in New Jersey and carry steep penalties and fined if a person is found guilty. However, despite the gravity of these charges, there are many misconceptions surrounding burglary. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that in order to be convicted of burglary a person has to be successful in stealing something. However, this is not the case and a person may be convicted with different degrees of burglary even if they were not successful. Knowing what charges you may face can help you work with an experienced attorney to develop an effective defense strategy.
Under the New Jersey Statute, a person may be charged with burglary in the second degree if in the course of committing a burglary they purposefully, knowingly or recklessly inflicts or attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone or is armed with or displays what appears to be explosives or a deadly weapon.
New Jersey Robbery Law Explained
Statutes, such as the one explained above, are intricate and complex and are crafted by lawmakers. While it is their job to create the law, it is often the job of the judge to interpret what the statute is trying to say and to accomplish. The New Jersey Courts have had several notable cases clarifying robbery and also highlighting some of the defenses and constitutional protections that accused persons are afforded.
In the case of State v. Ford, an eyewitness identified a man whom he believed had committed the robbery, however, the court found that the police had engaged in impermissible conduct when they showed up minutes after the robbery with mug shots of the defendant and another who were accused of armed robbery. The court found that the officers had engaged in impermissibly suggestive identification behavior that violated the due process of the defendants.
The New Jersey Supreme Court held that the use of a deadly weapon and an attempt to cause serious bodily injury as predicted for the application of the New Jersey No Early Release Act, within the meaning of State v. Parolin were not found.
In State v. Russo, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that because defendant was convicted not only of felony murder but also purposeful and knowing murder, the felony murder conviction was “surplusage” and the underlying felony of armed robbery in violation of NJSA 2C:15-1 was not required to be merged into it.
In State v. Ellis, the Appellate Division held that consecutive sentences for assault with intent to rob and for doing so while armed did not constitute offensive multiple punishments for the same violation; therefore, the statute that defendant was convicted under, former N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:15-1 was constitutional.
What are the Possible Penalties for Burglary?
The crime of burglary is serious no matter what degree you are charged with. In the past burglary was defined as breaking and entering into the dwelling of another at nighttime with the intent to commit a felony therein. However, over the years the courts and legislature have moved away from this definition and have expanded the definition of burglary for when a person enters or remains in a structure without permission with the intent of committing a crime inside. With this expanded definition, the courts and legislature have imposed steep fines and penalties for those who are convicted of burglary. In addition, a person may be charged with multiple counts of burglary, which can elevate any of the fines and sentences that a judge may impose.
In general, burglary is classified as a crime in the second degree, carrying a 5 to 10-year prison sentence. In addition to an extended length of time spent behind bars a person who is convicted of burglary in the second can face a fine of up to $150,000.
If You Have Been Charged With Burglary in Atlantic City, an Sea Isle City Criminal Lawyer Can Help
Dedicated and aggressive, our burglary defense attorneys offer results-oriented representation from the outset. We serve clients throughout Atlantic County and Cape May County in addition to Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Egg Harbor Township, Cape May Court House, Wildwood, Absecon, Mays Landing and Somers Point. Contact our theft lawyers about your case today by calling (609) 616-4956. We are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays.